As a young professional in the business world, it is difficult to get started. Being young isn’t an excuse. It’s both a blessing and a curse.
When I started my full-time position, I knew the basics of the job. I was a recent grad, fresh from my internship. They had me shadow a lady on my team with a similar title. After days of working with her and learning the ropes, she was fired. I wasn’t forewarned about this. It just happened. One hour she was showing me how to ship assets to the field, the next she was being asked to not speak to anyone and leave the building. This was my second week on the job.
Once she left, they threw me into her position. It was extremely fast-paced. I was forced to learn a great deal in a short amount of time. On the inside, I was not confident; I was nervous, timid, and scared. However, I powered through. I pretended like I knew what I was doing, and eventually I did.
In this case, being young was a blessing. I was still in learning-mode from school. I hadn’t ever had a similar job to compare situations. I just needed to make this one work. My inexperience let me have an open mind to the chaos of the corporate world. I was able to “go with the flow” and, eventually, make the “flow” go with me. I had an operations manager, who later moved to another team. This left me as the sole operations person on my team.
In this case, being young was also a curse. I was shaking in my boots. I feared for my job because the last coordinator was just fired (I later realized that this gave me more job security). I had regular training seminars with my operations manager. I was fed how to do things, and how not to do things. I realized how much my job affected the program. It was a lot of pressure for a newbie.
Because of this immense pressure, and fast-paced change, I have been able to make myself more independent and confident in my work. I am proud to say that I am the operations team on my program. After months of pretending that I was an adult and that I knew what I was doing, I’ve caught up with myself. I now feel like an adult. I now know that I know what I’m doing.
So, when you feel overwhelmed in your first job after graduating (which you will), don’t give up and let it break you. Push yourself, but know your limits. Have a little faith in your own abilities. Or, just fake it till you make it.