6 THINGS YOU'LL LEARN FROM YOUR FIRST GRADUATE JOB
Hey guys, remember me?
I know it's been a while. Life has been super busy and I've been enjoying what has been the craziest summer to date! Between finishing exams, moving to London, graduating and then transitioning from intern to full time permanent employee (hallelujah) and somehow fitting a buzzing social life in between all of those things, I've barely had a chance to catch my breath!
Inspiration to write has also not been forthcoming - something about working in Fashion and social media marketing 9am-6pm and running across the country soaks up all my creativity. Things are slowing down now and I'm finally settling into this next chapter of my life, allowing me a little time to reflect.
Unlike most, my transition from graduate to employed adult citizen (eep!) has been quite fast. I literally finished my final undergraduate exam and, within 2 days, I was working (well, interning) full time. It meant I had to adapt quickly, thinking on my feet to meet the demands of such a huge change and in the interest of art imitating life, I wanted to share some little nuggets I've learned in that process.
1. Working full time is tiring.
I'm not entirely sure if this is solely down to going from spending days in my PJs feigning study to actually working every single day or my propensity to work hard, play hard but I'm exhausted! Anyone else feel or felt like this when they transitioned to a full time job (let me know in the comments below)?
2. Confidence and enthusiasm goes a long way.
Confidence and enthusiasm translate into passion and drive and that impresses people quicker than a list of achievements on your CV. Be confident in the skills you already posses and be enthusiastic when approaching the challenge of applying them to a new task. On that note....
3. Being honest is great for your own development
Obviously, if you have no idea what you are doing, it is much better to just admit that upfront. Be honest about your weaknesses but see them as an area for development. Give 100% to everything your tasked with but do not be afraid to admit when you're really struggling or to ask questions when you need support.
4. Learning how to respectfully speak up for yourself is a skill worth perfecting.
I'm not saying bulldoze your way around the office with your opinions but learning how and when to respectfully voice your opinions is an invaluable skill in a workplace. I think it's very easy to just kind of get lost in the day to day of working instead of taking ownership of your responsibilities/tasks.
5. Setting yourself personal development or career milestones is equally important as meeting company targets.
As a goal-orientated overachiever, this was the biggest shock to my system. At university you automatically set yourself "career" milestones, whether that's getting a 1st in your coursework that's due next month or getting a 1st in your degree overall. More importantly, those goals in university are set up in such a structured and neat little package that you don't really need to think about them, you just need to act. When you start working, although you may have a very structured development in place, you need to kind of set yourself personal targets and metrics to kind of keep yourself accountable and make sure you're moving forward.
6. You have to manage your time and workload.
This perhaps isn't something that you'll uniquely learn through your first graduate job but just in case you were unsure. You may have to steer your own ship so to speak. You will still need to decide what tasks you need to accomplish that day; what productive tasks you can do when it's slower at work; when to say no or delegate new projects. (Side note: It's okay to say no/delegate tasks if you have too much going on.)