4 Lessons From Quitting My First Real Job

Note: This post was originally posted on eatworkplay704.com when I started working at my current job. I rescued it and refreshed it for my Queen City readers. Enjoy!

Yesterday was my last day working at what I thought would be my dream job. A job my three-year Master degree in Public Administration perfectly prepared me for. I cannot say anything negative about where I worked I have always dreamed of working in the public sector. As a “native” Charlottean, I dreamed of making a difference in the community and my overall goal is to someday be a City Manager for a City the size of Charlotte. Even though this job didn’t quite work out, the truth is that there is so much opportunity here in Charlotte and if you apply yourself, your next job could be right around the corner. We as young people will typically have multiple careers and we are more likely to follow a specific industry rather than company. So I think it’s perfectly fine to leave a job after 6 months to a year. I want to share some important lessons from quitting my first ‘real’ job.

The only thing that’s constant is change

It’s true. If you don’t get with it, you’re gone. Whether it’s getting a new manager, CEO or introducing a new payroll system, you either adapt or get lost in the shuffle. At work, you must show your flexibility. If the change is too big for you to handle or be happy with, get out of there. There’s no use in being miserable at a job you’re not good at.

If you’re not sitting at the table, you’re on the menu

Feel left out at meetings? Feel as though you are not a part of the decision making process? A lot of times as entry-level employees we feel like we’re not entitled to sit at the table just yet. But you should still make your voice heard. And sometimes if you’re not at the table, your role may be changed and discussed without your own input. Imagine that!

All criticism is an autobiography

Well actually I heard this from Stokely Carmichael’s 1966 Black Power Speech but that’s neither here nor there. Before you start to criticize others for not getting to a certain level or educational attainment, look in the mirror. What does that criticism say about you? Same with receiving feedback. When you get feedback at work, rather than take it personally, think about how your performance impacts those around you.

You’re not married to a job; you’re just dating

In a job, as in dating, you’ll find that sometimes what you don’t like is more important that what you do like.

The most important thing to remember after all this is that the BEST time to look for a job is when you already have a job. With that said, I only quit because I had an offer lined up already…and that’s something to brag about!

Originally posted on 11/6/14


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