It is easy to come out of college thinking and believing that you’re ready to take on the world. You can create the most innovative branding strategies, pitch any story, and write a news release with the best of them.
Until about a month or two into your first job when you suddenly realize your degree only provided the mere basics for what you have to do on a daily basis.
You realize you have a million and one questions for your supervisors, you send the wrong thing to the wrong person, and have enough typos to fill an entire AP Stylebook.
You start to feel like a fish out of water, just trying to stay afloat.
In the first months of a new job, it is easy to feel overwhelmed or like you couldn’t possibly be the right person for this job. Then you think back to the countless hours spent preparing in classes and internships. You have the training, but now it’s time to practice, practice, practice.
You realize that success in your first job isn’t about getting everything right. If you think you’re going to get everything right, you might as well quit now. Success in your first job is about the effort. It is about taking each day one step at a time. It’s about learning to lean on your co-workers when you are in over your head. They want to help you succeed.
You’re going to make mistakes. And for a fixed mindset personality like me, that is really hard to accept. You can’t beat yourself up over each misspelling or incorrect fact. From experience, that will make you crazy.
As my co-worker Rachel told me after a day of what seemed like endless mistakes, “You will get into a rhythm!” As my other co-worker Alison told me, “Don’t apologize.” Mistakes are going to happen, but it is your response and desire to correct the mistakes moving forward that defines you.
My advice- let yourself get the hang of things. Don’t expect perfection right away. Aim for success. Take each task one-by-one and focus your attention into making the end product the best it can be. As you develop in your career, you’ll get into your routine and figure out the best way to complete each task. The positive result comes from owning your mistakes and constantly improving your craft.
What do you think is the best way to bounce back after making a mistake?