There’s nothing quite like your first full-time job. It’s what you dream about as a kid, it’s what all your superiors work hard to prepare you for throughout high school, and it’s also what you work your ass off for through college. The first step into the professional world can bring on a lot of emotions. At first, there’s a rush of excitement and liberation that can only come from that first taste of success – maybe you nailed an important meeting with several execs, or you shattered your boss’s expectations.
The next step is settling and thriving in your routine – maybe you’re balancing your hefty to-do with with a post-work fitness class, or fitting in a good book before work. But somewhere down the line, probably around the 1-year mark, you might start to hit a wall.
The 9-5 sets in, and it can feel mundane. That’s where the people come in. While it’s important to find a job that provides you with stability, challenges and a promising plan for trajectory, finding people that make it bearable is not only integral to your success, it’s essential for your happiness. Here’s why:
1. It Boosts Morale
If you work in an office where nobody debates, challenges, discusses, or sometimes even vents – you’re probably going to be miserable. Don’t just stay in your lane. It is imperative to interact with other people throughout the day, and sometimes those interactions should have nothing to do with work. This might sound counterproductive, or even naïve, but having people to bounce ideas off of, even if it’s about what show you should binge-watch next, can actually make you happier, thus producing results (and also ya know – improving your overall quality of life).
If you don’t take a break from the constant hustle of meeting invites, spreadsheets, presentation documents, etc. there’s a really good chance you’ll implode. Think about it – you probably spend 85% (if not more) of your time with your coworkers – don’t let it become mediocre/wasted time. Don’t let these people become “the lady with the cat” or, “the guy who always title drops.” Take the time to genuinely get to know people, and you’ll be surprised how much more enjoyable your day-to-day life will become.
2. It Encourages a “Team” Mentality
You’ve probably heard the phrase “there’s no ‘I’ in team,” a million times, and while it’s cliché its fucking true. If you don’t take the time to form some type of bond with your coworkers, you won’t reach the level of understanding and empathy you need to truly become a team.
No matter the business – producing results requires collaboration.
However, if you don’t take the time to respect, or get to know your teammates, you’ll probably focus on their weakness (ex: loud chewing, or stinky breath) and there’s a good chance you’ll overlook their strengths and specialties. True success and growth comes from recognizing, learning and mastering something you don’t know yet, and you’ll never be able to do that if you trap yourself in your cubicle all day long watching the clock.
3. It Enhances Your People Skills
Interacting with the people around you on a daily basis helps you become a better people person. Let’s face it, your family and friends are pretty much biologically programmed to like you at this point, but your coworkers aren’t. They’re the people who will help you become more considerate and thoughtful, because honestly – they are judging you and sometimes that’s what we all need.
We need people who are going to challenge us and force us to truly think about the type of professionals – and people – we want to become.
Take your new job as a brand new opportunity to mold and invent yourself through human interaction. Trust me, mastering the art of meaningful small talk and social cues will only proliferate your professional success. Someone once said, “nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Go above and beyond to be genuine, to be kind and to prove to people that you actually care.