You can spot a fresh grad from a mile away. Their spirit brims with excitement, and often you find them in a “deer caught in headlights” trance. They’re overly eager about everything, and yet you can tell, they’re constantly asking themselves, “What have I gotten myself into?”
I recall being that fresh graduate eager to live the dream. I thought I was fully equipped to handle the stresses of the daily “grind” simply because I worked hard and managed to keep afloat in my college classes.
However, a month into my first job, I grew restless of doing the tasks no one wanted: making coffee, running errands (as in doing the grocery), and even moving furniture (don’t ask!). I had that college pride thing going, I did well in school why must I be asked to do such meaningless tasks.
I could only laugh at my 19-year-old self. In the true essence of “Throwback Thursday,” here are a few things I would gladly share with my fresh out of school, sometimes prideful, self.
1. Drake was right: you start at the bottom. I could recall in an instant the lowest point of my young career. It was in 2009 and my boss told me to put up billboards somewhere in Muntinlupa. We were in a rush so we weren’t able to secure permits, and I spent the afternoon with the boys putting up billboards and hiding from security in the area. I could have chosen to sulk, but instead, I enjoyed it, and the experience has become one my favorite stories to share with my younger officemates. Drake was right though, to earn your spot, you start from the bottom. Being at the bottom pushes you to work hard, and keeps you grounded.
2. Grind even if no one’s watching. We’ve all had that suck-up officemate. The one who does nothing but play games all day and yet when the boss comes in, he/she steals the credit to get the spotlight. When I was younger and more temperamental, this often made me mad. However, my dad always reminded me that if you work hard even when no one’s watching, God will reward you in the light. And so far, so good.
3. Respect your bosses (even the grinch). I’ve had a boss call me “colorblind” during a meeting, among other insults. Again, my young, angry self often found the need to fight back. However, I’ve come to realize that they’re in authority for a reason, so might as well respect them because even from the most evil ones, you can learn something.
4. Learn and pay it. We live in an age where knowledge can be gained in an instant. Take advantage of this and soak in the world. Learn as much as you can, in whatever form you can, and don’t forget to share what you’ve learned with those who are just starting out. We’re all in the struggle together, so might as well lend a helping hand.
5. Be patient and take risks. Sometimes, waiting for things to change can be frustrating. And while it’s important to be patient in waiting for your time to come, you must also be brave enough to take risks. This is the only time you can try everything you’ve wanted to do. Just trust the process, and believe that things will fall into place as it should.