Think back to when you were in elementary school and got jitters on the first day back from summer vacation. Maybe it was your mom or another loved one who helped calm your nerves. They probably gave you advice like, “Don’t worry, just be yourself and everyone’s going to love you.” Now, fast forward to today and your working career. Does that advice still apply? To help you gain some perspective and clarity during those times when you need it, here is some advice your mom didn’t tell you about being in the workplace.
Not everyone’s going to love you. In the workplace, everyone has different personalities. Not everyone is always going to want to be your best friend, and that’s OK. You’re going to run into people you don’t get along with. But, be nice and polite with everyone you work with and focus on being a good employee who produces great work.
Be responsible for yourself. In the working world, you are responsible for you. No one else is going to baby you. You have to pick up after yourself and keep your workstation clean and organized. Also, your manager will provide you with direction on your projects, but getting them done is up to you. And, you need to prioritize what’s important as a worker and manage your time wisely to get your work completed on time. Check out these tips on organization and prioritizing. And, remember that It’s OK to talk with your co-workers, but keep the chatting to a minimum so you can be productive throughout the day.
Don’t just do the best you can. Workplaces today are competitive and many are looking for employees who are willing to go the extra mile on projects. Your mom might have been fine with you getting a C on a project or in a class when you were in school, but employers are looking for A+ effort when it comes to work.
There’s no nap time or recess at work. Gone are the days when you got to take a nap at noon or go outside and climb around on the monkey bars to work off some energy. Your employer pays you to be productive throughout your work day, so make sure you get enough rest prior to coming to work. Set a time each night to be in bed and a time each morning to wake up. When you’re rested, you will have more energy, allowing you to cross more off your to-do list.
Life’s not fair. In your working career, you will probably run into events that aren’t fair, but in some situations, you won’t be able to do anything about them besides just accept them. Titles, raises, salaries – these are a few things in the workplace that sometimes seem unfair. Instead of dwelling on things you don’t have, look for the positive in what you do have. Continue working hard and don’t let “unfair” things slow down your progress or cloud your vision.
Everyone has those days when they wish they could have mom or someone else there to lend some advice when it’s needed. Instead, keep these tips close by for the next time you feel you need a reality check.