Work offers us the opportunity to earn an honest living, an opportunity for social engagement, a sense of achievement, and the ability to learn. For many, it has become a way of giving real meaning to our lives. However, there are some hard truths every employee needs to be aware of at work. In fact, many people who have 9 to 5 jobs face a variety of challenges that they likely had to learn the hard way.
In this blog post, we will look at some of these hard truths with the hope of saving you the trouble of having to learn them the hard way. Knowing about the undocumented part of organisational culture and office politics is important to avoid any surprises and frustration later.
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Eight Truths 9 to 5 Employees Need To Be Aware Of
“9 to 5” refers to a job that an employee works for a company, from Monday through Friday. There are some hard truths every employee needs to be aware of regardless if you work for a small or big company. Below are in my opinion eight hard truths every employee needs to be aware of:
1. Everyone is replaceable
No one is indispensable, and no matter how great you think you are, there will always be someone who can do your job just as well, if not better. In a competitive job market, it's important to always be aware of your own shortcomings and be prepared to face the possibility of being replaced.
No matter how long you've been with a company, or how well you think you're doing, your job is never 100% secure. Things can change quickly in any organisation, and it's important to be prepared for the possibility of being let go. Don't expect your employer to always have your best interests in mind. They will often times prioritize their own. A reminder to always keep your LinkedIn profile, CV, and job skills up to date.
2. Your co-workers are not your friends
Always keep your professional and personal lives separate. Never discuss your personal business with your coworkers unless you want it to be the subject of office chatter and gossip.
It's important to maintain a professional relationship with your co-workers. Just because you spend 8 hours a day with them doesn't mean you have to be friends with them. In fact, it's often better not to be friends with your coworkers, as it can lead to conflict and drama in the workplace. Know the difference between being friendly and being friends.
3. You don't have to be skilled or particularly knowledgeable
Another hard truth, it may happen that you work with team members who aren't particularly skilled or knowledgeable at what they are doing. Or you may find yourself in a situation whereby you have more experience and knowledge than your manager. While this can be frustrating, it's important to remember to remain professional and continue to do your job the best you can.
In addition, in many cases, you will find that for some jobs all you need to do is be able to follow instructions and have a positive attitude. Many jobs don't require any specific skills or knowledge, and as long as you're willing to learn, you can usually do them just as well as anyone else.
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4. Not everyone will like you
No matter how likeable you are, there will always be people who don't like you. Or individuals who are difficult to work with. It's important to accept that not everyone will see eye-to-eye with you, and that's okay.
In the workplace, it's important to be professional and courteous to everyone, even if you don't particularly like them. It's also important to remember that not everyone will have the same opinion of you as you do of yourself. Continue to be yourself. You will never be able to please everyone, so don't try.
5. Your career is your responsibility
No one else is going to care about your career as much as you do. It's important to take ownership of your own career and be proactive about pursuing opportunities. That can be opportunities within your current company or elsewhere.
Don't wait for your boss to give you a promotion, or for your company to offer you development opportunities.
If you want to further your career, it's up to you to make it happen. Continue to learn, grow and invest in yourself. Think about what your short term and long term career goals are and what is your career development strategy.
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6. Networking is essential
In today's job market, it's important to have a strong network of professional contacts. Networking can help you find new opportunities and connect with potential employers.
While networking may not be everyone's favourite activity, it's essential if you want to further your career. Attend industry events, connect with people on LinkedIn, and get involved in professional organisations. The more people and recruiters you know, the better your chances of landing your dream job.