Top 3 things I wish I had known when I started working

Hi, I thought I would do a series on some things I wish I knew when I first started entering the workforce towards the end of my undergraduate degree. When I started working, I believed that had reached an end. It took me a while to realize that I actually reached a new beginning where I could continue to grow. Here are the top three things that I wish I had known when I first started working

#1 Take initiative

Figure out what the company values and try to do something that contributes to it every day you go to work. For example, if a company values quick turnaround on defect tickets and feature requests, try to figure out a way that can help your team do it quicker.

#2 Do not hang out with the same people all the time

This is a common trap many newcomers to the workplace will fall into. You may feel lost when you start working and try to form friendships out of people you went to university with, your immediate group members, or the people who sit next to you. While this is all a good thing, and by all means you should go and form those connections if you want them. Do not miss out on making new connections by only hanging out with one group of people all the time. You would be surprised by the number of people that are willing to talk to up and coming folks like you at your company. You can make friends with a program manager outside of your group, for example, that may be looking for people to work on a new project that could further your career. Your connections may also help you find new work in the future.

#3 Look for mentoring, fellowships, and other opportunities outside of your immediate group

Many companies have various programs to help people further themselves outside of their immediate group. Even if your company does not offer such opportunities, there are still options to improve yourself. One idea is to try to work on a side project that you think the company would value. Even if it doesn’t become widely adopted you will still learn something and you can put it into your portfolio or github. Another option is to take a course on something you do not know much about or something new. Learning shouldn’t stop once you complete your degree and expanding your skillset can open doors for you in the future. Whatever you do, do not let the fear of failure keep you from looking for and trying other opportunities.

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