I got my first job as a software engineer.
2 feelings — excited and nervous.
Why so? Because I have never worked in a company before.
I am not aware of the different processes and the corporate culture. To be honest, most of the projects that I worked on were via internships, hackathons and freelancing as an undergraduate (graduated in August 2020).
I used to think jobs are for losers and freelancing is for winners. After hunting for freelance work for the past 8–9 months, I have realized that freelancing is not as attractive as it is shown in articles and videos on YouTube. It has its own challenges and I wanted to get out of that mess. Dealing with clients, deciding the pricing model, marketing and managing finances are not worth my time at the moment.
My number one priority as a graduate is to hone my craft i.e Software Engineering. Freelancing, course creation and other so called “passive income” side hustles can be done later. What I didn’t realize earlier was that in order to build passive income streams, I first need to have an “active income” stream, which in this case must be a job. I can work on my side hustles after my 9 to 5 job like many others.
I know I will lose that freedom of working whenever I want to, but at least having a fixed income per month acts as a safety cushion and gives me one less problem to think about.
Enough talk about freelancing vs job.
- What is the tech stack that I will be working on? Languages? Frameworks?
- Will I be able to live up to the expectations?
- How will my schedule be like? (I know they say 9 to 5 but it is always more than that)
- How will my performance get evaluated?
- Can I use Notion to manage my tasks?
- When can I ask for feedback from my supervisor?
I guess these questions will get answered once I start my job tomorrow. So I will check out some videos or read articles on what do Software Engineers do in their first company.
6 Tips To Myself For My First Job As A Graduate
It will be a good idea to compile all the tips that I learn from the videos and articles here. Some of these tips are also based on the lessons I have learned from my own experiences over the past many years.
1. Accept help from co-workers even if you know it
This makes sense because every company is different and if I am unaware of the process being followed in a company I might have to do my tasks again. So even if I know something beforehand, it will be a good idea to confirm with my co-workers whether they follow the same process or not.
2. Do not engage in gossip
I can listen to what others talk about and filter it. I don’t have to share my opinions. Just give a shrug. Say “Maybe” and move on. Gossips are always a waste of time anyway. Stay diplomatic.
3. The past is the past
There is no point bad mouthing my previous employer. Forget the past. Live in the present. Prepare for the future.
4. No need to share personal stories
Any personal information can be used against me. No matter how friendly my colleagues appear, I should stick to only work related discussions. Beware of backstabbers.
5. No rewards for efforts
Students are recognized and encouraged for their work. On the other hand, professionals may or may not get that same level of recognition. The earlier I accept this, the better it shall be. Efforts may or may not be rewarded but I need to keep working hard to bring better results for the business.
6. Collaboration over competition
Colleagues should not be viewed as competitors. In order to make a business boom and also grow in my career, I have got to look at the other employees as collaborators. Their success is not my failure.
I will keep adding more points to this list as I learn more and more on the job. For now, this looks good.