Landing your first-ever job is nothing short of a milestone. But when I got mine, instead of celebrating it like an achievement, I underplayed it thinking there was nothing too special about it because everyone gets a job. How dumb, right? But it was only after officially starting work is when I realised just how special it actually is because you’re doing something that’s making an actual difference in the world and there’s usually a lot at stake. Naturally, this mistake of mine (the one where I underplayed it) served as a lesson for me and I learnt that no matter how big or small an achievement may be or even how normal it may seem to you, you must always hype yourself a little if not a lot, mainly because no one else is going to do that for you, life is all about celebration and if you’re not your biggest hype man, then what’s the point of anything?

There were obviously a lot of other mistakes that followed suit after that one and they also served as major life lessons to me. So if you’re reading this and if you’ve just landed your first job, make note of my mistakes and hopefully prevent yourself from making those. Happy reading!

First job mistakes as life lessons:

1. Saying yes to everything

Because saying no to a task when I already have my plate full seemed like I was asking to get fired. But remember that if you say no and give a reasonable explanation about it, you’ll pretty much be making your life much easier and you’ll be able to focus better on your tasks as well. Similarly, learn to distinguish between what needs your energy and what doesn’t and how to say no to things you don’t want to do in life.

2. Not getting my doubts clarified

Apparently not knowing something entirely or experiencing a bit of confusion meant I was dumb; is what my thought pattern was at the beginning. So I’d avoid getting clarity on my doubts and then would make silly mistakes and let people think I was careless. So it wasn’t a win-win situation either way. So kids, don’t ever think to yourself that having doubts means you’re dumb. It’s in fact the exact opposite of that, it shows your intelligence and inquisitiveness about things.

3. Not giving myself enough credit

The situation was this—it was my first job and I obviously didn’t know everything about it so when I would still achieve a little something from that everything I didn’t know, I didn’t think it was special. Why? If you read the introduction of this blog, you’d know the silly reason behind it. Soon there came a point where I started to doubt myself, I thought I wasn’t exceptional or worthy enough because I never gave myself credit for anything. So, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again—appreciate the little and the big wins, always! Be your own hype man/woman.

4. Being hesitant

I was hesitant to talk, to present my ideas, to ask for help, to ask for things I needed because I was overly shy and guild-ridden for absolutely no reason, only to realise that my hesitancy was a deterrent only to myself. I was scared that people would think ill of me or that they’d prefer I be in my own place because I was new and young. The reality was quite the opposite. The point here is that listen to yourself, listen to what your brain is saying but also learn to differentiate between the bullshit and the good shit that it’s telling you.

5. Pretending to understand everything

Circling back to problem number 3; I set an unrealistic standard for myself and my knowledge bank because I was just a dum-dum like that. Even when I genuinely didn’t understand something, I thought I should just pretend to understand otherwise people would think I was incompetent and not meant for this job. Now when I look back at all the moments I did this, I can’t help but question my sheer stupidity. Anyway, my tip to you is, you’re human, you’re not going to know everything about any damn thing in the world even if you wanted to and pretending to understand something you don’t is honestly never going to help you in life.

6. Comparing myself to my seniors

I am not even going to elaborate much on this point because you already know what a big dodo of a mistake it was but I just needed to tell you that I did it and I’m not proud of it. But if I just have to elaborate a little, I’ll say, chuck comparison in general and just focus on yourself.

7. Disregarding my achievements over a mistake or two

I was and still am infamous for doing this. It’s a continuing mistake but each time I do it, I realise I shouldn’t. It’s honestly such a pathetic habit because you end up becoming extremely self-critical and slowly begin to lose confidence in yourself. It’s what happened to me. So my advice to you is, every time you catch yourself doing this, remind yourself that you’re human and even if you don’t want to, you are going to make mistakes. All sorts of mistakes—major, minor, silly, obvious!

What are some first job mistakes you’ve made in your lives? Tell me in the comments below.

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