personal experience of office work (temp over 3 years)

1. I grew confidence to ask for a pay rise, it was approved and most importantly: ANYONE CAN DO IT – this is a huge one! Although I am/was only temporary summer staff, I had come back to this company for three years in a row. Of course, with this, my responsibilities did increase and I was given more challenging work to do – almost immediately as I returned this year. However, i was still being paid the same rate as colleagues around the same age as me as the company pays according to age (fair enough). Yes, i was quite anxious to go ahead and ask, especially knowing I’m only a temp.

If you are or ever have been in this position, you’ll know what I mean. I’d encourage you to have reasons to back up why you feel you deserve a pay-rise – if you can articulate why you are worthy, it’s more difficult for someone to dismiss your request, than if you were to just assume they know why – I’m sure most managers are in charge of A LOT of people and can’t always keep tabs on each individual.

After this, the worst thing which can happen is, they’ll say no – but that’s really not so bad! If they say no, yes it may be a bit embarrassing but remember, it’s only temporary. The benefit is, you’ve essentially unlocked this ability of being content at a new stage within your own confidence, and this is a new skill learnt in itself! Now, you can take this skill with you wherever you next go.

This was important for me to share, because often people know their value is worth more but may lack the confidence to do something about it – I was one of these people who knew I should be getting more, but needed a push to go through with asking for a pay rise. With the support from my best friend, I was energised to give it a shot – which is why I am able to share these encouraging words with you, today.

2. It is really not good for your body to be seated all day staring at a screen and to not get up and move every so often – My eyes took awhile to re-adjust to staring at a screen for 7 hours a day. Finding excuses to get up and walk around without looking like you’re neglecting doing work is hard and it was even more difficult for me as my office is open plan.

The important part here is, we are NOT meant to be staring at screens for so long anyway, so please do not shy away from getting up and walking around. You’ll probably be more efficient if you gives your eyes a break and come back to your work – yes, it works for everything (little breaks here and there). At first, I thought it would only be acceptable to get up and walk around if I needed to get a drink/go to the bathroom. But honestly, if you’re feeling like you’re falling asleep, GET UP AND MOVE!! Your body and brain will thank you later, and your productivity will increase – compared to just slowly slugging it out and potentially being less accurate.

I had to share this because I feel like some people forget how vital it is. So, yeah, get some fresh air and get your steps in and then get back to it and watch your productivity fly (even if your job is super boring – I promise this will help you out a bit).

3. Office-work admin duties are not what I intend to do for the rest of my life – its important to say here, that this is my own personal opinion and I respect those who don’t share the same views as mine. For me, my work was too basic for me and I personally need to be challenged. I can perform my tasks to top standard and over achieve my goals, but data-entry/other admin work, although important, was not something I found truly meaningful – which led to some slight demotivation for me at times.

(Nothing a quick bit of fresh and walk about couldn’t fix though, even if, temporarily)

It was actually important for me to learn and accept that I found it fairly difficult to soldier on at some points – I used to believe that, wherever I end up (career-wise) i could just make it work. That’s not true though. I’ve learnt that people are cut-out for different things and that’s okay!

Realising this meant that my switch of degree (accounting and finance to psychology) was quite possibly the right move for me, in the long run, as I’m certain I would not be happy if I were to have pursued a strictly office-based career path working with numbers.

Of course, the type of company people work at will have an influence on whether the job itself is meaningful to them or not. With that in mind, I feel like I would be more inclined and able to enjoy office work which was, as an example, research-based/psychology related.

So, I know the things I’ve learnt are generally a reflection of this one type of company and I understand that other companies may have different rules and regulations and so I cannot completely write off working in an office.

Of course, there are highlights to working in an office, which I will disclose too: you get to sit down ALL day (yes, this can be a bonus to some of us), you have your own workspace, free teas/coffees (pretty standard), CAKE and TREATS on someone’s birthdays! Yes, that’s right! The office isn’t too bad.

To summarise, these are probably the three most important things I have learnt over working at my summer job over the years. I have had other jobs in between and during these times, but I feel like this was definitely the most bountiful, allowing me to discuss my experience. I am truly grateful for working in the office. As overall, it allowed me to clarify what I do want from a career, what I can manage successfully, my strengths and also, my weaknesses, when I am less likely to be motivated – upon reflecting, I am now more able to develop strategies to improve upon certain areas of weakness for the future.

Let me know if you have any odd/funny pay rise stories below, or, what you do when you need to stop yourself from dozing off in the office… don’t say you’ve never almost!

Published by C. De Sousa

Literally talking to myself through this blog, but enjoy.

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