“We are no longer with like-minded people. We do not get to choose who we want to spend the majority of the day with.” –Catherine Sinclair, on one aspect of why our first job sucks.
Having the ability to tolerate the same people you wouldn’t choose to hang around with day in and day out is not really a skill the majority of us have mastered in our 20+ years of life. Every job I held in college I was either working along side my friends or people who were like me: same age, typically from the same state, same interests. Let’s be real too because a part-time college job for a little extra WAM is less intense than managing a multi-million dollar project in life after college. (WAM is Walking Around Money; Feel free to use this one with your parents, they will think you’re clever and hopefully hand you $20). Here’s my point – life used to be: less stress, lower stakes, more fun, and we had a vibrant life outside hours worked in our part-time job.
I am not trying to say I can’t deal with people who aren’t like me. All I am saying is it’s a lot easier to work with others when you can relate to that person on some level AND there is a time limit on the task. Take class projects, for example, these didn’t last more than a semester. In “real life” we have to constantly interact with managers, coworkers, etc. all day long for the length of position in that job. To emphasize, I could CHOOSE to sit with someone in class I liked, and now, the office pariah has free reign.
When you get into the real world, your coworkers are most likely not going to be your best friends. Even worse is when your boss or manager is just not compatible with you. You’re spending so much time with this person, it’s hard not to let them get under your skin. (You must learn to separate the professional from the personal). Once you can overcome those feelings, you can 100% learn something from them, whether it pertains to your job or how not to be a shitty boss. You will more than likely realize these takeaways once you have moved onto another team or company, but you have to learn how to deal with the present.
Some things I’ve found helpful:
1. Bitch. Bitch to your friends and let them bitch back.
2. Watch This is Water, and realize that your coworkers have a life outside of work, just like you.
3. Try and learn from their mistakes, and their successes. Ask them questions on why they did something the way they did it. Someone new to your life can teach you so much about other people, and it gets easier to deal with.
4. Treat yourself to something when you’re worn down. Lunch out on Fridays?
Bottoms up to learning how to ‘like’ people,