I’m surrounded by young people who expect to be treated and paid better at their first job after graduating. They keep complaining and don’t accept jobs because they believe it’s below their level; and not worth the effort. With a bachelor’s degree, not to even mention those with master’s degrees, these youngsters don’t feel comfortable starting out as assistants, making coffees, doing errands, and they would rather pass up the opportunity for paid work than actually start their careers from scratch. To me, this phenomenon, widely spread in the region I come from – The Balkans – is startling.
I remember, when I was starting out, my gratitude for having been given the chance to begin and learn was immense. I still feel the enthusiasm, the burning flames which kept me going in those very trying times. Thirteen working hours plus six of university lessons and a financial breakdown in poor housing conditions. Some time ago I found my small organiser from that first year of starting out with my first office job and with university, and to my surprise everything in there was radiating my never-ending excitement. I felt so happy to have been given the chance to start doing something I wanted to do in life, and you could even feel that in the one or two sentences on paper each day after coming back from countless hours of work, having had no sleep for days.
What I strongly believe is that at your first job, you need them more than they – employers – need you. What you can do is grab that opportunity and use it for your own future benefit. The bottom line is ‘Learn, learn and learn’: Watch everything closely, ignore the fear of making a mistake; research; don’t hesitate to ask for help and guidance if necessary; and practise. If you’re really passionate about something, you’ll have the enthusiasm to guide you and make this process natural.
Nothing you’ll learn is for waste, and every skill is a useful one; by practising, you’ll undoubtedly get better, and as a result, your success will be guaranteed. Remember, there’s no point in thinking about your low pay, countless hours of work, unethical colleagues, your pushy boss and deserving better, because first you need to show that you do, and the way to go is by learning and developing yourself. Knowledge is power.