|If only my desk had been this fancy...|
Today, I finished my first ‘big persons’ job. I’ve had it for a year and a bit, and it’s had its ups and its downs. I’m excited to be moving on to different things, and hopefully to be taking on a little more responsibility in my next role, but I thought I’d reflect on a few things I wish I’d known when I first started last March.
ONE: Get some guts.
When I had my goodbye meeting with my boss’s boss just before I left, he said I couldn’t have done anything more in my role other than speak up. Whilst it was amazing to know that was the only criticism, I kicked myself because it’d been something I’d been internally telling myself to do for months, but hadn’t managed it. I used to leave meetings thinking “why didn’t I say that? I knew the answer to that question”. I think this is something women generally struggle with which contributes towards gender inequality in the workplace and it’s definitely something I’m going to be working on.
TWO: Get more experience.
I’ve had some amazing opportunities in this job – fighting an election campaign and coming into contact with some of my favourite politicians (both past and present), and working with people that I’ve admired for a long time has been incredible. But there were still chances I should have taken when I had them, moments that passed where I found myself thinking ‘yeah I could have done that, I should have done that, I should have fought for that more’. This goes for networking too, I should have been thinking about those bloody LinkedIn connections more throughout the year.
THREE: Work is still like school.
It really is. Girly cliques still exist, you can still find yourself with no one to have lunch with and people bitch like there’s no tomorrow. By the time I finished University I thought I was done with all of that, especially as it’s something that I didn’t really come across when I was doing my Masters, but it turns out this still happens. It sounds so stupid but I wish I’d been more prepared for that and not let it bother me.
FOUR: I’m more capable than I think I am.
It sounds so big headed, but when I left and had all my leaving meetings with various managers it turns out they thought a lot more of the job I was doing than I was. I can do this, and I should sell myself more. It turns out imposter syndrome is a real thing.
FIVE: Do my own thing more.
Because of the way my job works, it requires a routine. And that’s fine, and I’d never do anything to disrupt that. But we all have a way of working which makes us more productive and better off, and I wish I’d stuck to that. Yeah, I’m a little messy and no I don’t fancy getting breakfast because that’s how I roll and I should have let myself not get caught up in such rigidity. I can improve on processes in my own way and shouldn’t be afraid to do so.
Hopefully I’ll be able to learn from my mistakes for my next job. Bring on Monday!