Source: The Muse
Do you remember when you went from being a graduate to becoming an employee? How did it feel? This often feels exhaustive since it becomes an early morning affair coupled up with maintaining excellent office image and attitude.
Here’s a list of 4 things I wish I’d known when I graduated college and first started working.
1. You Have to Grow Up
When I started my first job, I had a lot of friends who were still in school, and I struggled to balance my work persona with my former student identity. I wanted the best of both worlds: to stay up late and party, and to still be able to wake up and perform at the office.
After a few months I realized that this wasn’t going to work. Being prepared, attentive, and engaged at 8 AM, five days a week is simply not possible with a hangover.
So, I started taking small steps toward more adult behaviors which made it much easier to be on my game at work.
The biggest lesson here was that I did need to prioritize a little more. Gradual changes made this totally manageable, and within a few months I felt much more comfortable juggling my personal and professional obligations.
2. There are No Gold Stars
When I was in college, my grades every semester told me exactly how I was doing in different areas. I liked getting regular feedback and knowing exactly what I had to do to be successful.
When I started working, I was no longer recognized for every achievement, nor was I evaluated by letter grades. There was no clear path to success, and I realized that I was now responsible for paving my own way.
This was a rude awakening, but one that pushed me to grow dramatically. It also made me realize how important it is to have professional mentors. No, they didn’t give me a grade every semester, but they did provide advice, guidance, and feedback when things got especially challenging.
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3. Friends in Low Places
In college, I could choose who I wanted to hang out with. But when I started working, I was spending many hours per week with a lot of new people.
I soon learned that just because the people I worked with weren’t exactly like my friends, they could still be awesome to hang around—and I could learn a lot from them.
Just as with family, we don’t generally get to pick who we end up with as co-workers. But, with a little work and an open mind, you’ll be surprised at how easy can be to build meaningful relationships at work.
4. When the Going Gets Tough, Life Still Goes On
Simply put, life gets a lot harder after college, things never seems quite as carefree as you grow older. But no matter how rough things seem at first, a lot of good comes along with being forced to grow up.
In addition to greater financial independence, the opportunity to be pushed and exposed to all new things is exciting. You’ll meet new people, try new things, enjoy life outside your comfort zone, and change and grow as a person.
Looking back, if I had known how much my life would change and all the obstacles I’d face after college, I probably would’ve packed up and moved to a remote island to avoid it all. Fortunately, I lacked a crystal ball, so I entered the workforce with rose-colored glasses and fancy new suits.
But despite all the ways I could have prepared and planned for my future, I think that the youthful optimism I had as a new grad was really all I needed.
New graduates, remember: It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be awesome. And one day, you’ll look back on all of the craziness, and you’ll desire to do it all over again.
Source: Career Point Kenya