Being a young professional and recent graduate myself, I can totally relate to the feeling of getting your first corporate job. The current job market is so broken and finding your first graduate role is so difficult that many graduates feel the need to go the extra mile to show gratitude to their employer after receiving a job offer. Although being grateful is a good thing, overworking yourself to impress your employer is not necessarily going to work to your advantage. You might want to work long hours, not take time off and stay in the office until 7 pm, but I’m going to show you how this can quickly backfire and why you should instead set standards upon starting a new role.
You don’t owe your employer everything
Landing your first graduate job may put you in a position where you believe that you owe your employer everything right off the back. Some people even experience guilt and feel like they must work extra hard straight away to please their employer. It’s important to understand the professional relationship between you and your employer, they decided to hire you and pay you for your labour. In a nutshell, don’t try to please anyone, just keep it professional.
You’re going to burn out
Upon starting a new position it is your responsibility to set standards and show your boss what they can expect from you. If you start by working 10 hours a day, having lunch at your desk, and staying until 7 pm, that’s just going to become your standard and you’ll end up overworking yourself. Remember that ultimately, your company wants to make profits so they won’t necessarily stop you from working too much, however when you’ll try to slow down and improve your work-life balance, they’ll quickly ask you why your performance has decreased! Bear in mind that you should work smart not hard. Remain professional, respect the hours in your contract, show them that you are curious but that you value your time, and ask the right questions.
Everyone is going to hate you
Do you know what we call someone who tries to impress management by working 70 hours a week and never taking time off? A Corporate Simp! By working so hard you’re just going to set higher standards and make everyone else feel bad. Although in general, you shouldn’t care what people think of you, being a Corporate Simp can create a hostile environment for yourself and make it harder to do your job. It’s important to realise that spending more time at your desk does not necessarily translate to being more productive, so you’ll be hated and not that much more efficient. Is it really worth it?
Your company doesn’t care about you
You now have a professional contract with your company, they might call you family, give you perks, pay you lunch or let you use the ping pong table but ultimately it’s still a professional relationship. You must realise that at work, everyone has their own agenda and that most people just care about themselves. You could get fired for any reason with one day’s notice because they’re outsourcing or cutting spending.
You should definitely be grateful for an opportunity, however, overworking yourself will not necessarily work in your favour. Instead of trying to go 150%, you should try to work smart by getting to work on time, building good relationships with your coworkers, and completing the task you are given adequately. Counterintuitively, a lot of people will appreciate the fact that you value your time and work-life balance, which is why it’s important to set standards and keep your relationships at work professional. Instead of making work your whole life, you should proritise your mental and physical health and allocate some of your free time for your own personal development, not only will this allow you to develop your skills faster but you’ll also have a better relationship with work.