So today was one of my last days in the office before the end of the year and it hit me that I have been working for just about 6 months! I feel like I just started working here, but I've learned and grown so much in this short amount of time. From trips across the country to taking on projects and programs in industries that I had never thought of, this company teaches me new lessons and skills on a daily basis. I want to share just a few lessons that can be applied to any stage in your life!
Get a space heater
Now this lesson took me a while to come to terms with. I thought just a mere cup of hot coffee would help me survive a Maryland winter in the office, but boy was I wrong. Upon starting your new job fresh out of college, invest in a space heater or see if your office has them. You will thank me later. Unless you live somewhere warm...then just disregard this one!
Go to the Happy Hours
When I first started working I swear there was a happy hour every other day of the week and I literally tried to skip every single one. Some times I missed them for valid reasons like rehearsal or exhaustion due rehearsals, but for the most part I was just a nervous and shy (can you believe it) new employee. I didn't know anyone, so the thought of an office happy hour was terrifying.
Now I can't get enough of happy hour. What better way to end a work day than a nice cold beverage with some of your favorite people from the office. I mean you spend the majority of your time working with these people, so it's really nice to let loose and interact with them in a different light. It's led to some really great friendships and working relationships for me. Don't skip out on those happy hours when you first start working and make some friends. You'll thank me later.
One of the biggest lessons that I have learned and continue to learn is to always say yes whether it be to help out on a new project or even tedious work that makes your co-workers lives just a bit easier. Each time I've allowed myself to say yes, I've learned new skills and built relationships with people that I would not have otherwise. It shows that you are a team player and a hard worker. That type of persona can go a long way in the office, so just say yes!
To be honest I am still working on this lesson, BUT I do know that breaks are important. You can't work all day long without any breaks or you will go C R A Z Y. Personally, when I do reward myself with a break, I look at Facebook or get a snack from the kitchen. My coworker, Hayley, says" breaks are like a planned distraction to make you more productive when you are working." I could not agree more. Breaks allow your brain the rest it needs and deserves! So whether it be a visit to twitter or a walk around the office give yourself a break. You deserve it.
Ask for Help (it's no big deal)
So I'll let you in on a little secret: You don't have to know all of the answers. I've learned from day one the importance of asking for help when I'm struggling. I know it can make you feel dumb or inexperienced, but you know what really makes you look dumb and inexperienced? Doing something wrong that could have easily be fixed by asking the right person for help. I'm very fortunate to work in an office that encourages asking for help. I work with a team of people who are incredibly smart and good at what they do, so I know that 9 times out of 10 I should just ask them.
In the words of Kanye, " You ain't got the answers!" Well, sometimes we do and sometimes we don't, but it's important to be okay with asking questions. I just started working six months ago and some of my coworkers and mentors have worked in this field for 10+ years. To me it just makes sense to ask the experts for help and not feel bad about it.
Well here's to six more months! I'm really grateful for the highs and lows of this year. Being employed by such a caring company is definitely something that I am grateful for. What lessons do you have from starting your career? What questions? Inquiring minds want to know!