In 2015, I landed my first job. It was another milestones in my life. I was employed in a new e-commerce startup company. When I joined, the company was only a few weeks old, and I was the employee #4 excluding three founders. I was not really proactive and consider myself average in my studies during university and so I don’t have that experience of being “booked” by a company before you finished your education. To be able to get employed a month after my last final exams and five months before graduation day to receive my academic transcript, was kinda a big to me at that time. Or maybe I was lucky to found a company that in really dire need of manpower.

Many have said the first job after college is the most important. It’s like a change of phase from the artificial environment we learn in the classroom into the real deal. New disciplines, new targets, new challenges, and new things to learn. Here’s a few trivial things I learned:

Introduction to Office Gossips

Before this, I was skeptical whenever I read anything related to office gossips. How could you talk behind and about your colleagues when everyone is inside the same building as you? In my case all of us were in the same big room; Sales team, Tech Team, Operation team, Human Resource, Finance and the Core Management Team were in the same room, some of us even sat facing each other, not separated by any walls nor cubicles. Then I realized that office gossips can happen anywhere as long there are at least two people who’s willing to share and listen. It can happen during smoke breaks, through private message chat box, even when queuing for the toilet. The most topic discussed back then was the health of the company.

Introduction to Office Politics

There was a man named X who work in a different department than me. One day, X received an assignment from his manager to do a certain task that he need to handle personally. Since our office was quite small at that time, I kinda overheard X’s manager gave this specific instruction to X. Fast forward ten minutes later, X came to my table and innocently tried to “pass” what obviously his responsibility to me saying his manager asked me to do the task. If that were actually the case, his manager would have write an email notifying both me and my manager. What. The. Hell. After X was gone, I sent an email to his manager to confirm the given task, you know, for just in case. Fast forward another five minutes, X’s manager came and told me to ignore the task because it was not my responsibility (I didn’t have the resources to complete the task anyway) and gave X a stern scolding. And that was my first taste of office politics. Maybe.

Of course, there were good times as well. I learned how to ignore gossips, how to delegate tasks, learned the importance of being open and honest instead of being a “yes” man in everything, and learned first-hand from my manager in how to be a good leader from my manager. I know several of my close co-workers who were ready to give their resignation letters but decided not to do so because of this manager. Amy, if you’re reading this, know that you’re awesome!