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The transition from school to the business world can be a stark change of pace. As you leave your college days behind, keep these five lessons in mind.
Sometimes you just have to take a job, any job, to get started.
In a perfect world, we’d all have exactly the jobs we want at the companies of our dreams. Unfortunately, reality doesn’t work like that. You have to put in the work to get to where you want to be. Sometimes that means taking a job that isn’t glamorous, isn’t the position you want, or is simply a means to an end. There’s a lesson to be learned in everything, so look at it as a learning opportunity. Keep in mind that it’s not forever and continue to work towards the job you want.
Understand that not everything will work out the way you want it to.
You may spend hours upon hours searching, interviewing, and ultimately still not getting the job you want. That’s okay, and it’s not the end of the world. Be open to new opportunities that might come your way, even if they don’t match the plan you’ve set. Some of the best opportunities come from unexpected places. You never know if something is a good fit until you’ve explored the possibility.
Don’t choose your first job based on bragging rights.
It’s tempting to want to work for a big name company, especially for your first job. However, you need to be clear about why you want to work for that company. If it’s just for the name and bragging rights or because all of your friends are working for big names, then that’s actually quite a terrible reason. A job is more than just a title or the name of the company you’re working for. Remember, you’ll be spending 40 or more hours a week on the job, so you want to have some sort of connection to the work you’re doing.
Never stop learning.
Learning doesn’t stop when you leave school. Once school is done, you have the freedom to choose exactly what you want to learn and how you’ll get to learn it. You can learn technical skills, take on a creative endeavor, or even learn something completely outside of your comfort zone. Learning isn’t just about professional development, it’s about growth.
There are many ways to keep learning, from online courses to joining a networking group or book club. Some companies offer a stipend for learning and development. If your company doesn’t have this, it’s something worth asking for. Take advantage of employee resource groups as well, as they often host workshops and seminars.
The business world isn’t college.
School is, more or less, a structured and predictable environment. It revolves around studying and passing exams. The business world is far less predictable. There’s no such thing as a syllabus for work, extra credit opportunities, or a grading curve. You have a vague set of guidelines to follow, and it’s up to you to figure out how to get from point A to point B and complete your work and meet deadlines.
There’s typically a bit more freedom and autonomy in the workplace versus the classroom. Use this freedom wisely, however. It doesn’t mean that you should just do the bare minimum to get by. It means that you can use your creativity and experiment in ways you weren’t able to within the confines of academia.
May 28, 2019 at 11:54PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs