So a couple months ago, I attended an Advertising Women of New York (AWNY, more to come on professional organizations in your city) event with the CRO of Refinery29, Melissa Goidel. The topic of conversaion? Prove to us young folk: your job that you hate right now, will be great experience for the future. I luckily had just started my second job out of college that was infinitely better than my first. And although I knew how to organize my mailbox like a whiz, the tips that came next made me realize how much more experience I have than I thought.
- Become a student of the partners of your company. When you’re not gritting your teeth to hide your frustration around your boss, take 20 minutes a day (with a smile) to meet with some of the higher ups. E-mail them to make sure they’re free. Ask them more about their position, their day-to-days, and what what it took for them to get to the position they are currently in, as well as suggestions or advice about how to achieve the same.
- Fake it ’till you make it. Put your game face on at all hours at work. Be the person you want the world to see, and better yet, act like the person you want to be. Also, dress for the position you want to have.
- Bad bosses don’t mean to be. (They are still people). Ask how you can help them, and while you’re alleviating some of their stress, you will start to figure out what they’re not good at. Having this counter-balance to your hire-up will make you shine during your annual review because you’ll stand out.
- Find the magic, and learn from passion. There has to be someone at your company that truly loves what he/she does. Ask them to lunch one day, and see what makes them successful. Everyone has a reason for their passions, but it’s not always easy to discover. Learning how someone else found theirs may help with finding yours.
- Every situation has a silver lining. I did not care for my last boss, period. And it made my life miserable. I tried to be positive about every other aspect of my life, but when you spend so much time being miserable, it’s hard. When I started this new position, my new manager was such a breath of fresh air that all I wanted to do was learn her ways. I am so appreciative of everything she has to teach me because I enjoy her company, and without last experience, I might not have been as enthusiastic.
Keep your head up, kids. Remember: this is not going to be your only job. Also, you’re going to encounter PLENTY of people whom you don’t care for. Being able take the good from every experience will make you a better person.
Bottoms up to positivity!