Lessons learnt from 3 years of working experience after graduate

The time when those lessons not built yet. More than 3 years ago, in a school trip.

It is my last month with second company after graduate. My 1-year labor contract is going to expire and I do not extend it. I do not hate my current company, colleague or my job either. Actually I have learnt a lot from it but I just need to move on for a better version of me.

As many people said, you should stay at least 2 years at a company. It makes your resume trustable in recruiter’s eyes. Conversely, my same age friends — who are in millennials, working in tech start-up companies like me are job hoppers. They are willing to jump from one job to another in few months. Frankly I am not proud of my historical career transition but I am in the middle between two types: job-hopper & loyal staff. Approximately 3 years in 2 companies.

Among 2 companies in tech industry, one is really start-up style and one is in transition to corporate phase. Not to mention, my 2 internships in big organizations, one hatred kind of job in a beloved company before studying postgraduate and some side projects out of job. I think I have quite a diverse working environment experience. The afterwards are experience among my 3years plus of working and collaborating:

Being selfish is okay.

My colleague also can be considered as my line manager from previous company once said “Everyone wants to keep you for their benefit, not really because of you. So think for yourself first before considering other’s need”. He said so right before my resignation. It makes me relived. I wish anyone in need will hear the above quote at their right time.

It was my first job after graduate, I did an amazing project at that time but passion leads to burnout. My boss, my teammate persuaded me to stay. They promised to increase salary, visualized bright future ahead. I felt regret not because I would lose those benefits but I was leaving my fellows. I have the same feeling every time I leave behind a job, a beloved person or place. Trust me, you will know the signal when you have an emotional person around keeps saying “Should I leave to another company? The current one is too stable, too nice”. My boyfriend knows it well. He is tortured by my rhetorical question since I myself decide to leave my job even.

Demand your worth

Recent graduate person has less intention to protect their benefit. Lots of time, they are underpaid or working unsatisfied tasks. But be brave! You will thank you for it. If you request, you might not receive your worth but if not request, you definitely do not receive it. I once behave naïve and accept everything that company offers. I thought it makes me pleasant and company will appreciate it. But labor market is not like school, it does not need obedience. You will soon feel unfulfilled with your job and people tend to underestimate your working. You will not be dreadful with a bit more demanding. Don’t worry!

The importance of learning diverse skillsets

Nowadays, media keeps telling you that you should believe you are unique, should only focus on your strength. Yes, you are unique but in which way?

I have to confess that I am normal person with constrained capability in learning. As much as I want, I find it hard to be an expert in my area, not to mention top 1%. It is wiser if I can handle well some more skillsets. That is why I think working in Data Science area, I not only need to master statistic knowledge, software engineer tools such as git (will soon have post about learning git as data scientist), keep up-to-date fancy algorithms like deep learning but also handling well with other supplementary skills such as writing — a way to communicate your result or learning more about domain knowledge.

Side projects boost up your confidence

Even how much I love my job I am sometimes frustrated with line manager, colleagues, company policy. It is the time when I deadly want to deliver resignation letter right away to my boss. Until recently when I spend my spare time working side projects, I realized I less concerned about working issues and more concentrated on good perspective of current job. It makes me more interesting and worthwhile when I have diverse topics to talk about. Don’t you want to talk with people doing cool stuff? Actually, I have more connection after side projects than ever before. It opens up my knowledge and boost up my confidence. For your curiosity, I sign up to be a collaborator in Omdena (https://omdena.com/) — a platform collects collaborators & partner organization to do AI for good and volunteer editing translation a fantasy book from English to Vietnamese.

Of course one day I want to stay in a company for many years. Just not find out it yet. Til then, I still collect single pieces of joy along the way.

Keep learning! keep exploring!

Hope me and you having a good year ahead.