Once upon a time, I used to be a rookie in the workplace. I'm referring to my very first job EVER while I was in college, chasing the dream while trying to pay for rent, gas and all the wonderful things that your parents cut you loose from to teach you some lessons of adulthood. When I reflect back to my very first job in the banking industry, I can honestly say that it was one of the best jobs I've ever had. Not only did this job provide me foundation lessons about the workplace, but it also helped me discover who I was and how I can help others.
Though there are MANY things I learned in my first job, there are just a few that are dominant when I think back to that time....
// Communication [relationships]
Working in the banking industry, I interacted with customers on a daily basis. My job consisted of helping individuals with very personable transactions including their hard earned money and financial endeavors. Because our industry was all about finances front and center, I quickly learned that communication skills were a priority. It wasn't so much about wining and dining people all the time, but rather being transparent in the most courteous manner... being open about transactions... providing details about potential opportunities the bank had to offer... and finding a solution together with the customer rather than saying NO. All of which I am able to use and expand on these communication skills today in the workplace and in my personal life.
At the time I was working, I was also in college. I was lucky enough to learn about discipline in academics early on, but this was another form of discipline... it was about walking in between the lines at work and with my supervisor(s). I had some AMAZING relationships with my former bosses in the banking industry, and our workplace relationships quickly became more like friendships. We would often grab dinner with each other after work, or share a cup of coffee before work. BUT when it came time to take care of business, I was disciplined enough to respect my peers in the workplace as expected.
// Continuous Learning
Learning didn't just stop in the college classroom for me. At this job, we were given opportunities to attend training sessions in person, or complete training courses online through the bank's learning platform. This job was extremely supportive in continuous learning in the workplace AND in college. I was honored to have the bank pay for my tuition for a few semesters, as my degree was aligned with some of the business standards in the banking industry.
My first job brought me much more in life than just a paycheck. In hindsight, I was so determined to find a job that aligned with my degree that I was blinded by an opportunity to expand on a career with the banking industry. I wish I would have been a bit more present in that opportunity and explored the business aspect of it all. BUT, everything happens for a reason and I am who I am today partly because of this first job.
Are you searching for a job today? Maybe it's your first job... maybe it's your 5th... maybe you're seeking a new experience by moving up in your current workplace. Whichever it might be, take some time to discover what your passionate about.... what makes your heart sing. TheLadders is a website that can help you with the process of finding a new career opportunity. Not only do they help match your interests with employers, but they also provide feedback to you during the application process! Check out their website for further information on your job search, or read up on some great tips from professionals on the advice page.
Lastly, I want to leave you with a quote that may help inspire you with your current job, future job, or previous jobs.