Ey up, how did this happen? It only feels like yesterday my mum made a packed lunch for my first day in my big girl job.
It was a lifetime away from answering phone calls from angry train users, and slipping into the same monotony every day that felt like it would last forever. I never thought I would get out. But I did.
My new job was the challenge and breath of fresh air that I needed. I never thought I would make it past the first month. I wasn’t cut out for this, I wasn’t smart enough and that person inside my head keept telling me I wasn’t good enough. And sometimes it still does.
But here I am, over 2 years later. It’s funny how things work out. It’s not been an easy journey, but I value the lessons I’ve learnt since I’ve been there.
I’ve cried. I’ve brought work home with me to finish, and start. I’ve done extra work to show my worth, and enough presentations to shake a stick out. I’ve sold my soul to the devil a few times too. Ya know how it is.
It feels like I’ve constantly had to prove my worth, but maybe that’s not so much of a bad thing.
I must admit in hindsight I never thought I would last. When I left uni I didn’t think I could manage a full time job after recovering from pancreatitis. My confidence had seriously been knocked and I sort of didn’t know how to be around people anymore. It was really damn hard.
I knew the only way I could ever progress was to push past it and get out of my comfort zone. Be pushed into the spotlight and left to cope. Survive drowning in the ocean when you see no glimmer of hope.
That 3 month mark was my milestone. A milestone that I tell anyone to apply to any new job that they start. It will get easier. After 3 months everything starts to slot into place. Those 24635 questions you have no longer need to be asked, and you know what? It’s all gonna be okay.
Knowing your worth and value to a company is not a reflection of your skills. It’s that person inside your head telling you you’ll never be good enough. I’ve moved up the ranks in the short time that I’ve been in my job and quite frankly I need to cut myself some slack sometimes.
Having said that, it’s not always easy being a girl in a male dominated office. I’ve been blanked in meetings, left on the shelf and excluded when I really should be there. It’s a societal issue that I’ve met, that ultimately makes me question my worth and value.
You hear about the gender gap on TV, but you don’t think it’s an actual thing until you experience it. I have no doubt that I will always feel like that little girl who doesn’t know a thing, but it makes me strive to always DO better.
Paper trail is everything. As soon as the s*** hits the fan, the fingers start pointing. Here we go again.
Ticking those boxes and organisation along the way will never land you in deep water when you’re trying to fight your corner. Paper trail is the easiest way to show your innocence. That get out clause to say, HEY I have done my job.
A final lesson for me is to show conviction in what you’re saying. Even if you don’t have a clue what you’re saying. Be confident. If you’re confident in what you’re saying, you’re one step closer to convincing that person on the other line. They’re ranting? Stop speaking and let them. They’ll soon stop when they realise you’re not reacting.
Despite the hardships I’ve encountered along the way it’s shaping those early, hard years of climbing the ladder to success. We all have to do it.
Ticking those boxes, hardening and strengthening me for whatever experience is next.
Stand your ground, be confident in what you say and work damn hard. No workplace is perfect (or so it seems), and the wall to wall bants in my office definitely helps when you’ve been laid a bombshell 20 minutes earlier. Just take everything in your stride.
If you’re sat there wondering what it is that I actually do with my life, make sure you check out my what I do for my day job post!