Friday, March 4, 2011

What I wish I knew (and No Sneakers at the Office giveaway winner)

Wow, it was great to hear all the "I wish I knews" from the No Sneakers at the Office giveaway post. Here is a compilation of what readers wished they'd been told before entering the workplace.
I wish I would have known that making mistakes are okay, and almost expected--I felt very pressured to do everything perfectly when I got my job--and was crushed when I made my first mistake. It was perfectly fine, though, and I was stressed over nothing!

I wish I had known how different the timeline for a project is in the business world vs. college. I was so used to having to finish everything in a week or less that I ended up overwhelming my supervisor with paperwork he didn't expect to receive for a few weeks! I've now learned that it's ok to take my time, but it was a hard transition on both me and my boss.

I'm in Human Resources, and I wish I had known to be wary of "allies." When I was a rookie in the workplace, I was excited about the new workplace friends I was making. It didn't take long before my naivety really got the best of me. Many people have ulterior motives, and sometimes the people you think you can trust end up burning you. Be wary of new friends at first, especially if you are in a position requiring a lot of confidentiality. Professionalism comes before office friendships.

I wish I had known how to better discuss my concerns with my boss. I have met some less than stellar managers in my career and having known how to talk to them about workplace issues would have been so much easier at the beginning of my career.
-Destrehan's Daughter

One thing I wish I'd known was how to ask for help prioritizing without looking utterly incompetent! So much of my job is a supporting role for my boss, and at first I had trouble lining up my work to best fit that!

I wish I'd known not to engage in watercooler chat--office politics are for real!

Something I wish I'd known before starting my current job (and that I'm still working on) is how to say "no." I've found that a lot of tasks and projects are dropped in my lap that might not necessarily be a good use of my time, but I accomplish them anyway because I can do so quickly &efficiently.

One thing I wish I would have known is where the line is between tasks that you can say no to that are not a good use of your time and the things that you have to suck it up and do to pay your dues.

The one thing I wished I would have known was what I really wanted to do.

I wish I had known that a poor boss is not a reflection of you or your work.

Wish I'd known how to distinguish the job they were selling to me vs. the job i actually got stuck with.

I wish I would have known to seek out meaningful feedback and how to do it. After almost a year of being told, "Oh, you're doing a great job," I started noticing people talking behind my back or making terse remarks about my performance. It turned out people were grossly unsatisfied with me, but no one thought to tell me until it was too late and little, fixable things had been blown far out of proportion. Had someone had a serious discussion or two with me, the entire situation could have been avoided.

I'm only a few months into my first professional job, but looking at some of the jobs my friends got right out of school compared to mine: I've learned that it's worth waiting for that job that you really want instead of taking the first thing that comes your way. -Jill

When I started my first "real" job (aka the first job related to what I went to my degree), I wish I had realized that being a go-getter & being able to do things efficiently can end up meaning people think it's ok to dump tasks on you that are a waste of your time (and not at all related to your job description). After doing "extra" work for a while, it's really hard to break the cycle.

I think I would have liked to know how to handle coworkers, confrontation in the workplace, etc. And how to handle stress

I wish I would have known that sometimes you have to let yourself take a break!!! I was constantly working, staying late, coming up with ideas before going to bed, doing research while eating dinner. I now know that I have to give myself a breather and not forget about the rest of my life!
-The Kaufholds

I wish I would have known not to wear sneakers at the office. Seriously. I guess my red low top Chuck Taylors weren't even appropriate for Casual Friday. Who knew?
-Teacher Goes Back to School

Oh, and you're probably wondering who won the book, right?

Congratulations, Kathleen! Look for an email in your inbox soon with details on how to claim your book.

Want to win something? I've got another giveaway still going on. And it's prettttttttty.


  1. These are great tips! I'm just starting out so seeing all these things that people have learned can help prepare me for work! Thanks for posting this Angeline!

  2. It's good that I found this post especially now that we are amidst various office controversies. The thought of office issues gives me stress. :|

  3. Thanks again Angeline! This is a great way to start my weekend. :)

  4. @ sam - you're welcome! I love learning from my readers, too.

    @ cellulite cream - bummer on the office stress--you are not alone! I'm sure you will make it through. :)

    @ kathleen - no prob! congrats again!

  5. I like seeing all this. Thanks for putting it together.

  6. @ colleen - No prob! I loved seeing all the comments. :)


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