I was a freelancer for 22 years up until last week when I took a job as a Social Media Specialist at Product Gym. I love social media and I’m passionate about alternative education, so it’s a great fit for where I’m at in life.
I’ve always prided myself in being independent and I never thought I’d trade being a freelancer for being an employee. But this year, I had a realization. If my goal is to be successfully self-employed in the future, I’m going to have to do a lot of things I currently have no idea how to do. I mean, how in the world am I supposed to learn how a business works?
I’ll tell you how. Hands-on experience.
Being a part of a business or startup means learning what is required to run a business and the mistakes to avoid. And I realized that the quickest way for me to learn everything I need to know to be successfully self-employed was to become an employee. Thus my decision to join Praxis and apply for different jobs.
After five months of hard work and many interviews, I landed my first remote part-time job. And I went from being a full-time freelancer to an employee.
As I’m wrapping up my first week at the job, I have some thoughts.
This was a highly stressful week for me as a self-proclaimed control freak because I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Everything was new and there were a lot of people who I needed to meet and programs and emails I needed to figure out. I spent the majority of my first day looking at my computer screen hoping that the answers to all my questions would fall from the sky.
Spoiler alert: they did not.
Once I figured out what I was supposed to be doing, the questions came flooding. And even though it was killing me a little inside, I asked them all.
I’m used to working on my own and relying on myself to find the answer to all my questions. Shockingly enough, I have a hard time asking for help. So, no, I’m not being dramatic. I was truly dying inside.
But once I asked my questions, something magical happened. I was able to gather more information and understand what I was supposed to be doing. And, most importantly, I stopped panicking. Isn’t that magical?
To my surprise my direct manager even let me know how helpful my questions were for her. Here I was thinking my questions were pestering her and the rest of the team when in reality they were helping them help me.
The rest of the week went by smoother because I wasn’t clueless about expectations and what I was supposed to be working on. I was even able to share input and start planning new social media projects after three days of working at PG. If this is how the first week went, I can’t wait to see how the next few months go!
It’s safe to say, I learned a valuable lesson this week.
As long as your questions aren’t googleable, ask them. What’s the worst that could happen?
You might feel like a burden or even a little embarrassed. But you’ll have the information you need to take action and that’s more important than a few minutes of discomfort.
If you’re in a similar position to me or are starting a job soon, keep that in mind. Nobody expects you to know everything in your first week at a job so make your life easier by asking and gathering the information you need so you can know more, quicker.
It might sound like a no-brainer but this is a lesson I’m keeping close to me throughout my time at Product Gym and the rest of my career. Whatever it may become in the future.