Hey loves! So as most of you may know by now, I’ve been doing my internship for the past 2 and a half months or so in Nairobi, Kenya. I’m only left with two weeks before I round up and head back to Cape Town. It’s the second time I’ve worked in an office setup (the first time was at my mum’s office, Virtual HR, in 2014) and I must say I’ve learned quite a lot during my time here. I thought I should share with you guys just a tip of the iceberg of the things I’ve learned during my internship which I hope will help those of you planning to start working soon to ease into the work life.
1.Getting up early
This has to be one of the hardest parts about working. Oooooh My Gooooosh! I really struggled in this department. Haha after getting so used to sleeping in. Even at university waking up at 6:00am is unheard of for me so you can imagine the struggle. My office hours are 8:30am – 5:30pm meaning I have to be up by 6:00am or earlier and leave the house at 7:30am (because Nairobi traffic) . It’s really been difficult and resulted to setting 10 alarms and sleeping with my phone far away from me which forces me to get up to switch it off. But I’m glad to say, that now it’s much easier. I’ve even been waking up before the alarm goes off just out of habit. 🙂 🙂
2. Dressing professional
I can proudly say I have mastered this area like a boss!! This wasn’t too much of a struggle as I already had more than enough blazers and pencil skirts. Also, my mum made it a point in the past to buy us official pants and blouses on top of the usual casual attire during her work trips abroad. This definitely helped me to ease into dressing appropriately for the workplace. This has also affected how I dress during weekends. I am opting for more professional looking wear even during casual meet ups with friends which I think makes me look quite elegant. Let me know if you want me to do some outfit posts about dressing up for the workplace.
3. Managing my time
If you’re working a typical eight-to-five job and have to deal with Nairobi traffic, it’s almost impossible to get any free time. You have to be so organised and wise in managing your time. In the beginning I was sulky and moody because I felt it took up all my time. Sleep time, chilling with friends time, blogging time, series time, everything just came to a halt! Then I figured I had to find a way to make things work. I mean how else do other people do it? I decided to come up with a schedule where I divide all the extra things I want to do during my weekends, mornings and nights. Chilling with friends and shooting pictures is for the weekends. Writing on my blog is during my lunch break at work. Watching my favorite series is for my nights and sometimes weekends. Reading is during the long rides to and from work in the mornings and evenings. Sleep time is maximized during the weekend. This way I’m able to stay happy by doing all the extra things I love. I’ve even started getting up early to shoot some of my pictures like the ones in this post. I’ve also learned that partying on a Friday night makes me so unproductive for the rest of the weekend and so I’m taking a break from parties for now.
4. It doesn’t get any easier for women
After hearing many stories and reading a number of books and articles that talk about women in the workplace, I was not proved wrong in thinking that the workplace is definitely more challenging for women. This is true especially in industries that are considered “for-men” like the tech industry which is where I’m working. Women often have to work much harder than their male counterparts to ‘prove themselves’. A lot of the time the women are the more diligent employees and don’t get as much credit as they deserve which is really sad. I don’t know when this is going to change but I urge women to help build each other up instead of tearing each other down at the workplace.
5. Confidence is KEY
If you want to progress or be taken seriously, confidence really is key!!! Don’t be scared about being wrong. Your seniors will definitely appreciate a more confident person with good communication skills. Even when you’re unsure of a concept, speak with conviction and you’ll be able to convince everyone to believe in you and your skills. This is definitely a really important point if you plan on growing quickly at your workplace.
I hope you found my tips helpful. Let me know in the comment section if you have any more questions or would like to share some of the things you have learned from working.
I wore this outfit to work on a Friday which is usually casual wear at our office. My white jeans are another recent buy from Toi Market, so obsessed! The orange waterfall is from Vivo and the shoes are from Clarks.
Until next time