The 10 Harsh Realities Of Working Life That Nobody Warned You About
Whether it’s from School or University, by the end of education most of us are just so happy to finish that we haven’t even contemplated the next step and what it has in store.
Now’s the time to get out into the big wide world of work and with it, the financial prosperity and freedom that alluded you during the grueling years of education. You can’t wait to be your own person and working’s always seemed quite fun, no? Big company, big bucks, right?
Wrong. So, so wrong. Because what you hadn’t realised up until the point of having a job is that you’ve been living in a supporting bubble for most of your life. Now, you’re employed by another person – a company – and you’ve got actual responsibilities. If you make a mistake, there’s repercussions. All that pressure and you can barely even work the coffee machine.
But that’s not it, not even close. Working life has plenty more surprises in store…
So you’ve gone through the hardship of education and you’re ready to work. Except, you’ve actually got to convince a company to part with their money and to look at your face every single morning.
All you ever hear in your multiple rejection emails is that you don’t have enough experience, but there’s nowhere willing to give you the experience you need. Now you’re in a rut. You’re poor, you’re lonely and you’re unemployed.
It’s taken so long to get a job that you were beginning to become clinically depressed. Now, you finally have one and all you can wait for is that first paycheck so that you can finally splash out on all those things you were dreaming about during the darkest days of your unemployment. But you’ve been duped.
Your wage packet didn’t seem great to begin with but now you’re running home to Mum and Daddy to complain that some TAX guy has stolen almost half of your hard earnings and you have no idea why.
So during your induction you’re told that your working hours are 8am-5pm. Not too bad, maybe you can get to the gym before your shift and be nice and fresh for your morning meeting. Wrong. Because what you didn’t consider is that it’s a 90 minute commute and you’re going to have to get up at 6 to even have a chance of getting into the office in time.
You’ve lied so much in your interview that you barely even know who you are anymore. Apparently, at some point, you told them you were Microsoft literate and now they think you’re the next Bill Gates. They’ve said they’ll show you the ropes, but your CV suggests you should know it all anyway. You don’t and now you’re sitting at your computer googling how the hell to work Microsoft Excel.
5) It’s frowned upon to take an hour’s lunch even though that’s what your boss told you you were entitled to on your first day
It’s 10am and you feel as though you’ve been working for about a month. Worse, is that you can’t think of anything but food. You’re clock-watching and are already on your starting line as it approaches midday, ready to jet off to the cafe.
You’ll be out of the office until 1pm and you’ll be nice and refreshed for the afternoon slog, right? Wrong. Because if you take your hour lunch – which you’re entitled to – your boss will hate you. Look at all the others, they’re eating at their desks. They’re the ones in line for the promotion, not you. Now inhale that Tesco’s meal deal and get back to work, you slacker.
Well how were you supposed to know? All you’ve ever known is the strict nature of school uniform and now suddenly you’re supposed to look like David Gandy every time you walk into the office? Come on. If they want you to look like David Gandy, they better start paying you David Gandy wages, because you’re so poor you can barely afford an outfit into Wednesday.
Your morning meetings are littered with words, events and systems that have absolutely no meaning to you. You jot each down on your notepad so that you can Wikipedia them when you get back to your desk. Except, the site’s down. You’re screwed. Everyone’s going to find out what a fraud you are. In the three months you’ve been working in the office you’ve Wikipedia’d everything from ‘What the flip is optimal pricing?’ to ‘Where is the Caps Lock button?’
8)You’re expected to deal with the hangover on a Friday morning after what was supposed to be a couple of quiet drinks on Thursday night
It gets to Thursday and you’re starting to relax a little. Nobody can keep up the intensity of Monday throughout the week and you’re a human, not a bloody robot. The office decides you’ve worked hard so it’s time for a bit of team bonding at the bar. You’ve sunk a few drinks and you’re loving life, it’s like the weekend’s already started! But it hasn’t.
You’re on the night bus home at 2am and you’re up for work in a couple of hours where you’re expected to be your normal, bright self. Good luck.
9)You have to put up with passive-aggressive emails from your boss who is giving you stress because his boss is giving him stress
Your first week was nice because so too were the people. They thought they’d let you ease into the job because it can be hard. But before you know it, your boss is sending you these really annoying passive-aggressive emails where he’s suggestively blaming you for things that you didn’t even have anything to do with. Worst of all is that you know he’s only doing it because his boss is getting annoyed at him for exactly the same reason. Should you have a conversation with him about it? No. Because it will be just before a trip to the job centre. You must put up with it, because he’s the bloody boss.
Probably the worst thing about work is that it’s every.single.week. Of course you did know this, you’re not thick. But you didn’t realise how boring and difficult it was while you were in school imagining your perfect job. When 5pm hits on Friday you’ve got just over two days before you have to do it all over again.
Get used to it, you’ve got about another 50 years of it to come.