As a new graduate, you might think you have all of the knowledge and skills to launch a successful career. However, the working world is far different from what you experience in academia. As a result, you may find yourself suddenly struggling in ways you didn’t expect.
Fortunately, with the right information, it’s possible to increase your odds of success. Here’s a look at five things all new grads need to know about being part of the workforce.
Taking Time to Observe Is Essential
When you start in a new job right after graduating, you might be brimming with ideas about how to integrate emerging technologies or embrace trends to improve your new workplace. While you might assume that your manager would appreciate your enthusiasm as you discuss these revelations, the reality is usually far different.
Trying to change a workplace you haven’t taken the time to get to know won’t typically make a good impression. Best case, it can make you seem naïve. Worst case, you may come across as a disrespectful know-it-all.
Instead of trying to reinvent processes, spend time learning how things work and why the various procedures are in place. You may discover that there’s a reason for the approach.
Accountability and Dependability Are More Important Than You Expect
In school, it’s normal to get a little bit of leeway in certain areas. For example, you might not see any repercussions for coming into class a little late, or you might be able to get a due date shifted or retest scheduled if you’re unpredictably absent.
When you start working, accountability and dependability are the name of the game. Being late comes with consequences, and even justifiable absences don’t mean clients won’t be upset if something isn’t delivered on time. That’s why it’s essential to have a plan for meeting your commitments, including contingencies to deal with the unexpected.
There’s Far More Routine Once You’re Part of the Workforce
Often, your time in school can feel a bit hectic. While your classes may start and end at specific times, the nature of your assignments, their difficulty, and other aspects of the experience are highly variable. In some cases, that works in your favor, as it keeps things engaging. As a result, a regular job may feel surprisingly dull by comparison.
While most roles do come with challenges, they’re usually far more routine than you initially expected. Exciting projects aren’t usually the bulk of your duties. Instead, you’ll handle certain tasks repeatedly much of the time. By knowing that can be the case, you can keep your expectations reasonable, increasing your odds of job satisfaction.
You’ll Get Feedback, But Not as Much as You Did in School
Feedback is part of the work and education equations. However, while you’re in school, you usually get some insights after every assignment you turn in, generally in the form of grades. At work, you won’t necessarily get feedback every time you complete a task, something that may seem odd to new grads.
General Politeness Has a Major Impact on How You’re Perceived
In the workplace, a little bit of politeness goes a long way. Whether it’s saying “please” and “thank you,” holding doors for someone carrying files, or a quick smile and nod as you pass someone in the hall, those gestures have an impact on your reputation.
In the end, you won’t have time to directly engage with everyone at work right away. Use general politeness to craft a foundation. Then, when you do have a chance to speak with someone new, they’ll already view you in a positive light.
If you’d like to learn more about how new grads can prepare for the workforce, the team at The Advance Group wants to hear from you. Contact us today.