Congratulations! You finally secured that job. After years of gruelling coursework or years of hustling. You should be proud of how far you’ve come! Everyone needs a little bit of help when adjusting to this new wonderful working world you’ll be experiencing. For Gen Z, corporate life isn’t quite what you’re expecting it to be. Here is a survival guide for your first job.
1. Understanding professionalism.
Gen Z, Millenials and Boomers have different outlooks on life and different working styles. What may seem normal to you may be seen in a negative light. As silly as a question may seem – it’s better to ask it before you prematurely ruffle feathers. From dress style to how we speak to each other, navigating the world of professionalism can be tricky with so many different personalities.
2. Manage your expectations.
Be realistic. Your recruiter/hiring manager probably painted a rosy and oftentimes unrealistic picture of what your new job title entails. Accept that your job may not be nearly as glamorous as it was painted out to be. It will likely be a ‘What I ordered vs What I got’ situation. In this case, you’ve ordered financial freedom and stability and you may receive mental issues and caffeine addiction. Jokes aside, it may feel like grunt work in the beginning but, build the proper foundation so you can have the luxury of doing the ‘fun stuff’ later. ‘
3. Be a good follower.
“And, too ignorant to be scared, too young to be awed, Tristan Thorn travelled beyond the fields we know …” – Author: Neil Gaiman
The ignorance of youth is a contentious subject with people in senior positions. We think we know it all, and while we know a lot – our seniors know more. (Currently shaking and heaving at the thought that the person that can’t convert PDFs and earns triple our salary may know more than we do.) You’ll have plenty of time to bring in awe-inspiring ideas and suggestions. In the first couple of weeks or months, work on being a good follower. Pay attention to the little things and be a sponge for information.
4. Don’t be afraid to change your mind.
It’s no surprise that Gen Z and Millenials are known as job hoppers. There are several reasons for this from toxic culture to better opportunities, we can’t deny that job satisfaction is a leading contributor. So if you find yourself in a role and realise you’d be better suited in a different one, don’t be afraid to talk to HR about potentially growing in a different direction within your organisation. This being said, give your role a chance – wanting to switch roles after more than a year holds a more valid argument than something you’ve only been doing for two months.
5. Don’t whine if you won’t pay to dine.
In other words, don’t complain and offer no solutions. There’s nothing that sours your reputation quicker than being that person that always brings problems with no solutions. No job, environment or colleagues are perfect. It’s the ability to rise above that that will set you apart from others. It also shows class and maturity. If you do find yourself in a position where you must speak your truth – make sure it comes with actionable solutions. Don’t complain if you have no suggestions for changing things.
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