My Adult Life: Week One — The Seven Truths of Starting a New Job.

I’ve decided that contrary to conflicting opinions, real, adult life begins when a person starts at a real job – one at which you work five days a week (or more), where you’re at the absolute bottom (or maybe a just a head above it), and one that is generally remarked by those closest to you as a “career” (i.e., a job that you plan to do for longer than just until you find a better one). This is all very interesting to you, I’m sure, but if you’re wondering where this is going…

This week I started my new “real” job as an almost-bottom-of-the-totem-pole PR girl. And the experience of my first five days has led me to several truths about starting a new job. Although these hard won tips are based from situations in my PR life, I’m sure that they must apply to other industries as well. Here we go…

Number One: You might like the people you meet, but you wont love everyone. It seems like a no-brainer, but really, some people just wont be your favorite flavor. Try to be understanding and patient. Give them a chance, and they might just surprise you.

Number Two: Regardless of how much you sleep, you will be exhausted. (I’ve got my fingers crossed that this extreme fatigue dissipates soon).

Number Three: You might not be where you want to be, either positionally or locationally. So what if your cubicle is next to the men’s bathroom or in the basement next to the office supplies? Everyone starts out at the bottom – you wont be there forever!

Number Four: They want you to look busy. True, you should be asking for something to do if you’re without a task. But if on any given day, you’re boss or team is too busy to babysit you, you should at least look like your working. Researching the company and its competitors, reading your job manual or tracking media coverage with a Google Alert are great ways to keep yourself looking and being busy. Note: If you think I’m telling you to avoid actually working, let me clarify. You’re just starting out and will probably not be very busy at first. Instead of Facebook stalking your friends or standing around looking bored, do something productive.

Number Five: Being yourself may not be the best idea. That is, if being yourself means casually swearing like a drunk truck driver, winking and blowing kisses at every hot guy that walks by or ending all sentences with “fo’ shizzle, my nizzle”, you might want to tone yourself down a bit… at least until your second week.

Number Six: Everyone will know you’re the newby. Whether it’s your overly conservative or way-too-college casual wardrobe, your over-the-top friendly, caked-on smile or your child-lost-at-the-supermarket face, the people in your office will be able to tell you’re new from a dozen cubicles away.

Number Seven: You wont be new forever.

Is there a new job truth you’ve discovered? Let me know.

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August 9, 2008. Tags: , , , , . Career Advice, Life-in General, PR.

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