Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 39, Tuesday May 16, 2006




Entering the workplace

Your first day at office symbolizes your first step into the professional world. This particular day takes place in most people's diary as one of those special milestones of life. Your years of hard work at school final take the shape of reality. As a student you must have always dreamed of this special moment.

A lot of people buy new clothes before starting their first job. I spent an hour choosing just the right outfit. While in some offices there's basically no dress code and you can work in your jeans and fotua, in many organizations employees must match up with the stated dress code.

Lunch is probably another major concern for most. While some love to take a respite from the pressure of work by having lunch with colleagues outside of the office, others avoid having outdoor food. Many people pack their lunches from home, as this not only saves money but also ensures the intake of wholesome food.

You find yourself behaving more maturely as you begin your career. Your days of dawdling in the morning are now over as you know that you must swipe your ID card before 9:00 a.m. and get your time of arrival recorded in the company's database. Your sense of responsibility also moves up a notch, you now shoulder the enormous liability of serving your employer. Back in school you probably never considered the consequences of bunking a class or two. At the workplace, however, you know that you must have a valid reason to be absent from work. An unacceptable excuse may even lead to the termination of your employment contract. Reality is indeed harsher than what it seems.

I think people also learn a lot about themselves once they encounter the big world. For instance, you might have always dreamed to work for a well-known multinational company as a student. But once you get an employment opportunity to work for a leading global company you find out this is not what you dreamed of. You realize that you would be much happier working for a small company with an informal environment and no dress code. The opposite of this scenario is also true. For instance, I know some people who are ready to sacrifice their personal dreams and lives for an opportunity to work in a multinational company.

Adjusting in a new environment also poses difficulty for many people. People who are naturally introverted, face a big problem because in the office, there's no way to avoid communication with your colleagues, juniors and bosses. So all the shy people out there do try to be a little outgoing from now on because most professions require good interpersonal skills.

Time management becomes a real dilemma once you begin a full-time job. You are not only required to get up from bed early in the morning but also sleep before it's too late at night. In a way, the job life teaches you to properly organize your life. Then again, the pressure of work often prevents you from socializing with friends and family. During the working days it's more than impossible to keep invitations for lunch. Similarly an evening party becomes difficult to attend if your work ties you up till late in the evening. Sometimes when the body and the mind cannot take anymore, evening parties are not often attended on time. It's throughout the weekend when you can relax for 48 hours in a row. For an office-goer every weekend is bliss. Unfortunately, it's during these two days when you also have to carry out the responsibilities that you have towards your friends and family. If you have a kid, maybe you need to plan a day out. If you have friends then you have to arrange for a get-together at a restaurant or at someone's place. It's during the weekend when office-goers finally get a chance to socialise. Most working people save the weekend for shopping, be it for grocery or household essentials.

Your first real job symbolises the beginning of one of the most important phases of life. There's nothing like a job that teaches you to become more mature, self-dependent, courteous, organized and also practical. Every day at office is a learning experience…

By Wara Karim

Reader’s chit

My so-cold love

I saw it on television, I read it in books, I imagined how it would feel, I closed my eyes and tried to touch it, feel the coldness in my hand. Yes growing up in Dhaka, Bangladesh I never saw snow. I heard stories from my grand father who visited Kashmir, Shillong, and told me how beautiful it looks when it snows. I saw pictures of my cousins from London with their snowman outside their home. I wanted to be them.

To my surprise, I too was standing one day on the ground with snow. I was in a place called Slippery Rock, in Pennsylvania, where it snows early November, and where it gets all bright and glittery in the winter nights. The hills are covered with snow. It looks perfect. It is romantic, peaceful, and calm. Oh, how I loved the first snow.

I got out of my dorm room, and took a walk in the snow, my face was cold, I was all bundled up, the air was cold, slightly windy, but heart warming. It almost did not feel real. The ground was all white; the florescent lights from the street made it look golden, as if it was festooned just for me. It was quite; there was only my snow and I.

By Iffat Zia


Shortcuts to good health

Get the maximum mileage out of your workout
Amp up the calorie-burning benefits of your workout by tackling cardiovascular exercise before strength training.

Doing weight training first tires you out quicker, so your exercise duration is shorter than if you do cardio. Finish your workout with weights to help boost post-workout metabolism -- the rate at which your body burns calories after you're done. The result may be an overall better calorie burn, according to a small study.

Save your brain…with fruit
You know how tempting all those luscious fruits and berries are at your local grocery market? Go ahead, buy too much. It could save you from brain damage.

This is good news for fruit lovers, and inspiration for everyone else, because each additional tangy star fruit, wedge of orange, or bowl of grapes you eat during the day slashes your risk of a brain-crippling stroke by 11 percent. All that fruit lowers your heart attack risk, too. Veggies help as well -- they cut stroke odds by another 3 percent -- but researchers recently found fruit the most protective.

Fight the light
Is your olive oil in an opaque bottle? No? your blood vessels may not be getting their due protection.
According to a recent study, antioxidants in virgin olive oil help relax blood vessels and improve circulation, which may lower people's risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. However, the antioxidant value of olive oil can degrade after only a few months of exposure to heat and light. Store your olive oil in an opaque container and in a cool place.

LS Desk


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