Monday Memo: The Rise (and Fall) of Bad Attitudes
I never intended to go into the technology industry. My heart was always set on Public Relations and Fashion. That is why it makes sense that I hated my first job. I took the job because of the salary, the benefits, and the company name. I thought “Well, we will see how this goes. Worst case scenario, I will just transfer departments after a year.” But I soon realized that I couldn’t fake the funk for 12 months. One month in, my manager started to give me the “Maybe this is not cut out for you” speech. That is when I realized that it was not my work that was telling her this, but rather my attitude. I came into the office every day, shut my door, turned on Pandora, and did my job. I rarely went to the dining hall to socialize, I never entertained hallway conversation, I just worked and went home. Fast forward 9 months, I was hired in a different department with a different manager and began to find the joy within my company. I became more social and enjoyed going to work events after 5pm. Yes, I was the lucky new college grad because I got out of the hell without losing my job or moving to a different organization. But my attitude and sheer stubbornness, made those first 9 months one of the worst times of my life.
How do you combat your negative attitude towards your first job experience and still succeed?
- Check Your Expectations: This is your first job. Most people are not a fan of their first job (unless you are Mark Zuckerberg or Beyonce). You should expect to become the next billionaire with your first job. You should expect the hard work and the pressures of deadlines. Welcome to real life.
- This Is Not The End: While your first job may be your definition of the Apocalypse, it is not the end of the world. Take a step back from your current situation. The fact that you are employed is a step up from many people your age. Remind your bad attitude this each time it begins to creep up in conversation.
- Find the Lesson: There is a reason why you have this job and it is because you need to learn something from it. Whether it is a skill you will need in the future, or just the power and influence of playing the “Corporate World Political Game”, there will be a lesson. I encourage you to seek it.
- Get Out (Appropriately): You need to find a new opportunity as soon as possible because Rules 1-3 will only last so long. Start looking for new positions within your current company and possibly at other companies. This is your career; therefore, it is YOUR responsibility to develop it. But do it quietly and respectfully.
Learn from this girl who had a roller coaster of emotions during her first job experience. While I thank God everyday that I got out with only a handful of scratches, I also am aware of my mistakes. My bad attitude did show it’s ugly face and make it harder to complete my day to day responsibilities. The only person it hurt was myself.