Tuesday, 20 June 2017

21. The work environment - how do we survive

In blogpost 17, I spoke about the transition from university to the working world. It’s been over 6 months now that I have been working, and there’s more that I have learnt.

Discovering myself
This is something I did not expect to happen in a work environment, but I understand why it did happen: I work with people, people from different backgrounds, different walks of life, people with different ways of doing things. The work environment helped me to discover how I relate to people – how I am with people, how I respond to situations I find myself in with people. I’ve discovered myself, acknowledged my character, and the work place couldn’t have been a better platform: it’s where I spend almost half of my time, and it’s where I work the most with people.

Standing my ground – standing up for myself
This must be one of the toughest things to pull through – not allowing yourself to be walked-over when you’ve only recently started working and most probably don’t want to lose that job. I’ve found myself doing work that is too much for one person. As much as it seems too much, dealing with it is a benefit in that I get to stretch myself to see how much I can handle and how far I can go. However, I have to be realistic with myself, because if I take on too much work, it may stress me out in the end, and I might not do the work as efficiently and as effectively as needed, and consequently it may seem as though I’m not doing my job. I learnt to speak up, to voice out if the load of work is too much and I was assisted. It took quite some time.

Ability to work with people
As mentioned earlier, I work with different people – people with different backgrounds, from different walks of life. I acknowledge that I cannot let differences get in the way of being able to get along with everyone for the sake of the work we do together, and for the sake of a healthy environment. I’m quite open in allowing people to be themselves, and open to be myself around them as well. Once differences arise, I see how I am able to address any issues in a calm manner without fighting, and to finally come to an agreement. I also realize how important it is to know whether or not the issue should be addressed. Sometimes it’s not necessary to say anything, especially if no good or benefit will come out of it. What’s important is that at the end of it all, we all get along, so that everyone can comfortably work together and ensure a healthy working environment, and most importantly getting the work done.

Applying knowledge gained at school at work
Recently, I found that the knowledge I gained at university was questioned. I mean, I have a degree – that should count for something, right?
I found that it has been challenging for me to even see where the theory I was taught could be applied in the work I do. I have to recognize the relevance of what I was taught in the work I do. This is what makes me realize how important it is to get some exposure to the working world while completing our studies. I’ve also realized the importance of understanding the theory we study logically so that it’s easier when it comes to applying it practically – as I would assume.

Workload, efficiency and seeing results

I had to be realistic with myself in terms of how much workload I can handle. One thing I have learnt in the few months that I have been working is that there is only so much that I can do, and it's not only about how much work I've done but also about the results. What's the point of spending a lot of time doing a lot of work yet the results that come out of it are very little?

I come straight from university without any work experience. I needed to settle-in in the working world first, understand how things work there. I was faced with a situation where there was too much work-load yet the deadline was very near - a seemingly impossible situation. In fact, I did not even meet the deadline. I had to learn to prioritize - that's something I had to learn at university already: for instance, when there was too much to study but couldn't study everything. Fortunately, I took this experience as a learning curve - learning through the experience. Suggestions have been made to make things better, and improvements are evident. It is patience, endurance and perseverance that helps - acknowledging and embracing the process of improving.

I certainly hope you enjoyed that. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the topic of surviving in the working environment: how did you find it when you started working for the first time? What did you learn through working that you were not taught? What did you wish you knew before getting into the working world? Be sure to share your experiences - I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks so much for your time and consideration. Until next time :). 

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