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The "first job" syndrome The "first job" syndrome
by Joseph Gatt
2020-11-11 10:32:51
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Another medical science paper.

New recruits are often misunderstood. Some of them do very well on the job, adapt very quickly, and blend in very quickly.

But, there is a fairly common condition, mild medical condition, among people who hold a first job.

joby001_400That is, over the years, I noticed that a lot of first job holders, both men and women, especially those who never worked before graduating college, suffer from the “first job syndrome.”

This condition has existed since the industrial revolution, and is not new or unique to millenials.

What is the first job syndrome?

The signs are usually that of megalomania or delusions of grandeur after obtaining a first job or a new job.

That is for first job holders, especially the first few months or the first year, the following symptoms can emerge:

-Feelings of omnipotence that is a feeling that they can get anything done, that they can get any task done, that they can learn anything, that they can fix anything, that they can do it all, control it all, and know it all.

-Feelings of importance: first job holders might hold a relatively unimportant position, but could feel an exaggerated sense of importance for the position they hold. Sometimes they believe their job is the key to the company or organization, and that if they leave or quit, the organization would collapse.

-Feelings of “being under the radar”: first job holders could get the feeling that the entire world is looking at them, and could start feeling that they are achieving celebrity status, when they are in fact holders of lower-level positions.

-Excessive optimism: first job holders could take huge financial risks and social risks, because they sometimes feel that their career is going to progress very quickly, that they are going to get promotions very quickly, and that they could reach very powerful (and well-paid) positions very quickly.

-An overall sense of grandeur; first job holders could attempt to socialize with famous people, attend important events, start considering careers in politics (and running for elections in very competitive districts) or start applying for elite jobs and attempting to hang out with the elite.

Why is it important to discuss this condition?

The “first job” syndrome isn't just college graduates or high school graduates experiencing delusions of grandeur after landing their first job. It could also be employees who just got promoted, or employees who just got installed at a certain position. Some call it the “power trip” in slang or informal language.  

It's important to understand that if your employees experience delusions of grandeur, they are probably experiencing the “first job syndrome.”

People who have the “first job syndrome” tend to reject any criticism or anyone who downplays their importance or the importance of the job that they are holding.

They also tend to downplay any warnings regarding their excessive optimism and the risks that they are taking related to their excessive optimism.

My informal studies (my medical papers are never formal medical papers) tend to conclude that people with the “first job syndrome” are often loners, who grew up in a quiet household, who tend to have very few friends, thus the “break” with the sense of proportions related to their job.

Two things usually happen: either they work long enough to realize that their first job isn't that important and that they had a break with reality of sorts. Or they make matters worse by constantly overinflating the importance of their job, continuously taking risks and having oversized ambitions, and that over several years, even decades.

The cure: no need for medication or cognitive therapy. Perhaps group therapy or social therapy with “experts” who understand the condition can do the trick.


   
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