It’s a challenge: Considering the fact that I studied two Marketing modules in university and four different Marketing short courses, I was pretty confident that I would be able to grasp my new job easily. I was wrong. There were days- scratch that, there are still days when I struggle and wonder if switching career fields was worth it (I’m proud to say that recently though, whenever this thought pops in my mind, I answer “YES!!!” without having to think about it)
The internet has resources for everything: As someone who lives on Google this was shocking to me. Yes, I knew that you can Google pretty much everything but I had no clue that the internet could EDUCATE YOU! My mind is blown away by the amount of resources I’ve found online. But also
I will not know everything: This is hugely upsetting and something I struggled with in my first few months. Back in Customer Care, I knew ALOT! Of course I did. I spent three years there and besides some basic process changes, things remained mostly the same. In Marketing, not so much. There are always new Marketing trends, new data on consumers or spending habits. You have to keep reading and studying in order to keep yourself up to date. At first I found this disheartening. I wanted to know everything and I wanted to know it NOW! Over time however, I accepted that I will not know everything. But with a little hard work. I can learn a bit about most things.
Speaking of trends, I wish I knew the importance of keeping up to date with important industry information: Previously, I did not pay attention to any additional information if it didn’t directly impact me or my life. Like when Huawei stopped making phones with Google. Which then led to countless customer queries about that. Now however, I read every email link, Hubspot report or social media survey that lands in my inbox.
Failing is a thing…and that’s okay: Keeping in with my perfectionist tendencies, I did not expect to fail. I don’t like failing. I’ve mentioned before that failing is (was?) a foreign concept to me but when you’re in a new field, failing happens and honestly it’s just a part of life.
Lastly and certainly not least, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable: Growth is uncomfortable. Change is uncomfortable. But when it’s the right field or the right job for you, you won’t even mind. There are certain days when my anxiety skyrockets and I get really uncomfortable with a task but honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Did you change careers or start a new job? What was something that you were not expecting?
No matter if it is your dream job or not, not every day at work is going to be perfect. Some days are just awful and there is nothing to do but get through it. Here are five tips to deal with a bad day at work:
1) Keep it to yourself
Just because you’re having a crappy day doesn’t give you the right to take it out on anybody else. Keep your mood to yourself and if it helps to isolate yourself from others, then do it. I keep to myself whenever I’m in a mood and I’ve worked in the same company long enough that I’m left alone whenever I need that space.
2) Take a walk
Sometimes just getting out and having some fresh air and sunlight is exactly what you need. If it is possibly for you to go take a walk outside, DO IT. I remember once having a day so horrible that I was close to crying. I took a walk to the nearby garage during my break and returned to work feeling a million times better.
3) Share your concerns with a friend
Sometimes opening up to a friend as to why you’re feeling the way you are, can help you feel better. Just be careful not to be disrespectful about co-workers, management or the company.
4) Do something to cheer yourself up
Go shopping, eat your favourite meal, listen to upbeat music. Do something that you know will make you feel better immediately.
5) Stay away from social media
I don’t know about you but I feel like social media is the one place I can feel free to just be myself. Which is why I avoid it when I know I’m upset or angry. Don’t let your single bad day at work be broadcast to your 500+ friends and followers.
What do you do when you’re having a bad day at work? Let me know below.
I’m writing this at 7PM on a Saturday. I worked today and I am totally and utterly exhausted. I was watching a video on Youtube where one of the lifetstyle vloggers spoke about her internship experience. She mentioned not enjoying the office environment and found it crazy that she had to wake up at 7:30 each morning (I wake up at 5:30. I’m very jealous). I feel like there’s a huge difference between the college life and the working world. Most of the time, graduates are not prepared. So here are some of the things I think college graduates need to know about their first job.
This may not be the job for you- Guys, this is SO SO SO important. Sometimes your first job may not be for you. I had a friend join a company where she was utterly miserable and could not hide it. She would do the bare minimum of work to get by simply because it was not what she wanted to do. Not every job is for every person and I don’t think lots for people realise that.
You may not have your dream job- Similarly your first job may not be the job you wanted. I spent four months looking for jobs in Media and Publishing before giving it and taking the first job I got. Was it in the field I wanted? No. Did I learn from it? HELL YES!
There will be a transition period for you- Adjusting from the world of skipping classes just coz you could to a workplace where you need to be in is a HUGE adjustment. I’ve been working for ten months and it still makes me sad that I can’t just skip work on Fridays and stay in bed. Damn you, Uni for spoiling me.
It is not always pretty or fair- Such is life. Guys, I can’t even tell you how many times I have been left gaping at the sheer unfairness of life especially in the working world. There’s lying, back-stabbing, betrayal. Think about a Housewives reality show and you have a good idea. WATCH YOUR BACK!
You probably won’t have the salary you want- Starting salaries are incredibly low. I also feel like Durban salaries are especially pathetic. Please can someone explain to me how to survive on R2000-R3000. Have you heard of a little expensive thing called petrol?
Your degree probably won’t count for much- It is very rare to find a job in your field especially if, like me, you studied something in Humanities (also, can I please point out that Humanities is the biggest college in my university and yet they do nothing for the students to find a job? Yes, I am still pissed about that. You’ll soon see why). At the beginning of your job hunt, your degree might not make much of a difference in your career. I had a friend (non-Humanities of course) who worked for three years after university before he finally got a job in his field. I was equally parts impressed and jealous.
It’s not what you know- Following from the above point, it’s more about who you know that what you know. The wonderful job where I learnt so much? My aunt recommended me for the position. While I am grateful to her, it annoys me that my degree was so useless. Why did I waste three years studying when I could have just had someone recommend me for a job. That being said, NETWORK! It is a great way to make connections and you never know where your next opportunity will come from.
It was a Friday and we were having a social at work. I had dressed up in a gorgeous leopard-print dress with matching leopard-print pumps and leggings. Everything was going great until the sole of my shoe broke. I had back-up shoes in the car but I was still horrified. How did I- the girl who was prepared for pretty much everything- not have a way of fixing my shoe? Things like this happen and you never know what you need to carry with you until you don’t have that item on you. So here are my handbag essentials for work:
Wallet (with cash in it)- I never go anywhere without my wallet mainly because my wallet contains my driver’s license. However, I have, on occasion, gone out with an empty wallet. Apparently not all the stores take cards (but they really should).
Pen and notebook- You never know when you will need a pen or piece of paper. Especially in the workplace. Don’t be that person that has to borrow from someone else.
Glue- So you don’t have any shoe issues like I did.
Safety pins- To help protect you from any other wardrobe mishaps.
Pain tablets- I always carry pain tablets because I always seem to have a tension headache. It is also helpful if a co-worker has a headache and you have Panado in your bag (I say Panado because I have yet to hear of any harmful side effects. Please don’t share any tablets that may have side effects).
Toiletries- As a female, it is always a good idea to have toiletries in your bag if you or a co-worker may need them.
Tissues/Wet wipes- I just found wet wipes in a store recently and I absolutely love them. I carry both wet wipes and tissues with me. The wet wipes are for when I need to wipe my keyboard or desk and the tissues are for soaking up spills.
What are your handbag essentials for work? Do you have any suggestions that I must have missed out? Let me know below!
Job interviews are absolutely nerve-wracking. But while there is no way to escape them, you can help make things easier by following these five simple tips:
Check out the location of your interview the day before- My first job interview was at a place that was really difficult to find. However I made my dad take me to the venue the day before so I would know how to get there and how long the drive would take. When I went in for the interview, the manager was super-impressed that I found the place without any trouble and that I was early. Especially when I explained to him that I had visited the location the day before so that I wouldn’t get lost.
Print out multiple copies of your CV/Resume- Print out atleast five copies of your relevant documentation in case your interview is conducted by more than one person. I did this just because I read this advice somewhere online. I never thought I would actually need it until I went for an interview that was conducted by two managers. They each had a copy of my CV and the receptionist took one for their records. It’s better to have extras just in case.
Leave home early- You certainly don’t want to be late for an interview. It reflects very poorly on you no matter what the circumstances were. Make sure you leave home early enough to get to the interview on time.
Learn everything you can about the company and the position that you’re applying- I always like to distract myself during interviews by making friends with the other interviewees. I met a girl once who had no idea what the position we were applying for was (it was debt collecting) and when this was revealed in the interview, she was sent home.
Ensure that your outfit is professional- Dressing professionally shows that you are serious about the job. First impressions matter and when it comes to an interview, it might be the only impression that you make.
What are your tips for handling job interviews? I’d love to know below.