SINGAPORE: Since entering the professional world, one recent graduate has been overwhelmed with challenges, from understanding office dynamics to managing corporate responsibilities.

On Monday (April 8), she took to r/askSingapore to share her troubles, writing, “I find myself struggling to accept the reality of the workplace, that it’s so different from school…. it feels so different to work with someone from a different generation.

I feel like their perspectives are so different, and at times I just think that the younger generation is not value-adding. I feel looked down upon sometimes.”

She also lamented the lack of mentorship for newcomers like herself. For instance, she said she constantly had to “guess what the leaders are thinking and how they are supposed to support them and do well in their jobs.”

“Is it wrong for me to assume that I could receive some sort of guidance instead of being told that I’m just not doing a good job, especially only a few months in? Is this what It is like, am I supposed to learn faster?” she asked.

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Dealing with draining individuals in the workplace has added to her stress, making it challenging to maintain a positive mindset and perform at her best. 

“Idk, maybe I feel too much, but I go to work feeling drained at times, and more often than not feel like i’m not doing a great job but also feel helpless when no guidance is given and people just expect you to learn by yourself.

I guess that’s on-the-job training right?”

“As a fresh grad, don’t worry about adding value; your priority is to learn”

In the comments section, Singaporean Redditors empathized with her and assured her that feeling overwhelmed at the beginning of a new job is completely normal.

They particularly emphasized that this experience is common among fresh graduates like her who are transitioning into a new phase of their lives.

They then suggested that she find a mentor at her workplace. If things get tough, she’ll have someone to turn to for advice.

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They also reminded her that everyone has been in her shoes and that it is okay to make mistakes as long as she learns from them and keeps pushing forward.

One individual added, “As a fresh grad, don’t worry about adding value; your priority is to learn. You’ll make mistakes, you’ll get scolded, just don’t repeat them. Pick out constructive criticism, heed then and filter the rest.

Also, some experienced folks get a kick out of denigrating fresh grads to stay relevant. Just one ear in and another out for them.”

Another commented, “When someone tells you are not doing ‘a good job,’ politely ask how exactly it is not good. Do they have samples to share? Do they have more feedback that will help you reach the level they consider ‘good’?

If you are just getting negative feedback from one coworker who is not a stakeholder in your deliverables and performance review, then you can… politely acknowledge and then ignore that feedback.

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Helpful phrases include “you mentioned (feedback XYZ), happy to work that into project ABC. May I clarify DEF so that we are aligned?”

A third Redditor forced her to confront reality, saying, “The thing is that you need to seek guidance rather than expecting it to come to you.

People at work, if it isn’t toxic, will generally help you when you need it, but the problem is that everyone else is also dealing with their own work, so nobody has time to care about what others are doing.

You don’t guess, you ask, clarify, and receive directions, mentorship isn’t someone who will shadow you around, making sure you work fine.

Mentorship isn’t a map of where to go but the compass to steer your own ship. You don’t need to learn faster, you need to learn how to learn.”

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