When I think back to 2005, when I officially entered the workforce, I was excited about what was ahead. I had just finished my masters degree in marketing and this coupled with my undergraduate degree and some work experience, I was ready to dive into jobs aiming to learn as much as I could from my managers and any senior person above me.
As you know, when you’re a uni student there’s this assumption that managers know what they’re doing.
How else could they have become a manager if this wasn’t the case?
But what if these managers and senior people above you aren’t really getting it right?
How are you supposed to know if you haven’t been exposed to anything else? And find yourself with a 40 something year old manager telling you that this is how it’s done.
Are you going to turn around using your uni experience and tell them that it isn’t, even though something deep down doesn’t feel right?
Of course you’re not!
I trusted my managers, especially, early on. And like a conscientious student that I was, I took on board what they had to say. I listened and I followed. Only to get to the next job and see something different and then realise that, no, they weren’t right all the time. And some were completely off the mark. Many times, in hindsight, I was left thinking, how could you make it to your 40’s and 50’s and not come across better methods, approaches, knowledge, etc?
And as the years went on it became quite common to see that managers, and quite high up managers, with the whole 20 plus years’ experience, were getting it wrong.
They were getting it wrong when it came to developing a work environment:
• where people were there because they were happy to be there, not just because they had to
• where teams worked effectively together and not against each other
• where employee development was a must and not a “only when we have time” which is never.
To mention only a few. Trust me the list is long.
All these concepts about the importance of treating employees as the number one asset and the need for them to feel safe and be able to trust their teammates, simply went over their heads.
In fact, some of the managers that I’ve worked with couldn’t have got it more wrong if they tried.
And just to prove it to you click here to read one of my more popular blog posts about this topic – 3 signs that you’re a corporate dinosaur (Blog #9).
And when I think back to my uni days, back then, I truly believed that if you were a manager it meant you knew what you were doing.
Well, I can tell you now it doesn’t.
So, I started thinking, if only I could go back in time and tell myself all this stuff. Believe me. There would’ve been many moments where I wouldn’t have followed, but I would’ve done what made sense to me. If, you’ve already entered the working world you know what I mean. It’s those tasks you get given to do and you’re left asking yourself, “Why are we doing this?!!”
And then it hit me.
Maybe I couldn’t go back in time and tell my inexperienced self, but I could tell you.
There is an old Albanian saying that goes something like this: The not-so-smart will learn from their own mistakes, whereas the smart will learn from other people’s mistakes.
Learn from my mistakes. From my experience.
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Remember. I know what it’s like to be in the first few jobs of your career and how it can feel like you’re getting it completely wrong or you don’t know what you’re doing.
I want to be that person that I wish I had, back then, and that could’ve told me what I can tell you today. So, if you need a hand simply sing out – firstname.lastname@example.org
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