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6 Critical Lessons Your First Job Will Teach You

Fresh grad? Read up!

Like many firsts in your life, your initial venture into the job market will be scary, uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful, but your experiences, both good and bad, will define the person you will be for the next couple of years.

To give you a headstart, we're sharing six important things we learned along the way when we entered the big bad world of monthly paychecks and OTT taxes: 

1. "You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do."
Take it from Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. In many ways, your present job is a means to get to your more ambitious goals, but don't forget to make the most of what you currently have. Bloom where you are planted, and show 'em what you've got. You're only as good as the last success you've had. 

2. You are replaceable and expendable.
Be humble. Just because you have the credentials does not mean every output you come up with will be perfect. Even the most intelligent people need to keep learning and improving. Not knowing is knowing, as the Taoist adage suggests. Also, when a company downsizes, it is beyond your control. 

3. Menial work is important. 

Sure, filing paperwork and doing administrative work may be a bore, but they are the glue that keeps everything working smoothly. Give your 100% in everything you do, and your superior will figure out that if you can do simple tasks seamlessly, you can move up to the next level. 

4. Be professional.
Come in early (a.k.a. before you boss). Don't be noisy. Dress appropriately. Don't rant about work on social media.  

5. You won't get along with everyone all the time. 
"Trabaho lang, walang personalan." Be calm and rational, and avoid turning discussions into arguments. Try not take it against others when they defend their ideas. You don’t want them resenting you for defending yours, right? Argue fairly and objectively.

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6. Stop complaining.
No one likes to work with people who constantly complain (See: The Negatron). What's the best part of what you do? Remember it every time you feel overwhelmed. You'd want to stay in your first job long enough to get regularized so that your next employer won't think you cannot handle responsibilities. 

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