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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.

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4 thoughts on “First Job: A Killer or a Teacher?

  1. Right on, sister! Knowledge IS power. I cannot agree more. That is exactly what we are all about over here at theviewfromhere. There is nothing better than the opportunity to learn and grow. The world we live in is so damn exciting now, isn’t it? With technology we can make connections, like these, and learn from each other too. I am in my mid-fourties and I still feel like a kid in a candy store as far as knowledge is concerned. There’s so much out there to be had.

    Balkans, eh? That’s interesting. How’s life in the Balkans? O are you elsewhere now? Don’t be a stranger. Would love to chat and compare stories.

    • Thanks Ralph, you have the honour of being the very first guest on my blog. 🙂 I’ll check out theviewfromhere tonight with a cup of coffee and enjoy.
      The world is too exciting to just wait. Action is always the answer.

      Life in the Balkans is quite interesting – maybe I’ll write about it more in the future. Young people tend to leave and look for a better future elsewhere, but everybody has to make choices right? Every place has good and bad things; it’s up to you to choose what most matters to you.

  2. These kids are going to be sorely disappointed when they hit the job market. Especially as it stands right now… A piece of paper saying you graduated? Doesn’t mean squat. It might get you in the door at many places, but it won’t get you the comfy job you think you deserve. Some people vault to huge money making success, but for the majority of humanity that is just not the case.

    • Yeah, all true. There are many factors that initiate this though: exploitative employers, no employers rights, paid below minimum wage etc. etc. But, everyone seems to either go in apathy mode or get a Master’s degree or a PhD and then feeling too proud to start working from zero. If things are to be changed, everyone needs to show their personal capacity and then things will get better – work revolution, not a work protest. Thanks for stopping by Warren.

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