What the last 6 months of paid employment has taught me…

 First of all, working is the ghetto. All things being equal, I should be a paid influencer in the Bahamas, taking pictures and giving my followers terrible FOMO. Unfortunately, I’m in capitalism’s deep clutches, screaming “Release me 🥲” every waking morning, rethinking my life’s choices.

Too dark? For it is from me to want to paint such a jaded picture, but it seems these hands get a life of their own when they hit the keyboard. While I’m here, I might as well share these tips I wrote down.

Photo by Olena Sergienko on Unsplash

As always, this is my own advice, influenced by my own experiences. What better way to disseminate useful knowledge than to share it on my blog. Sharing is after all caring, they say. So here goes:

1. Speak slowly: Take your time, they can wait. Gather your thoughts, and try to make them cohesive. Practice speaking; especially when you’re nervous. There’s no real pressure to say it all at once, it’s all in your head. By speaking slowly, you’ll sound more way more confident and correct. If it helps, take a deep breath every now and then. It might ease your anxiety.

2. Stop the deprecating and negative self-talk: Yes, you made a mistake. People make mistakes. It’s okay. Don’t talk down on yourself to others and especially not to yourself. People will treat you how you treat yourself. So, catch this early on.

3. Stop saying so much ‘Sorry’: This ties into no 2 in some way. Yes, be contrite about your mistakes BUT focus more on what you’re doing/going to do to make it better. Talk about those instead. It’s not a mistake that you’re in the room. You add value. Be a corporate badass, and choose your ‘sorries’. Here’s a helpful article I found about this.

3. You can be doing busy work: It’s possible to finish every day so exhausted from work done, and when appraisals come it’s apparent that your boss does not see your value. It’s a shitty place to be in, trust me, I know. That is why this is here. It’s important to evaluate regularly and try to align yourself to work that’s important. When in doubt, ask questions. Talk to your manager and colleagues and try to figure out what is important work in your organization. Check your KPIs for the avoidance of doubt. Here’s a resource that was shared with me, that I think talks beautifully about this.

4. Speak up: Talk about what you want and what do not want. Talk about work you’re interested in. Talk about your work. Talk about the things you enjoy doing, and what you’d rather outsource. It’s allowed, be open.

5. Learn to prioritize: Figure out tasks that are urgent and important, and do those first. Sometimes, being 75% done on one task is enough to move on and sometimes it’s not. Don’t be like me, start your work early.

6. Be proactive: Actively seek tasks. Look for problems and solve them. I can’t emphasize this enough. Organizations/Bosses love and value problem solvers.

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