I was barely 19 years old, newly married and was so excited to be interviewing for my first job. I walked into the large, glass, modern building that overwhelmed my small town girl vision. I was interviewing for an accounting position with one of the largest insurance agencies in the south.
I knew nothing about interviewing for a job. I used a head hunter agency to find the job so they took care of opening the door for me.
I walked in for the interview and right away met the world of sexual innuendo in the corporate world. The interviewer happened to be my future boss. It was a rude awakening to life as I had never known it.
I didn't have much to present about myself other than I was a good student trained in accounting.
I made it through the interview and accepted the job and was on my way to a full time job making more than I had ever made in my short life of 19 years.
I experienced many things in my short term there. I learned that sexual innuendo was a normal part of corporate life. I met a true racist for the first time in my life. I was called more derogatory names and heard more derogatory terms toward me than I had ever experienced. I came home in tears often. I discovered the chili slaw dog at Orange Julius!
Five helpful things I learned from the my first job that could keep you from having my same experience with your job:
1. Be realistic about where you are. If you don't have a lot of experience, that's ok. You start where you are and learn and grow.
2. Learn about your strengths and talents that will benefit the company. Learn as much as you can about your uniqueness and strengths before you go in for an interview. This will increase your confidence in yourself and your abilities to do a good job.
3. Know your value as a person and as an employee. Don't believe that you must take unwanted advances or cruel language just to keep your job.
4. Don't take everything personal - people can be cruel. It's there problem, not yours!
5. Make it your own - personalize your job in some way. In a way, put your signature on your work. You will be more likely to do your best.