Work. It’s my least favorite four-letter word. I’m lucky in that my work environment is pretty laid back and I don’t have many complaints, unlike some places I’ve worked before.
Even though people mostly learn from the negatives, I like to think we can learn from all experiences both good and bad. Here are a handful of things I learned (or am still learning) about the working world.
If you’re not okay with something, speak up
This is something I’m working on actively. There have been so many instances in the past where I didn’t speak up when something wasn’t right and it bit me in the ass.
Just right now, I’m trying my best to let my manager know when I feel overwhelmed with my work instead of just silently martyring myself and letting my anger and frustration fester.
You’re not there to make friends
I know, this sounds harsh, but really, you aren’t getting paid to goof off, you’re paid to work. I’m not saying don’t form relationships with your co-workers. I’m saying the primary goal isn’t to make friends with everyone you encounter.
I cannot tell you how much it annoys me when I’m silently martyring myself in my cube and I hear people just BSing. So please, don’t be that person.
You totally need a work BFF, though, and if you happen to become good friends with your coworkers, that’s fantastic. Just don’t treat it like a social club, mmkay?
Recognize your accomplishments
I’m so awful at speaking up (as I mentioned before). So I have a Warm n Fuzzies folder where I’ll sort out emails of praise and good work. It really helps to recognize my accomplishments when they’re sitting right there in front of me.
For example: I wrote a blog post for my company’s “Company Culture” series. It was nice to have someone else recognize me as the writer I know I am. It helped me to be like, “Yeah, I am a good writer. Other people can see it, too!”
Here’s a great article about recognizing your accomplishments at work. Thanks, Levo!
It’s okay to leave
I’m not afraid to admit that I was fired. Yep, I got the boot. Canned. Sacked. Let go. Etc.
And that’s okay. Sometimes if you can’t say no yourself, someone else has to do it for you. It was one of the best things that happened.
Leaving, either willingly or unwillingly, allows you to make changes that you need. Just like Rachel from Clarity On Fire says, though, recognize where the problem is. Are you leaving and not fixing problems that are fundamentally wrong? Maybe there’s a glaring trend that you just aren’t seeing.