Unless you’re a high-level manager, your 9-to-5 is not going to be as good as those you see on TV (the big offices, the cool colleagues, the chance to show off your mad skills!). To save yourself from unnecessary disappointment, it’s wise to tone down your expectations. Not to say that the reality is bleak – just that you need to know what you’re getting yourself into and realise that there will be good days, bad days and bleh days.
Here are some common working expectations versus how work actually is like.
#1 Your working space is not going to impress
More often than not, your working space will not consist of a big comfy chair, a big desk with your name on it, and there won’t be someone running around getting coffee for you. It’s also very likely that you won’t have a cubicle. You will probably just have a desk with a simple divider to separate it from the person next to you. You want that big desk? You gotta work for it – and it will take years.
#2 As a new employee, you probably won’t be dealing with high level projects.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be thrown straight into the fray of big business decisions and projects. You’ll have to work your way up the ladder and gain the trust of the people you work with. Be patient, greater responsibilities will come in time.
#3 Going back on the dot
Your working hours are from 9 to 5 but that does not mean you’ll be out the door sharp at 5pm. If you have deadlines looming, you’ll find yourself staying after hours many days in the week, which is a really common thing for young executives. But don’t worry – all those extra hours will pay off when you deliver superb work!
#4 Work flexibility
This applies to those working flexi hours where you think you’ll be able to work at your convenience and when you have the free time. In reality, you might find yourself working very unconventional times chasing deadlines! What about work-life balance? If it is crunch time, you can forget about it. But if balance is something you really want, then time management is key. Learn how to maximise your hours at work and you’ll get closer to your work-life balance expectation.
#5 Expect to be glued to your computer from the start to the end
One where the reality won’t disappoint! Work isn’t just work. There will be times where you’ll be mingling with your colleagues and bosses over coffee or a special lunch treat for completing that huge project successfully. You also don’t have to be confined to your desk every single minute you’re in the office. It’s OK to take a break (in fact, it helps with productivity) but just make sure you don’t spend more time taking breaks than you do working!
#6 You can finally show off the skills you acquired!
As much as we would like to show off our skills to our bosses, it may have to wait a little longer. The tasks you are assigned to may not give you the chance to use your best skills but it is an opportunity to sharpen other skills to make you a better well-rounded employee.
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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash