Book Monday: Going Up by Yay Olmedo

Posted: January 10, 2011 in Book Monday
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So you finally got your first job immediately after graduating from college. The first major hurdle has been overcome, you say to yourself. Expectations are high, the excitement is palpable, the anticipation is keeping you up at nights.

Then, two weeks later, you’re thinking to yourself, “Why did I get this job in the first place? I should have just taken a vacation first!” The disappointment starts to seep in and you get discouraged

What are the Top 3 challenges that new young professionals face?

1. “My parents didn’t send me to college for four years for this!”

Many fresh graduates, especially those from prestigious universities, think that their first job will be as glamorous as those they read in books or see in movies. But it rarely happens in real life. What you’re faced with is stapling together a thousand financial reports, encoding gazillions of information in Excel format, or even the old cliché of getting coffee for the boss. In other words, those menial tasks that people don’t want to do have to be passed on to the new guy/girl

2. “I thought everyone is inherently nice/good”

Well, if you came from a really sheltered environment, you would think that. But high school and college life should have already taught you that there will be difficult people everywhere you go, even in the seemingly most perfect job environment

3. “I’ve worked my heart out for ___ months already, yet no one seems to appreciate my efforts”

New graduates are the most “eager to please” people in the world. And for you to not get the recognition you think you deserve will be the most frustrating thing for eager beavers. And chances are, since you’re at the bottom of the pecking order, you will rarely get praised, what more, promoted in your first ___ months on the job.

So now reality has finally sunk in that your first job will probably not be a walk in the park. What should you do? Change jobs immediately? Stay, but grudgingly? Demand that you be paid and recognized for what you’re really worth (you better be sure that you’re worth something, otherwise it’s another reality check) ?

Here are 3 things to think about

1. Everyone starts at the bottom

Unless your parents actually own the company, you will probably have to start at the bottom, even if you graduated magna cum laude from the best university. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you can move on. The good news? There’s nowhere to go but up!

2. Expand your social horizons

This is your chance to meet all kinds of people who are different from you. They will always contribute something to your growth as a professional and as a person, for better or for worse. And this is also an opportunity for you to share something of yourself to people other than friends. Who knows, these people might just turn into friends too!

3. Excellence and faithfulness aren’t just words on a mission statement

It has been said that in whatever you do, whether it be a menial task or a crucial one, you should always be excellent. And even though you may not see the results or rewards right away, if you remain faithful to your calling, you will reap it soon enough, in its perfect time. So don’t stop working your heart out, take the initiative, show discipline and enthusiasm for the job, and pretty soon people will start noticing.

So buck up young soldier! You still have many more things to learn and many more adventures (and misadventures too!) to go through!


For more tips on how to maneuver through the corporate jungle in your early years, get a copy of Yay Padua Olmedo’s Going Up?. Learn from her 30 years of navigating through the pitfalls and highpoints  of the corporate world. The book is filled with nuggets of practical wisdom you can apply in your everyday work situations.

Going Up? is available at all OMF Lit Bookshops, Philippine Christian Bookstores, National Bookstores, Powerbooks and other bookstores nationwide for only P195.


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