Say hello to everyone

Sounds like something obvious, but it is one of the first things people forget. Say hello, be nice, it’s really simple. When I say everyone, it’s everyone. Doesn’t matter if it’s a big company or a little one.

This advice it’s not intended to help you become Miss Universe or something like that, the idea is you are probably going to need someone help on the future. I’m not talking technical help, I’m talking about help like: How can I find Bruce? How can I have access to the office really early on a Sunday?

Never thing yourself bigger or better than anyone. Doesn’t matter if it’s the janitor, the security guard… These people have a lot of knowledge and know a lot of things the others employees don’t know. They are not deaf or blind, the opposite of this, they hear a lot and they see a lot.

Your mission will always be learn, learn a lot and learn from everybody. There’s a lot of information available. How was the last re-org? Why is Mark always in a bad mood? How do people get parking spaces? To get these information: Be nice, talk to everyone and ask questions.

Also be humble. Chances are you are going to grow in your organization. Don’t be fool, treat everyone right. You will probably also fall sometime. Don’t judge, specially people you don’t know. That little guy you didn’t treat right might become someone powerful in the organization. Or you might need help from him.

You can start gathering information with a easy first step: Say hello to everyone.


Use your time wisely

Remember I said that after the second week the job started to feel boring. I mean it, dead boring. I started to have lots of free time. I would finish really fast my deliverables and wait for the date in the timeline to arrive.

That situation gave me the opportunity to use my free time in whatever I wanted. I tried different stuff. I goofed around. I tried to talked to my co-workers (these guys were really busy, they talked two or three times then got back to work) but in the end it was still boring.

Everything changed when I started reading in my laptop. I found a great site where I could read technical books online. I started learning more about the technologies we were planning to use. I read a lot of different technical books, great books.

Those books helped me a lot in the future. I didn’t have a plan I just read what seem insteresting to me at that time. I know it sounds strange, but all the information proved to be valuable in the near future.

I got better at my job. But the best thing is got better at the job I wanted to have. I was getting prepared. The opportunity haven’t arrived at that time, but I was getting ready. I could have done a lot of other things in my free time. I could have bypassed the company proxy (it wasn’t hard) and watched kangaroo fights in Youtube all day, but I did the opposite. I’m not really sure why, but it just happened that way.

Another important thing is that I found people to talk to. Sometimes when I was heading to the bathroom I would bump into people, random co-workers. I just said Hi and start talking. I ended asking questions about their jobs. What they liked, what they hated and what they thought about the company.

These talks were a great source of information. Not at that time. Some years later, I interacted differently with these co-workers. I needed things from them and they needed things from me. Those talks helped me understand them and understand their job. I talked to literally anyone, and almost everything was valuable in the end. I also made a lot of friends and it is a lot easier to work with someone you know a little than working with a complete stranger.

The things I did worked well for me, I am not sure if it’s going to work for you. Maybe you don’t need to read or you hate talking to people, you need to find out what things are going to work for you, but I am really sure you need to:
“Use your time wisely”


It’s hard to get a job

It may sound cliche, but it’s true. The normal reaction when anyone hears that phrase is: Not in my field. In most cases it’s still hard. Maybe you are studying something really weird or you’re brilliant, but for most of us it’s hard to get a job.

I think all begins with the silly idea that if you get good grades and behave, you’re going to be sucessful and have a good live. Things have changed, I don’t know exactly how. I don’t know if it’s China, India…(you name it) but the world that your parents grew up it’s gone.

There are some sensations that are really difficult to explain. Being unemployed is one of them. You feel like a ship drifting, hoping that things get better in the future. In most cases things get better, but it’s up to you. You actually have to do something.

I finished college and that was the first sensation I felt. I have heard a lot of stories about students getting a job before finishing high school but that wasn’t my case. I returned to my hometown after refusing an opportuniy at an internship. The main reason was that I felt it wasn’t the right job for me. I thought I wouldn’t learn a lot. Three months later I regret it, but know I don’t. Things have worked out.

In my hometown there aren’t a lot of companies where I can work. I focused on one. I asked for a interview, sent my resume but it took almost 4 months to have the interview. Once they told me about the job, it wasn’t what I expected. It was a three month contract with a below the average salary. I really wanted to work in this company, I could live with my parents and I already have refused an offer. I took the job.

The first days were really exciting. I was supposed to support a team validating the market opportunity for a new product. It was cool. There was a lot of people I didn’t know and a bunch of stuff to learn. I have a really good first boss. She was a project manager, she was really clear with what she wanted from me and when she wanted it. She had a timeline and she was very clear where did I fit. She was serious about the timeline, I didn’t what to know if someone broke the timeline. Happily I always respected the timeline.

In the third deliverable I was pretty confident. I already knew the people and knew the technology. Things started to get boring. For me, it was always hard to believe I was getting paid for doing what I was doing. I just wrote a lot and made analysis. Back in college i thought things were going to be different.

With all this I was very happy to have a job. I was really good at it. The only thing had me thinking was what would happen when the three months end.

Fast forward, my contract was renewed. I ended working 8 months in contract and 3 years as a regular employee. I learnt a lot in those years. All the lessons proved to be valuable in sometime or another.

The first lesson might be simple, you might think you already know but if you haven’t been in the same situation you really don’t know:

“It’s hard to get a job”