Thursday, July 16, 2015

6 Things I Wished Someone Told Me When I First Started a Job

Fresh out of college, first foot in the workplace; here's what I wish I could go back in time to tell myself:

1. You will no longer have the luxury of having dinner with the whole family 
Work will take up time. If it ain't work, it's the commute to/from work. If you can't leave work on time once a week to have dinner with them, always make it a point to have ONE meal with your family per week. Sometimes I do early breakfast with mum, before work, and sometimes I make it a car ride with my sister. Face to face time with family is important. (I really do wonder how working moms and dads do it!)

2. Keep a hobby, and keep it going
So you're a grown up now. That doesn't mean you have to abandon your interests! You can be playing board games, making art, practicing judo, hiking in jungles and going to raves when you were a teen, and you can still do it (and should!) when you're a little older.
Fun activities which we enjoy doing keep us passionate and interested, helping us to recharge and refresh to take on the daily grind. Also, when you were younger, you probably had less money to spend on your hobbies. When you're older, you get to spend more on your hobbies. Rather than walking in Taman Rakyat, you can now, for example, spend a weekend in Taman Negara.

3. Set a financial goal for yourself
Some popular ones include: Being financially independent by 25. Having an emergency savings fund of 6 month's expenses/salary stashed away. Putting aside 10% of income each month into a savings account (this one is tougher than it seems).
The whole point is to NOT spend away your whole month's income within that year. It's easy to earn money but difficult to save, and failing to plan for your income is planning to fail with your finances.

4. Meet up with like-minded people
I would recommend hanging out, catching up and being in touch with people who are working/in the marketplace. They can be your colleagues, or your college mates, or a group of close friends. The whole purpose of meeting with these people regularly is not just for networking and socializing, it is also for your (and their) personal and career growth.
Just to share, when my group of girl friends and I meet up to catch up, we always end up talking about work! These meet ups are sanity checks for us, and sometimes we get advise and encouragement from each other - whether to stay on and preserver in our workplace, or have the courage to speak up to our boss for a well-deserved raise. Never mind that we're in vastly different industries -  one's in a bank, one's with a start up and one's with a retail/fashion company.

5. Start praying for a life partner
Or, if you are already seeing someone, start planning for the future seriously. Maybe a 5 year plan? Idk. But if you, like me, are single when you've just started working, now's a good time to start praying for one. The first time I heard this advise ("You have to start praying for a life partner, even now"), it was from someone who was just gonna get married, and I was like Whuuuuut when he said it, 'cos it was not my priority at that time and I thought that my special someone would just be walking into my life. BUT there is benefit in seeking God's guidance for this.
As you pray for your life partner to manifest qualities you seek for, be prepared also to be the person who will attract someone like that.

6. Stop hating on kids
If you, like many of the people my age, hate kids, it's time to grow out of that. You are looking at the future leaders of Malaysia and it's time to treat them that way. Instead of throwing a death stare at the noisy kid in the airplane, ask him or her what they think of the current economy situation of the country.
LOL jokes. But there are ways to treat children well, and that way is to treat them as you would have liked to be treated  by adults when you were their age. I find it works remarkably well when I speak to them with sense, taking their opinions seriously.

7. Speaking of kids...Don't lose your childlike wonder!
I cringed as I typed that out, but what I mean by this cliched line is to have the curiosity and wonder of a young person through the many phases of life. You'll always find something to love or learn.

That's all from me for this click baitey article, hope you read to the end! *Thanks Daryl for pointing out that this has 7 not 6 things >.<, title not amended*
What do you wish someone told you when you first started a job?

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