I’m blogging every day this week in a special series titled, “Your Best Job Now.”
Today’s topic: What can you actually expect at work?
When you train for a job, usually the bulk of training focuses on how to do the job.
But seldom does anyone train you to understand the culture surrounding employment.
What can you actually expect at work? Well, usually you need to figure that out for yourself. But there is help.
Talk to people in your industry who’ve been there longer than you, or network with people in other professions to see what it’s like on the other side of the fence.
You’ll be surprised to discover similarities that creep up in every profession.
That sense of discovery is key.
Knowledge is power, and having a clear idea of what to expect can help you successfully navigate what comes at you daily at work.
Here are 3 realities you can expect in almost any job:
1. You’ll seldom like all your co-workers.
At any workplace, you’ll find dogish managers, gossipy co-workers, cranky secretaries, or supervisors who’re flat-out louts. Yep, it happens.
Ever see the old TV show WKRP in Cincinnati? There are plenty of real-life Herb Tarleks and Les Nessmans in the world. Your workplace is bound to have a few.
The key is to be warm, considerate, and professional to all. You don’t need to be best friends with coworkers. You just need to work alongside them.
2. You’ll work at some tasks that are just plain drudgery.
And there are a ton of those tasks out there.
A friend with a finance degree got a job for a brokerage firm. You’d think that would be a sweet gig. But what does he do all day? He pours through endless lists, cold-calling potential clients. It means eight solid hours a day of being told no. How’s that for a fun time?
He reminds himself that he’s got a job, and that it won’t be like this forever.
3. You might make less money than you deserve.
My first career job paid roughly half the industry standard. I took the job anyway. I didn’t take it for the money. I took it because the job was a good position where I knew I’d learn a lot.
The reality of low wages happens at a lot of jobs. Nobody likes to part with their money, including employers, and someone, somewhere, some place in the same industry you’re in, will inevitably be making more than you.
Successfully negotiating a fair wage is a good thing. So if you’re getting less money than you deserve, it might mean you need to talk to your boss and ask for a raise.
Or it might mean you need to follow the money elsewhere.
But often it’s in your best interest to stay put. A job might have other perks. Sometimes it’s simply enough to know in your gut you’re worth more, and leave it at that.
Some of this list might sound like a downer, but it’s actually meant to be empowering. When you know what to expect, you’re less surprised at what you find in your job culture, and you can take things in stride.
Knowing and understanding the culture surrounding your work place is essential to survive and thrive in your career.
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Read the rest of this series:
Five Ways toTell if Your Job is a Good Fit
Part 4: Ten strategies to Survive and Thrive at Your Job
Part 5: Know the Crow Code
Question: What surprising realities have you noticed where you work (either now or at a previous job)?