By day 3 of my data capturing job, I grew bored of training and they offered to let me capture on my own. So I agreed. My typing speed as a writer meant that I was one of the fastest capturers on the team. In fact it wasn’t long before management started questioning how and why the new girl was capturing faster than the old staff.
My typing speed combined with my introverted ways did not win me any fans. By the end of my second week word got out that I was a college graduate, drove myself to work and had gotten the job because of my aunt who worked in the company. I could feel everyone silently judging me.
Some of the staff didn’t like me because of how fast I worked. Some didn’t like me because of my aunt and a large chunk didn’t like me simply because of my degree. I was confused. I knew I was privileged to have had the opportunity to study further. But I also knew that my degree meant nothing. I worked as hard as I could to prove myself as a serious employee. People thought I was just there to pass the time. While data capturing may not have been my dream job, it was a job I had wanted and it was a job I worked for. I was grateful nonetheless.
Despite the dirty looks that I saw tossed my way on the daily, I pushed through and tried to focus on work.
The manager who hired me tried to get me to understand the importance of getting to know the people in the other teams but as a recent graduate I didn’t get it. I was there to work. Why did I need to make friends with people who definitely didn’t like me?
The lady I worked with decided to toss me into the ocean and sent me to sit with a different team. At the time I was uncomfortable being surrounded by strangers but it wasn’t long before the new team made me feel comfortable and I started to come out of my shell. Eventually I made friends with my co-workers and work got much more bearable.
I understand now that getting to know the people you work with is so important. I wish I had known that back then. There were tons of people who I ended up becoming close friends with. These were people that originally I was intimidated by or just didn’t make an effort to connect with.
What lessons did you learn from your first job? I’d love to know below.