Welcome to the inside of my head.

Posts tagged ‘job’

Promotions and Bonuses

Yes yes I know I haven’t been posting everyday. I am a terrible person. 

In other news I got my promotion this week which was nice. It’s the first time I’ve ever experienced something like this; I wasn’t sure how much of my emotions to show to my manager…. Is it okay to jump up and down wildly and hug him? Probably not. 

An added bonus was the performance rating I received. I got a 5/5 which means that I far exceeded my targets. Obviously I’m well chuffed with that. Working life is kinda weird in that respect- I find it very difficult to guage how well I’m doing… And it’s always reassuring to hear that people don’t hate you and that you’re doing alright and stuff. 

That’s another thing- people don’t often say things like ‘well done’ or ‘I like the way you tackled that’ or ‘I appreciate the amount of time and effort you spent on this’. I can’t speak for others but I really need to hear things like that. I dunno if that make me needy. But it’s gives me reassurance and it motivates to be better. I feel like small genuine comments would make the workplace a better place, don’t you think? 

Over and out! 

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Just Aliya Things 2

So I like to listen to music at work; more specifically I have no filter with regards to what songs I listen to. In fact the more inappropriate the better. I dunno, I just seem to get a kick out it. It may look like I’m building a spreadsheet on the outside but actually I’m having a  private party in my head screaming SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS.  

This occasionally has adverse consequences. For example a few days ago someone approached me at my desk and I hastily took off my headphones but didn’t have time to mute. Unfortunately that was the exact moment Nicki Minaj ‘Only’ started to play. If you’re not familiar with the opening lines, let me enlighten you *ahem*

Yo

I never f*cked Wayne

I never f*cked Drake

All my life man – f*cks sake

If I did I’d ménage with them 

And let them eat my a** like a cupcake

These are some inspired lyrics but probably not something I’d want my colleague to hear. I’m privately optimistic that he’s deaf. 

161. Working Life: The Sucky Truth.

So in that last post where I said I hoped to still keep up with my blog- yeah that didn’t happen. I can only apologise. I’m guilty. I chose sleep over blogging. Disgraceful.

So what the hell have I been doing? The daily grind covers it- the getting up, going to work, commuting home and collapsing in bed routine.

People ask me all the time how my job is going and I smile and say it’s good and that I’m being kept busy.

But here is what I really want to say.

I have caught myself questioning working life a hundred times over the past month.

The first, and it makes me sad to say this is, is this it? Is this what my life is going to be… 40 years of a daily 9-5  (let’s be honest 8.30-6) and catching up on sleep on the weekend. There’s got to be more, surely.

Then there’s WHAT I’m doing. I like that I’m being given responsibility and I’m doing something ‘real’ but I’m basically a glorified Excel person. Spreadsheets and Outlook are my two sidekicks.

Sometimes I feel like such a sellout. I picked such a ‘safe’, ‘stable’ career. I’ve been so busy being realistic about the future that I never sat down to actually ask myself what I wanted to do. I stumbled into this with my eyes closed and my fingers crossed and a mantra that it’ll work out. And you know what, it probably will. I just need to adjust and grab any opportunity to do non-standard stuff. But for now I’m going to moan because I bloody well want to.

I also worry about my time, more specifically the lack of it. What’s the point of earning money if you don’t have time to use it?  I am quickly beginning to realise that there are not enough hours in the day for me to do all the things I want, and this makes me feel bitter. I want to see my family, chat to my friends, keep up to date with all my tv shows, listen to all the new music and spend hours exploring YouTube and WordPress. But I can’t. And I think it sucks.

And the bit that shocks me is that I’m lucky. I can come home and my parents take such good care of me. How do people living alone function? When do they find the time to go food shopping or cook? How do parents drum up the energy to entertain their kids and keep up to date?

The way I see it…if you let it, work will suck you in and take over your life. I need to prioritise what is really important and do enough things in my personal life so that I don’t lose my identity.

I need to remind myself that I am so much more than just an employee.

160. First Day of Work!

I’m at one of those funny stages in life where I KNOW that my life is going to completely change. No more can I be a scruffy student attending lectures and agonizing over maths problems… Nope now I’ve got to be a classy sociable consultant (such a fancy term for basically chatting to people). And there’s nothing quite like your first day at work for that to hit home. A part of me is very sad to leave the security and tight knit friendships formed at Imperial but another part of me is equal parts excited and scared out of my mind about what’s to come.

Considering I’d done an internship last Summer with the company I’m joining I should have been more relaxed, but there was so much I’d forgotten and so many new people to meet. We literally had information overload today and we have so many administrative to complete and pre-reading before our training next week. Day one and busy already! On a positive note however lots of people remembered me so that was nice!

The emails feel overwhelming. I remember feeling like this at the start of the internship. Every time I thought I had my inbox in control, I’d receive another bucket load of messages. However I got used to it. I’m hoping I’ll get used to it again…sooner rather than later. It’s weird having to balance so much stuff simultaneously when I’ve spent the last year completely focused on two or three modules. It looks like Outlook’s calender and task panel is going to be my new best friend.

But hey I survived my first day! Let’s see what tomorrow brings! It can only get better right?

What do you guys think of my new glasses?

What do you guys think of my new glasses?

Me and Shakira at reception!

Me and Shakira at reception!

On a semi related note, with work starting I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to dedicate to this blog. However I have every intention of keeping it going even if it means writing posts on the tube like I am right now!

Over and Out!

115. 20 things I wish I knew before I started my internship

1. Keep a pen and notepad with you at all times. You never know when someone will give you something to do.

2. If you’re stuck on something, give it a decent attempt. If you’re still struggling, note down your questions precisely as well as what you’ve already tried so you don’t have to keep pestering people.

3. Note down the names of people you’ve met eg Harry Potter and a memorable trait eg. lightning bolt scar. You don’t want to go through the awkward ‘erm what’s your name again’ conversation.

4. Respond to emails quickly. Often people are waiting for your response before they can move forward. Don’t keep them waiting too long.

5. Put your email sign off eg. Kind regards in your email signature. You will get tired of typing it.

6. Constantly inform people what you are doing. They like reassurance that you haven’t forgotten about their work. In fact you shouldn’t be alarmed if you spend more time informing people of this than actually working.

7. Always make a note of where you found any facts and figures. You will cry if they ask you to find it later and you’ve forgotten.

8. Implement checks in your work wherever possible. This will prevent follow through mistakes which are annoying to fix.

9. Say ‘yes’ to any work given to as long as you have enough time to do it… and even if you don’t. You’ll be surprised how much you can reshuffle to make time.

10. Make a comprehensive list of your tasks and how long you think they’ll take. But also keep a Post-It of immediate tasks in your direct eye line so you are constantly aware of what needs to be done.

11. People care a lot about the appearance of documents so make it look pretty. I got commended in my final review for adjusting the line spacing so that everything fit neatly onto one page.  Such a minor detail and it got noticed. Thank you OCD.

12. Ask people questions. It makes them feel knowledgeable so do so even if you know the answer. If you’re feeling brave, subtly mention the answer and they’ll think you’re clever.

13. Facebook stalk other people in the office and find out what they’re interested in. You’ll find it easier to talk to them.

14. If you can think of a better way of doing something, discuss it with the person who gave you the job. DON’T just jump into it. Some people are surprisingly touchy if you drift even a little from their instructions.

15. Wherever possible, get feedback on any work you’ve done. It’s a good way to learn and get more work as well building a rapport through the correspondence.

16. If you have the option to speak to someone rather than email them about something important, speak to them. Things are far less ambiguous when you talk directly.

17. Take regular breaks and stretch your legs. It’s good for your concentration. This doesn’t mean you’re wasting your time. Do the coffee round or plan your lunch and meetings in such a way that you’re not at your desk for hours and hours.

18. Food is the best way to butter up your colleagues. Cake always goes down a treat, especially if it’s homemade.

19. Do not let people get away with giving vague instructions. Pester them if you have to. It will save you a lot of time in the long run.

20. It’s always better to ask for help than to struggle in vain.

Over and Out!

114. I’m getting moneyyyy

Well actually I got a job offer. Same thing. I thought I would hear back from Towers Watson in early September so this came as a real shock. The first time they rang, I was in the shower. When I phoned back, they were busy. By the time they replied, I had lots of family around so I had to literally scream EVERYONE SHUT UP… please.

But yeah I got my first job offer on the back of my first internship which I got from my first assessment centre. That’s quite a statistic. I feel very lucky but at the same time I worry I have like no interview experience which might pose a problem in the future. But this isn’t the time to fret about that.

I should add I haven’t accepted yet. Thought I’d keep them waiting for once 😛 Nahhh I wanted to discuss it with my parents first and really process it so now I have until the end of the week to respond.

The pay is decent but not as high as I aspired. However there are quite a few perks with the job, the most important being that they’ll pay for my study package (I gotto take exams to become an actuary…) and I’ll get approximately one day a week off to revise. They’d also get me into their pension scheme, give me a free phone, private medical insurance..useful stuff.

So yeah. A job offer waiting for me after I graduate…a nice position to be in. I can do my best during my final year of uni and not worry about what’s coming next.

All the interns at my office. I hope they all come back!

All the interns at my office. I hope they all come back!

I was gonna talk about the fact that my project group won the prize for ‘Most Innovative Team’ for the videos we made and how awesome we were as a group (see post 111. Go Beyond!) but this news kinda trumps that. Oh well.

team fast forward

Team Fast Forward!

There you have it. The end of my internship but the start of my career at Towers Watson.

Over and Out!

[Note: The title and gif come from the song ‘Turn my swag on’ by Soulja Boy. Lol. ]

107. Constructive Criticism

Today I had my mid-internship feedback session. It was supposed to be informal but my blood pressure was elevated the entire time. I’m not sure why I was so nervous- maybe it’s because I’ve never had feedback like this before or maybe I was bracing myself for criticism.

My line manager said lots of nice stuff but of course it is the negatives that stick out and keep replaying in my mind. Though of course they weren’t negatives, they were ‘constructive criticism’. The biggest of these was how I wasn’t making the most of the social scene which is a toughie as far as criticism goes. It’s not something like ‘Aliya you need to be on time’- that’s very easily rectifiable. This is more like Aliya we think you need to be more outgoing- that kinda requires a personality transplant.

Now a lot of things that make you ‘outgoing’ are things I don’t do. I don’t drink. I don’t club. That is not my lifestyle and it’s not something I’m prepared to compromise on. But I am guilty of not speaking to enough people when I have the opportunity. I mean I know the people around me pretty well but not so much people on the other floors outside of people I’ve worked for. But that’s what I’m like. I take time to warm to people and I prefer small intimate circles rather than big networks. It’s not that I’m scared of an awkward conversation- I just hate inane conversation. I like quirky. I’m not interested if you were out clubbing till 3am and that you’re still hung over but I am interested if you can click your fingers in 8 different ways.

So how did I take all of this?

Well obviously I didn’t love hearing it but I can’t dispute it either. All of her comments were fair and justified. I just need to decide what to do about it now.

I mean I could force myself into being more of a social butterfly but it would be temporary. What’s the point of faking it to get a graduate offer and then going back to my reclusive self? That’s IF I get one. I don’t think I will and in that situation it might for the best- I’d be better off at a smaller company.

Why have I been watching this for the last 5 minutes?

 

Over and Out!