Saturday was my 2-month workiversary at Microsoft, as a real life graduate employee person. This gives me the ability to legitimately use tags like #IGetPaidForThis, #workLyf and #socode (which has a special place in my heart).
During my internship on Xbox last year I gained many new skills:
- The most important: French braiding my hair, how to make origami cranes out of post-it notes, appreciating gray days.
- The everyday: When to man up and ask for help, how to nudge a meeting back on track.
- The stuff of nightmares: What’s actually involved in coding and debugging; apparently spending lots of time trying to get the debugger/text editor/computer to work in the first place.
Many of these have served me well in my full-time employment so far (although I’ve yet to fully utilise the origami this time around).
As a result of eating the low-hanging fruit I’ve had to branch out — progress for progress’ sake should always be encouraged. Here’s what I’ve learnt so far:
- Coping with Seattle’s traffic: It’s hella bad, but there’s a sort of camaraderie in standing on an overcrowded bus. Plus admiring the view and people watching are always fun. When I get a seat I can eat breakfast or up my instagram game.
- Rocking work chic: Thermos, headphones and a badass coat. Lipstick if I’m feeling that vibe. (Yes, calling ‘chic’ on myself. Big enough to admit I’m a fan of my aesthetic).
- How to get a standing desk: Show enough commitment to get a chiropractor to ask for you.
- Not spending ALL of my money at once: It took me 1.5 months to acquire this skill, but #NoJudgement. I now try to add things to my wishlist instead of just buying them. Take that Amazon!
- Adequately personalising my office space: It’s a work-in-progress; I think there’s room for a laser-shooting unicorn to really convey my aesthetic.
I’m proud of my new skillset, but there’s a lot more ground to cover. Currently I’m working on:
- Figuring out when to take holidays: Holidays when you haven’t been working that long/hard are the worst. Such a waste of time.
- Handling the snack bar: It’s just really difficult to be hungry at 12pm for lunch! Eating breakfast before leaving home helps.
- Making my time all my own: When you’re a student you can work whenever you want, and I think that can be the case here too - it just requires a mental shift and some coordination. I’d like to experiment with earlier start times, later start times and breaks in the middle of the day.
- Being comfortable replying to emails: There’s something terrifying about putting yourself on the line and admitting you might have relevant knowledge. There are few positive outcomes (you solve somebody’s problem) and many unfortunate ones (you reveal how little knowledge you actually have, or maybe you end up with way more work). But I’m getting better at it — why, just this morning I reply-all’d to help somebody without being explicitly told to! #EmployeeOfTheMonth
Hopefully I’ll have a positive status update in a month or so. We’re in the process of being re-orged into another team, so there’ll definitely be some changes there (we might even move into the building with biometrics).
I’d like to see my next round of skills be engineering rather than workLyf oriented. It’s hard to calibrate my expectations of ramping up having not really done this before (internship aside), but I’m hopeful.