Working at job

This is a ramble on what my expectations of a job were and how it turned out when I got a job.

Before we get started, let me give you a backstory about all this because otherwise, you would think that these are some sheepish expectations of some completely unseasoned teenage kid.

I grow up thinking that a job was the purpose of life much like any other middle-class Indian whose only mantra was ‘survive’.

So when I joined college, let me tell you what my life plan was.

I will graduate college colorfully, get a decent but exciting job somewhere. I will excel at my job immediately, I will become rich undoubtedly, I will have a happy family and then life goes on and till death finds me.

By now you might have comprehended the depth of my dumbness and the delusional impact of feel-good movies in the distortion of our reality.

Despite the appalling absurdity of my life plan, I think that is exactly how most of the kids I met while joining college also saw their roadmap in life was.

Needless to say that most of us, or at least I feel that I have failed to meet every single checkpoint that I could in that life plan I shared with you.

But when you are nearing the last year of college or when you are in the final of college. The next step in your mind will undoubtedly be to take up a job somewhere.

With our limited world knowledge, we would have some expectations about how the job would be.

Table of Content

What I thought how jobs were

These are some of my expectations of how a job would be. Please understand that this is meant to be absurd and not particularly my fault.

Job is all fun and frolic

When you are a student, everyone will stuff advice all over you. They will say you just have to struggle when you are in college until you get a job and then life is settled. Then it is a smooth sail from there on out.

I realize they were just selling us false hope just to make us graduate and get a job because if they told us the truth we wouldn’t have both.

It is strange that when enough people repeat something in which you have no idea about, you would take their word for it.

I don’t think I was exceptionally stupid to blindly believe all that, but the system was smart enough to outsmart all of us.

They made us believe struggle is only temporary and there was a red carpet rolled out for all of us.

Colleagues are like classmates

When you are in college, everyone was your friend, and everyone wanted to help you. You would think that colleagues are just like classmates.

You would have fun with them, they would be there for you when you need them, they would be the cushion when you fall. Because everyone you have met until now is friends, then everyone you will meet whether they are your colleagues will also be your friend.

Hard work led to success

Another life lie that meant to give you false hope just to extract the most out of you.

Let me mind you, this is not wrong. It’s just extremely simplified and unidimensional.

You need hard work for success, but hard work alone won’t give you success.

I thought that when I get my job if I work hard at it, I would reach the top. Maybe I will but you need a lot more factors in your favor if you want to be at the top.

You could outshine everyone

You might be wondering whether this is the same statement as the above framed slightly differently. But the point I want to make here is about our unrealistic overestimation of ourselves.

In college, you would deal with all abstract principles and concepts and you would tell yourself that this is useless in practical life and when you work and start tackling actual concrete problems, you would smash through every obstacle laid in front of you.

You would believe that we are all special and that we all possess untapped unlimited potentials.

You could be rich

The reason you would want a job in the first place?

To get rich.

Why you are struggling all along? The reason everyone else is also doing it?

Why doubt this? If it was wrong, why would everyone do it?

Well, the answer lies in what is your definition of rich.

Now that we have enough of fantasies, let’s get into reality real quick.

You would have your reality check when you take up your first job. For that one single reason, I think that our first job will forever be special to us.

Your first job will teach you more about life in one year than at university in four years.

Let me tell you about

What I thought how jobs were

This is how the job was for me when I got my first job and boy it wasn’t what I was expecting. Not even close.

Work is hard and tiring

This is hard to miss when you join work. Your assumption would be they give you work, you finish your work early, they would flash thumps up and a little pat on the shoulder, and off you go to enjoy your evening.

The reality is that they give you work; you finish your work early, then brace yourself for some more work as you have some time left.

No matter how many times you finish your work early, you can count every single time that they will reward you with more work.

Let me give you another reality check. The above line is an application if you finish your work early.

That is not an “if” you would satisfy often.

The biggest problem you would likely to face is finishing your work on time, which is a whole different struggle on its own.

You realize that time can fly, and every second count when you work.

Juggling all the work that’s been given to you and finishing it on time can be a lot trickier than you would think.

Especially when you feel like things are working against you.

For me when the going gets tough, all I want is my bed and a good night’s sleep and that is all you can get most days.

Work has pressure too

Until this point in life, you haven’t been used to doing something that has real consequences. Suddenly every action you take can lead to serious consequences. When there are real stakes at hand, you would become a bit shaky.

Work can make you real shaky. I don’t think that it’s because there are actual consequences but people would create the impression that there are real things at stake.

When there are deadlines and expectations, there is bound to be pressure and stress. Something which I have not used to in such a degree when we were in college.

When I joined work, that is when I realized how terrible work pressure feels and it nearly broke me.

This is something you need to experience if you want to know what I’m talking about.

Soon you realize that what differentiates you and your superior is not the quality of work you do, but the amount of pressure they handle.

When you climb up the ladder, the pressure and stress go up as well along with your salary.

Colleagues are our competitions too

The corporate world for me is a place where laws of nature uphold.

It is about the survival of the fittest and everyone is fighting for their survival.

When you are in that kind of world, you can’t expect much from your colleagues as well. If you got your problems, they have their hands full with their own as well.

When all you are trying to do is making it to the end of the day, you won’t get much time to look around or care for your fellow human who might need a hand.

It would surprise you how much the environment that we are in affects us.

The corporate world is cut-throat and you need to be ruthless if you want to keep up.

It’s not the time, it’s the result that matters

This is the reason I said hard work doesn’t yield success.

Because you could give your heart and sweat to something, but if you didn’t show progress or any results, it is all pointless.

No one will come and appreciate your hard work.

It doesn’t take long to realize that hard work alone doesn’t get you anywhere; it needs to produce the actual result.

If you can produce results from your hard work, then hard work leads to success otherwise, you are just wasting your time.

Everyone is working just like you

When you are filled with ‘we have the power to change the world’ crap, you will look around and see that there isn’t much change happening in the world. It is really easy to just assume that others are not doing much.

You would think that you would change the world when you work. But when you work and realize how limited our capabilities are and how feeble our impact is in this world, the only thing that will change is you.

I know that is pure pessimism but there is some truth about it.

Everyone is doing what they can to make their life and the life of people around them better, but how little is the progress that we are making.

This naturally suggests that we don’t have the potential that the quotes claim we possess.

Everyone is working hard, and everyone is as competent as you are.

You won’t be wealthy working for someone else

If you think you will become rich, working for a company is not entirely true. The company distributes the profit that it makes disproportionately amongst the people in it. The people who get the least are the people at the bottom.

If you want to be rich, you better claim the top spot else there won’t be much left to make you rich.

I’m not advocating for socialism and that everyone should be paid equally, this is just a realization that you won’t be paid like everyone else. Whether it is better than others or worse than others depends on you.

Whether you become rich by working for a company is never a certainty, but a probability based on your performance.

Wrap up

This was a blog post regarding my expectations of what a job would be and how that turned out when I had a job.

We have gone through how jobs can tougher than we have expected, how competitive your colleagues can be, how hard work alone doesn’t lead to success and finally we touched up how having a job doesn’t just make you rich

I hope that those who are yet to have their first job could have some insight or perspective change with this, or if you are already employed found things you could relate to while skimming through this post.

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