Sunday, March 8, 2009

40 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Career

1-The career you think you’re going to have? This is not the career you’re going to end up with. The job you went to college for? That’s not the job you’re going to end up with.

2-You will spend a good portion of your work day with nothing to do.

3-Meetings almost never solve anything and never end on time.

4-You will seriously embarrass yourself, and possibly endanger your career at at
least one (and maybe more) of your office Christmas parties.

5-Trusting co-workers can be bad for your career.

6-The movie Office Space isn’t just a comedy.

7-Pay is really about sitting or standing. The more you are sitting, the more you get paid.

8-Having a passing knowledge of current sports events is a critical skill for office small talk.

9-You’re probably way, way overeducated for the job you’re in. A good $30 thousand of those student loans you’re still paying off were wasted.

10-There are plenty more important things in life than your career.

11-You know that 401 k matching plan? It was really a pretty good idea. Grab a calculator. Calculate how much more money you’d have today if you had started contributing the day you were hired instead of 2 years ago when you finally broke down and did it. Now faint.

12-Some workplaces function EXACTLY like high school.

13-The company’s stock will not always go up.

14-Learning to look busy is a valuable survival skill.

15-You’re unlikely to ever meet a happy accountant.

16-No one really takes the time to adequately train you. All new employees are inadequately trained.

17-Upper management is more focused on improving their golf game than improving their company’s bottom line.

18-The mistakes you make are sometimes more valuable than the things you did exactly right.

19-When your career is the only good thing you’ve got going in your life, it’s time to reassess your life.

20-That temporary job you settled for… is it really temporary if you’re still in it after all this time?

21-Turf wars and office politics exist in every office, no matter how small.

22-Be nice to the administrative assistants; they are the key to everything because they keep the world turning.

23-It’s rare that your colleagues are actually smarter than you; it’s all confidence.

24-Old white guys are not old and wise guys.

25-Dear lord, office bathrooms can be gross.

26-You never really get to rest. A career is about always building, always moving forward.

27-Your boss is a human being too.

28-No one will believe in you more than you.

29-And if you don’t believe in you, you’re not going anywhere.

30-Office gossip can be positively deadly.

31-Sometimes the game IS rigged.

32-Lunch - try to never skip it. You do not earn points for working through it and
it helps you stay sane.

33-It IS possible to one day wake up and realize you hate your dream job.

34-You fear taking your eye off the ball, but sometimes that is really what you NEED to do.

35-The car you drive to work is very important. Office workers put a lot of value judgments on fellow workers vehicles.

36-Timing, like location, is literally EVERYTHING.

37-Networking is not just a buzzword: it’s the most valuable thing you can do for your career.

38-Take the lowest paying job with the best job description and title, rather than the best paying job with the worst job title.

39-“Follow-through” is a great characteristic to be known for when you are first hired.

40-Do what you love, even if it pays less than something you’re good at.


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