I’ve been in the workforce for close to a decade now.
Because this seems to be a year of retrospection, let’s see what I’ve learned:
- Not everyone follows an upward trajectory; some people grow horizontally (career-wise, and physically)
- The more multicultural an office is, the greater the chance you will work with someone who believes in the stereotypes about your country. Say we sound like Apu again. Go on. SAY IT.
(My advice? Forgive, but do not forget, their ignorance. Maybe it’s hard for their minds to take in the fact that people are individuals, and not
- an archetype of their nationality or
- a mishmash of every <insert nationality> character they’ve seen in different media)
- A manager who can truly see past East and West is a rockstar. Heck, one who can see you as an individual with specific, personal goals and dreams and can get you to use your skills and knowledge where they are best suited is a treasure.
- The worst workplace has its pros; the best workplace has its cons. Choose what you are willing to put up with.
- It’s not all about the money, but money plays a big role. Sometimes it’s about flexibility, or learning opportunities. It is *mostly* about the money. Don’t work for someone who isn’t willing to pay you fairly. You will definitely grow to resent it.
- Karma gets everyone. Even in business. So don’t be an ass.
- Not everyone believes you all belong to the same team.
- Having friends at work is important. These are the people who understand your frustrations when a deliverable is late, or show you another side when you’re venting about a co-worker.
- Another thing that’s important is knowing your rights. Read your contract thoroughly. Ask questions. If you have to make compromises, negotiate first. Only you know what’s best for you. And if you don’t ask, you usually don’t get.