Career

Job expectations vs reality

The Growing Up Guide - Job Demands Vs Job Reality

Well done – You got the job, the one you really wanted! Despite the high competition you managed to succeed and obtain that position.
It’s been a couple of months since you’ve started working there you work and yep, that moment arrives. The realisation of your expectation Vs reality moment and…uh that job expectations and job reality do not really match…
Now to avoid this bitter realisation when this moment will arrive. Here’s a list to mentally prepare yourself for when starting your new job.
N.B. This post is to be read with a realistic but ironic tone!

Job demands

Expectation: The job description said I’d be doing A B C so that’s what I’ll be doing, A B C.
Reality: Well yes, one day you might end up doing A B C but in most of the cases you’ll find yourself not exactly doing all that was written in your job description.
Maybe because what the company needs the most at the moment is A and B or maybe because you need more training to implement some of the tasks and that training is impending…there are so many reasons.
What’s important though is that you’re doing tasks that are inherent to your position and that you like.
Also, always keep talking about your tasks and what you expect/want to do with your manager. So if at any moment, tasks are not needed and there is a necessity to do something else, you’ll be happy to take it over.

Job knowledge

Expectation: I applied for this job and they got me = I know how to do what they’re asking of me
Reality: Of course you’re capable to be in that position but this doesn’t mean you know everything that is required when covering that position…And that’s totally normal!
For this case, #fakeituntilyoumakeit!
Even if you find yourself having to deal with tasks you have no clue how to accomplish – try and don’t be shy when it comes to asking for help! Show that you’re willing to undertake the challenge! You might do something wrong at the beginning but in the end, you’ll learn something new that’ll put you in the position to know how to deal with it the next time it shows up!

A different type of learning

Expectation: Finally I’m not studying anymore!
Reality: Hahaha nice one!
So if you don’t wanna study, how do you think you’ll learn how to do something you don’t know how to deal with?
The type of study we’re talking about here is different from the study you undertake when you’re at school.
In general, it’s more practical and specific to stuff you already know, but delves deeper into specific aspects. On one side it’s actually a very motivating type of learning, as you learn how to do your work better (and you actually perform better), plus you have an increased possibility to advance to higher job levels with the right type of learning –  not bad, right?

Work life balance

Expectation: They said flexible hours so even if it’s not 5:30pm but I have finished my work,  I can go!
Reality: You could.
However, running away as soon as the clock ticks 5:30pm or even earlier will give the impression that ‘they don’t really have much to do then’ or ‘are they actually focused on the job or just on the clock?’. I bet you definitely do not want your boss to think this.
So, to avoid this, even if you actually do not have much to do…stay! Just for the sake of showing that you’re into it. Especially in initial stages when you first start working, stay those 10 minutes/15 minutes later (judge this by looking at what time when colleagues leave, if they usually leave later than you…)

Job environment

Expectation: I’m working in a proper office, SO COOL.
Reality: Most of the time, it ain’t that cool.
Open spaces office are quite common and you’ll find yourself begging for a silent place.
Another scenario may be that your company workspace is just a little bigger than your bedroom. Which means that you and your colleagues have to “fight” for that extra little space between your laptop and theirs.
A tip for this kind of situation: as soon as you know where your place is, start bringing the stuff you know you’ll definitely need/use (e.g. a water bottle) and position them near you, so that there will always be space for them.

Solution

I’m a strong believer of the saying, ‘If there’s a will there’s a way’. So, if you think the gap between your expectations and the reality you’re living is really big and want a change, try to talk to your boss/supervisor. Aim to show them you’re willing to put in the effort to change stuff in order to match the expectations of what your daily tasks should be.
If your expectations do not match your reality but you think it’s a worthy compromise, for now, keep going!

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