Being paranoid over your first job is a normal occurrence. For most entry-level yuppies, getting out of school and getting into the real world is a very daunting task. This is where your concepts on real-world idealism and pragmatism come into conflict. For the most part, you’ll be given the opportunity to make important decisions. These are some of those decisions that you have not been able to make before, and could never do because of the circumstances of you were in. You were always called the one who had “a lot to learn” before you could comment about anything related to work. Now that you’re here, you ask yourself where to start & how to handle all the pressure that’s on you. Given that, here’s how:
The most common paranoia that different young professionals experience with their first job is feeling the intense need to please everyone. Most guys think that when they befriend everyone, they’d have an easier time to adjust to the environment and maybe get some help along the way. Apart from the big bosses, you even go to the extent of making friends with some staff in the company who were there before you. In order to handle this situation, remember that you can’t please everybody. Even if you think you do, not all of them are genuine. The important thing is that you do your part and don’t mess up. As needed, get help as a form of professional interaction with your workmate. Everything should be kept objective. Though, at the end of the day, be reminded that a smile can make all the difference.
Another thing, a lot of newbie employees fear if they can last long enough in work. This will be a fear that you can only get over once you’ve signed a long-term contract with the company. By that time, this means that they have fully absorbed you as part of their core employees. In order to get over this fear, you should do your best to impress the right people. This will convince them that you are indeed an asset to the company. You should create value for yourself by making sure that you apply your fresh academic knowledge into your work. You have this edge over everyone else, so use this advantage well!
And here it is: savings. A lot of kids, those who just started earning thousands in one month (yey, so much better than baon!) get fazed with all the stuff that they can now buy and spend all of their money on gadgets, parties, clothes, eating out and occasional getaways (hello seat sale). Some of you might also land your first credit card on your first job and feel excited about spending money that’s not yours…yet. Chillax, kid. Save at least 10% of your income and put it in a safe place. Increase to 15-25% after a while. If you’re earning P10,000, P1,000 is a measly thing. Just do it regularly and enjoy the pleasures of peace of mind. You don’t know when an emergency might hit you, right? At least you don’t have to bust out that credit card or borrow from your friends when it does. Also, think of this as a potential investment. Maybe you’d see something worth investing in after 2-3 years of saving, then you can quit your job and be your own boss. Think long-term. Always.
Lastly, you might fear the challenge of balancing out your personal life with your work life. Sure, the first few months of work will be devoted to nothing but work. However as you go along, you feel that you need to let loose and have some fun. This means more night out with your friends, movies with your sweetheart, or simply a peaceful night with your favorite Jodi Piccoult novel. With these activities and many others, you have fully integrated yourself into the fun, yuppie life.
When you get over those professional first-timer paranoia, don’t forget to aim to be the best at whatever it is that you’re doing and know that you’ll be rewarded handsomely at the end of the day. Good luck!
(Also check out this other career advice article on what could be your hurdles to success in your twenties.)