Fresh grads have to be sponges during their first job. Don’t know what that means? To be awesome at your job, you probably should.
After a well-deserved and long-awaited finish to your (insert fitting adjective here) college career, you, fresh graduate, are about to take a sizable leap into the next phase of your life: being a working professional. Remember when freshman year felt like having to make a million adjustments on the fly? Well, brace yourself for a similar kind of experience in a bigger stage. But fear not, it will be all good plus it’s high time to step into unfamiliar but more rewarding territory.
1. Absorb actively – and contribute
The world of work, especially for newbies, is an opportune time to embrace and make the most out of many learning opportunities that will present themselves on a daily basis. The multitude of lessons – ranging from getting familiar with your role, interacting with teammates of diverse backgrounds, and what your company is all about, among others – to pick up will be valuable. It is best to have the mindset of a sponge (“absorb everything you can”) because by doing so, this whole new experience can provide great insight that cannot be learned in the four walls of a classroom. This is the time to learn from anyone and any situation while keeping the goal of becoming an expert and contributor to your team and the organization in mind.
2. Find your mentor
Get ready for some Star Wars references in honor of the recently concluded “May the 4th Be With You” day. Find yourself a Yoda or Obi-Wan Kenobi. This could be your boss or a senior or a more experienced teammate, a figure who can help shower guidance for you to become the best version of yourself at work. You know you have a good mentor in your midst when they look after you, and are always open for a dialogue. Hopefully, you won’t have a mentor that comes from the Dark Side (think Darth Sidious or Emperor Palpatine).
3. Your own take on work-life balance
As you embark on setting your career into motion, it is important to set a healthy work-life balance. Each of us can have our own definitions of this concept. Decide on what your optimal work-life balance would be, one that helps optimize your performance and keeps you happy and focused on more important things outside of work. It is not a rule that being a newbie in your office necessitates making your cubicle your living quarters. Work, in case you might not have heard, is just a part of your life, not your whole life.
4. It’s okay not to know exactly how your future will turn out
The ultimate knowledge – and this may be a hard lesson to grasp at first – is not knowing. Be comfortable with the unknown. It is definitely ok to feel anxious or worried sometimes because work is not as structured as the academic life. It’s part of the process. Instead of over-thinking one’s self to death, just think about adding good things to your work life one at a time. The rest will take care of everything. Do not forget to have fun and relish the journey.
By: Joseph Cueto