I’m extremely happy about my first job. Let me tell you why.
I just had my first 6 months at my first job and I can’t believe how time goes by so fast. A supervisor at my workplace once told me this:
“You know you’re old when you feel like time slips by so fast.”
He’s 52 years old and I thought of providing a rebuttal to his statement that the passage of time will remain the same regardless of our age since the gravitational strength we experience will remain constant throughout our lifetime. But I hold back the thought because deep inside I knew he was right. I was getting old and I can really feel that time slips by faster.
I am so grateful that my first job after college turned out to be this fulfilling and enriching. I am happy with my work and I know that this is something that a lot of people don’t get to have. I get to do what I want to do and work at my own pace while on top of that, learning a lot.
For my first 6 months at work, here are 6 useful tricks I learned:
1. You can force yourself to talk to people
When I got my job, I was so excited to start right away. I carried that excitement with me during my first few days. I needed to talk people and my excitement gave me the right energy to approach them and talk to them without worrying about what they would think of me.
My goal was just to talk them and nothing else. I spent my entire day talking to different people. I was able to make connections and build rapport. I gathered different first impressions.
I consider myself an introvert and the idea of me spending the entire day talking to different people for hours is quite unthinkable.
I learned that I could force myself to talk to people if only I tried and using a simple trick.
After I moved from one person to the next,
I realized that to get someone to talk non-stop is to initiate a topic that is important to them because of memorable personal experiences or something the two of you have in common.
You can never get them to talk about their interests if you know nothing about it. Fake it till you make it might work but pretending and lying are challenging and exhausting. Find something the two of you have in common or let them open up about a recent memorable personal experience. That will have them talking for quite some time.
2. You can choose to take control of the negativity at work
Not everyone I had the chance to talk to was open and welcoming. I met some unsavory people too. You talk to them and they respond with such cold and harsh manner that you can’t help but wonder if you did something wrong.
I have received countless advice throughout my younger years and one of them is this:
“You will meet different kinds of people at your workplace. Some will not like you and some you will not like but never let them get in the way of what needs to be done.”
Eventually, I had to start doing my job. It still involved talking to people but only about the work they were doing. There was this one guy who really bothered me. I could not get anything out of him. I tried the trick to get him to talk but I failed. What bothered me more was that he was so friendly to his other workmates.
I followed the advice and continued with my work. I resorted to silently observe him and I was still able to complete my task. Although I was done with him, it still bothered me that he was so cold.
I used another trick that turned him into a friend. It’s a trick that my girlfriend uses all the time. She has so many friends, so much more than what I have, probably 50 times more. I used to wonder why. Was she just friendly? But how does she really do it?
I got to know her more and realized this is how she does it:
Shower a person with warmth and positivity. It doesn’t matter if he responds coldly. Continue to notice him, smile and talk to him. In time, he’ll respond with the same warmth and positivity and you’ll earn a friend.
I truly learned how to use this trick at work. Whenever I had a reason, I would approach the guy and talk to him. I did not mind that he would respond so curtly. When we pass by each other, I would smile and greet him. I do this even until now and I could say that his cold manner towards me has dissipated.
3. You can increase your productivity if you know what needs to be done
My work load started to pile up as I continued with my job. I would sit for hours staring at my computer after hours of interviewing someone. On top of that, my boss would suddenly come up to me and ask me to do special tasks. I was called up for meetings and training, which I am thankful for, but they take up precious working hours.
Suddenly, I was juggling with my time. There was a point when I had trouble figuring out what to do first.
I reminded myself of the years I spent in college and how I was able to finish chemical engineering. I told myself, “I knew what to do.”
I’ve already learned this 3rd trick at school but that was school and this is the real world. I also believe that you can’t really say you’ve truly learned a lesson until you have something to show for it.
My first job was the true test of my productivity. I freed up my schedule to plan for what I needed to do. I listed everything from the major tasks down to the tiniest activities. I labeled them according to which department I needed to coordinate with, if I needed to go outside or sit on my computer to do them and assigned each of them “quick” or “progressive” labels to categorize which tasks were easy to do or needed effort and time
Once I was done, it was clear to me what needed to be accomplished first and proceeded to doing it right away. The planning gave me direction as to how my day should go, whether I wanted to stay inside my office or go out and talk to people. It helped me tackle the major tasks while reminding me of the small yet important things I also needed to do.
4. You can treat a problem as a celebration
The same supervisor at work said this very memorable statement:
Treat a problem as a celebration because your were hired for the purpose of solving it.
A major part of my job was to solve problems at the company. So he was right. I should be happy that problems exist because my employment was born out of them or the need to solve them.
5. You can work at your own pace despite the deadlines
Again, one of the best things about my job is that I get to work at my own pace. I did not pressure myself but I also made sure that I’d deliver beyond of what was expected of me.
My job requires a lot of time sitting and looking at the computer. I get bored easily and I realized that when I’m bored or near a burnout, my productivity levels plummet. Eventually, I’d feel bad for not being productive and it spirals down to not being able to accomplish anything substantial.
I found a way to get around this. I simply had to pay attention to my own body and anticipate the moments when I’m about to get bored or have a burnout.
When I sense that my productivity levels are about to go down, I proactively stop working and do other things that are less productive.
I would go outside and just chat. I would read ebooks or practice Spanish. I would open my personal mail and go through my subscribed mails.
I’m not getting anything done but at least I don’t squeeze up all of my energy forcing myself to work. Eventually, my mind would recharge and I’d have enough energy again to get down to whatever needs to be done.
6. You can find someone to look up to for drive and inspiration
My boss is someone I really look up to. He’s passionate, smart, a visionary, and decisive, all the qualities of a good leader and the qualities I want to possess.
He relies on logic and facts. He’s practical and he knows what he wants.
I always take my time to study him and think of habits I needed to form and things I needed to do to be like him.
He’s also my mentor and that makes me feel really special. I know some people who have mentors and how they can always talk to them for advice and guidance. I used to think how fortunate they were for having someone to direct them to the right path. Now, I also feel fortunate!
Having someone to constantly motivate you is like having a constant supply of fuel for an engine. I can focus more on the important things and not on how to keep myself constantly interested about my job.
This post might seem like I’m gloating or boasting but it’s just I how feel about my job. I’m sorry for those people who are not enjoying their jobs. This article is not supposed to give you advice on how to make your jobs enjoyable for you. Most of these tricks might not even be applicable to others. Heck, it’s only been six months and I might become unhappy later. Rest assured, I’ll surely be writing more about how I feel about my job.
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