Every year, thousands of graduates take the first steps into the wide world of careers. Excitment and nerves flow fast through the veins of every graduate employee, but what really are their biggest fears? In this blog we hear from Lauren Stalker, a media executive and millennial at the content marketing and media agency, Pulse on the workplace fears that she overcame.
For the past six months, I have been working as a Media Executive at Pulse and my experience so far has been many things; exciting, terrifying, exhausting, hectic and most of all a huge learning curve. As my first graduate job after travelling for a year, I had a lot of trepidations which, for the most part, turned out to be unfounded. In light of us hiring some fresh new grads, I started reflecting on what most scared me in the beginning and the advice I would give myself. So here are my top fears and how I overcame them.
1. Forgetting everything from my degree
I was aware that having a Marketing degree would be advantageous to my role, but only if I could remember anything! As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. It does comes back to you in practice and I’m using aspects of it I didn’t think relevant at the time. My teammates at Pulse come from all sorts of disciplines, from Finance to Classics, and we all bring something different to the table. I’ve realised that it’s really caring about the work and having a willingness to learn that’s important, not your prior knowledge.
2. Looking stupid
It was daunting coming into a place full of such knowledgeable people and I was afraid my inexperience would leave me looking stupid. The truth? Sometimes it did, but that’s okay – I realised I am here to learn and no one expected me to be an expert straight away. Six months on and I still learn something new every day. I ask for help and I’m pro-active in taking advantage of the fact that I’m surrounded by people with such a wealth of knowledge. I’ve learnt to never be afraid of making mistakes.
3. Working full-time
Transitioning from travelling, where I could dictate my own routine, to working in an office environment was something I was dreading. However, it was a lot easier than anticipated and actually enjoying my job and the company of my colleagues is a big factor in that. I find that eating healthily and working out regularly increases my energy and allows me to approach my work more positively. I socialise a lot at work events and in my own time too. It’s all about finding the right balance and knowing your priorities.
4. Not being taken seriously
I’d read a lot of articles where ‘millennials’ get a bad rep for flitting between jobs and being expectant about what they receive, without being willing to work for it. As the youngest member of the Pulse team (for now), I was adamant not to be perceived in this way. The best solution: trying hard. I take time to produce the best work that I can, I let my colleagues know they can rely on me and I’m learning to voice my opinion. I’m ambitious and I want to prove myself.
5. Not fitting in with my colleagues
B2B tech is largely a male dominated space. Naturally shy and being predominantly surrounded by women growing up, I was a little nervous about this. While my team are all men, there are other women in the office and in reality, it’s great having a mixture of people to work with. I’ve found that it has made me more confident in my ability to communicate with anyone. This is an invaluable skill to both my professional and personal life.
Thinking about my time so far at Pulse has made me realise how much I’ve grown in the past six months. If you’re a grad about to enter the space, you probably have your own fears but you are not alone. As you learn, they’ll disappear and change and you’ll overcome them. Whether you’ve been in a job for two months or 20 years it’s good to reflect back on just how far you’ve come.