1. Who you work for matter more than the job itself
This stems from my real experience. I'm still in the same company since I started working but I'm in a different team now. It made me realize, yes job nature is important, but who you work for or work with is even more significant. A boss or colleague who you can click with or even have faith upon can help you learn so much faster in the early days of your career. But bad ones will really ruin the fun even if your job nature itself is interesting.
Unnecessary stress and toxic culture will drain a healthy soul, and soon you will feel yourself hopeless and feel as if you are never good enough. I have been there, so my only suggestion is you either communicate openly so that your surroundings can be changed or you have to move out.
Remember, nothing is more important than having a healthy mind and soul in your early days of career so that you will have more strength to overcome harsher storms in the coming years.
2. Stay hungry for knowledge and skill outside your job scope
As you know, continuous learning is crucial for early career development, but there's something you have to do differently which will help you stand out in longer future. Don't be constrained to the job scope that you are assigned. Don't just work hard at the given tasks endlessly, as doing the same work wouldn't help you grow exponentially. For example, if you are doing what you have been doing perfectly for your current salary, why would your boss pay you more as your contribution is the same.
You shall work on yourself, but how do you do it? Grab the opportunities which are interesting and beyond your job scope! Build your skills along the way, although you might fail. At worst you learn something and your boss will notice your attempt of contributing more value to the company.
3. Soft skill is as important as technical skill
As an introvert, soft skill is never my forte but if you want to climb the ladder, this is as important as technical skill. And I will share with you how I build it.
I cannot give impromptu pitch, so I will do a lot of research to back up my presentation. Everyone has his own communication style and it's totally okay not to be talkative and loud, as I adopt a style of being succinct and brief.
It takes time to hone your presentation, communication or even sales skill, but you will get there if you are willing to try,
4. Don't work silo
This echoes with previous lesson. Working silo is perfect when you need 100% concentration to reflect and come out with idea and plan, but if you want to get bigger project rolling, you need others' help.
Joining cross-team projects or working with your teammates will not only lessen the time and effort needed, but also build your reputation if you are doing a good job. Excellent stuff is always worth spreading right?
5. Forget about the title and years of experience
As a fresh grad, you are surrounded by people who are more experienced than you. It's easy to feel intimidated and afraid to approach these people for questions or help. What I learnt from my current job, is you have to leave those aside. Yes, you shall be respectful of them but not afraid of them. They used to start from zero like any fresh grad as well.
And as you treat them more "equally", it will ease the tension and promote the sharing of knowledge and skill between you and superiors faster.
6. Work is not worth your entire time
This is where a lot of ambitious fresh grad gets trapped. All of us hustle so that we can get recognized and promoted, but life doesn't get better or happier that way. Even if you spend all your time on work, it will not give you the return as what you expected.
Look at what happened due to covid-19 lockdown, so many people have got laid off. Thus, never put all your eggs in a basket.
If you are relying on your current job as your sole source of income or even satisfaction, what will happen if you lose it overnight? Hence, get a hobby outside job or even turn it into a side gig like how I created OrenTalks, a handcrafted jewelry brand out of my passion of fashion and business.
If you have enough money from other income streams, then spend some time with yourself and those who keep you loved and happy! You can bring those memories to your death bed but not gold you know?
7. Be confident yet humble
Last but not least, the right attitude will help you go a long way down your career. Being confident helps to build your voice in the company so that people listen; Leaving ego at the door and being humble will help you learn a lot faster.
So here are all the 7 things that I learnt as a fresh grad, how about you?