Several months ago I wrote a piece on how difficult it is to find a job as a fresh graduate and the difficulty of entering this so called “Real” world. So I figured it’s only customary that 3 months into my first job I write something to explain how I got into the “Real” world and what it actually looks like, just as some advice and a pick me up for anyone still struggling. I’ll start off with how I got into the “Real” world. It’s no easy task believe you me and that feeling of hopelessness is probably the worst thing because then doubt creeps in and you start telling yourself “you know what I should just take masters instead, yeah I’m gonna do that and then….” Then what? Exactly! But if you are firm on your decision to work, then keep hunting eventually god will reward you for your efforts.
I have to admit though that I made the exact same mistake that almost every fresh grad makes when they do start looking for their first job. I started out with applying for the big companies, when the logical thing to do would have been to start with the smaller ones. I say logical because big companies want finished products not raw materials if you get what I mean. And in fact at smaller companies your learning curve goes up exponentially, primarily because in smaller companies you learn things directly from the person in charge. It’s kinda like home schooling where it’s just you and the teacher, rather than in a class of students.
The second benefit of joining a small company early on is you get a feel for how things are done much more quickly. For example although your designation falls under service (as in my case) you can quite easily be exposed to the sales and marketing side of things or the finance or IT side or the administrative side and so on. In bigger companies I guess you forgo that experience as you would be strictly limited to what you are designated to.
Another benefit I suppose is lack of competition, now this does also have it’s negatives but probably the biggest plus is that your first in line for any sort of training program, conference etc. But if you are motivated enough to shy away from complacency then I wouldn’t worry too much about the negatives there. So my recommendation is this, do your internship in a big company because it will boost up your CV but look for your first job in a smaller company because you will learn much more in a shorter period of time. You know work the system basically.
I guess the other mistake I was making was being too particular with my choice of applications. Stuff like “Ooo it’s too far” and “I don’t think I wanna do that”. I guess stepping out of your comfort zone is the most vital thing you could do at this stage. You’ve got to be open to new things.
So the “Real” world. *Takes a deep breathe Ahhhhh! u smell that! That’s the smell of no assignments, no exams, no projects, no homework, nothing! And although that may sound like heaven to some it is actually as good as it gets I’m afraid. Truth is the “Real” world is “Real”ly boring. It’s all about responsibilities and stepping out of your comfort zone, your limited in terms of choice of friends (your co-workers are your friends basically), working and dealing with people that you may or may not like (without choice most of the times), staying motivated etc. But it’s not all sour grapes I should point out, you do get paid to do all that which kind of balances it all out. I can’t be too judgemental really, it has only been 3 months and myself am still getting used to the transition.
To finish this off I think I finally understand why people say that life is an uphill struggle. It’s probably because if you stop pushing yourself to do more and be more, you will come to a stop and eventually start falling backwards. So don’t expect graduation to be the end of your struggle, nor work and getting paid to be the start of your happiness. Life at any stage is still life, it’s a struggle.
Be more, do more. God Bless 🙂