Time really flies, eh? Can you believe I’ve been working for one year already? Last week Wednesday actually made it a year and it didn’t dawn on me till midday. My road to gaining employment wasn’t an easy one; it took me a year and a half to start working in my field of study. Several factors contributed to this which I may or may not have mentioned previously. Anyway, fast forward to a year ago where I began working as a consultant in the Environment industry. Though it hasn’t always been roses and sunshine I definitely learnt (still learning) quite a few skills.
I’m not going to be technical, but rather simply share with you general things to expect from your first real job. I was also “lucky” to be placed in a well working environment with a great team. Therefore, my outcomes may not be the same as yours depending on the situation.
Figuring Out Your Passion
The type of work I do encompasses a very broad field, so I have the option of finding which specific area interests me the most. This is also helpful for when I finally decide to attend grad school. For others who have not yet completed college this gives you an option to explore the different fields and find what you’re really interested in. If college is not your option, it’s basically the same thing; choosing a job and figuring out if that’s what you want to do for the rest of your life. You may even learn about new avenues in which you’re equally/most passionate about through the other lessons listed below.
Building a Network
Networking has been a major thing ever since I’ve been in high school. Despite the fact that the job community here can be mainly a “who you know” thing as opposed to qualifications, building a network is still a plus. By working in this field, meeting new people each day, forming relationships based on ongoing work projects it has opened a whole field of possibilities. Now if someone ask if you have a contact for a person at another agency you know exactly who deals with what.
Increased Skill Set
One of my favorite things about this job is the wide variety of skills I’m open to. As you can see from above, I had the pleasure of learning to fly a drone on one of our site visits. I’ve always enjoyed looking out of windows on airplanes and seeing things from above, capturing drone images is just as wonderful. There are also different training seminars that you could be a part of, as well as soft/hard skills you learn just from being in the work environment.
A Push Out of Your Comfort Zone
A major one! You’re going to be asked to do stuff that on any regular day you’d decline to, but these are what push you out of your comfort zone. From presenting in front of a wide variety of people to traveling to another continent by myself, I was definitely pushed out of my comfort zone. By being out of that zone you also learn things about yourself. You’re forced to speak up and present your ideas; ideas which may bring about change.
Open to Great Opportunities
Remember my solo trip last year? What about my little helicopter journey? Those were all a part of my job! Each opportunity will be different, but every opportunity is still a great one to learn something new. Don’t pass up on these! Whether training, meeting people, traveling etc. I also had the opportunity to showcase my new-found skills in graphic design and it really opened doors for me to believe in myself.
Hard Work Pays Off
Yes, yes it does. Not only when you do the work given to you, but when you also take initiative in getting things done. Put your best foot forward and really show that you have what it takes to be in this role. After six months of being on “probation” my supervisor really saw what I could do and I was offered another contract with a raise.
Now that it’s been a year and I’ve learned so many good stuff, it’s left on me to continue what I started. I still think there’s need for improvement in some areas but I actually like this job, so that’s a plus. However, I can’t see myself doing the same thing for 30+ years, as I’ve observed. Growth & new experiences are definitely a thing for me.
This is only the beginning.
What have you learned from your first “real” job?
How long have you been working?