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Career Climb: 6 Lessons to learn in your first 365 days of work

Close up portrait of a young african american woman looking out window when working on laptop

Getting done with college education is one thing, securing a job – or in this case, your first job is another. Fingers crossed, the anticipation of joining the workforce immediately is one milestone you will achieve. However, what you may have learned in school versus what the job entails may be two different things, bearing in mind the fact that the Kenyan market is not as diverse as you may think.

You will learn a lot in your first year of work, some good, others wholly discouraging. But the most important part is how you respond to the experiences. Before joining the workforce, consider the following:

1.Office cattiness is unnecessary
Yes, bosses can be really rude. Don’t be fooled by the stunning dressing code or approachability as depicted in movies or TV commercials. When it comes to office work, all that cuteness disappears and chances of falling on the victim side increases. Most managers don’t respect their employees, talking down to them, and treating them with disdain. However, it is important to keep in mind that being rude only makes things difficult for you as a new employee, so always keep your temper in check.

2.Your level of hard work changes
You will notice that most of the time at work you are busier as compared to college where you had a lot of free time. Campus was a balance between leisure time and education. In the office, there’re deadlines to be met as you strive to be the best.

3.Your lifestyle is bound to change
In 365 entries, you learn that going to bed early is no longer optional. Hooking up with friends for a drinking spree on a Tuesday night doesn’t sound manageable at all when you realise you’ve got work tomorrow.

4.Understanding the job contract is crucial
It is imprudent for an employee not to read and fully comprehend the terms of the job on offer. Risky as it may be, some graduates end up signing a contract without reading through the terms and conditions. It is essential to understand your contract as well as the job description provided to fulfill your job to the best of your ability.

5.Exiting the bed at 5 am ought to be a custom
For a two-hour gap between preparing for work and getting to work before 8 am, the best thing you can do is set that alarm at 5 am, forget campus where attending morning lectures was optional.

6.It’s okay to be placed in the ‘OTHERS’ category
Everybody starts from somewhere as they make calculated steps in their respective careers. As you start, nobody notices you as many new employers often fall into the “others” tier. But don’t get too comfy with it! Strive to make your mark, and let your work speak for itself. Soon you could land yourself a promotion.

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