"The Grass is greener on the other side"
"Hey, how much is your starting pay? What time do you start / end work? How many days of annual leave is your company giving you?" As a fresh graduate, these are the main questions that flood every conversation that I had with my peers upon graduating. In business management, companies often collect data to create a proper benchmark on how well we are doing. Honestly, there's no harm in doing a little "benchmarking" in our lives right? It can help to really gauge our current self and to work towards a better version of ourselves. However, when comparison leads to self doubt, it can be quite dangerous.
The Dreaded "What if..."
Before I started work, I had a lot of thoughts on what I wanted to achieve. However, 2 months in and I had barely scratched the surface of even understanding the company. I always wondered if I could have done more if I had an engineering or economics background. Meanwhile, I had a friend in a start-up drafting a major acquisition proposal for his company. Another friend was travelling across the region for a product launch that she had led. Although, I was really happy for them, it made me wonder: "What if I had joined a role more related to my studies? What if I had joined another industry like banking or the consumer goods industry?"
"The Grass is greener where you water it"
While I was doing some light reading one day, I came across the term that "The grass is greener where you water it" - It resonated with me. When I started to hear what my friends were achieving, I had started to "grow" their achievements and compared it to my side of the field. However, it occured to me that I should find ways to grow my own value instead of thinking how things would be different if I was in another person's position. I had to really focus on what I was doing at that point of time and how it will add to my development goals.
Although the learning curve is steep, this gave me the challenge to expand my horizons to learn everyday. While I spent most of my first few months in a supporting role, I had the opportunity to observe on how things should be done which gave me confidence to handle my own projects. Plus, there are many things to be grateful for - supportive colleagues, closely-knit batch-mates, and a company that takes care of your well being (we have at least 2-3 activities outside of work every week!). I had started to grow and focus on my side of the field.
My 2-cents worth to those starting their careers
Once in a while, it's alright to peek over the fence to see what is on the other side. That's just part of being human. However, I would challenge everyone reading this - instead of dreaming of greener pastures, why not try creating your own field of greenery! :)
The following article is written in conjunction with Singapore’s Career Stories 2019 Writing Competition on the theme of #MyCareerJourney organized by CareerSocius.