School is entrenched in dogma and supervision, which gives students a false idea about work and life in general. When you transfer from college to an employment, quite often you would find yourself befuddled by the difference in their approaches to tasks at hand.
Even if you are extremely successful in the university, there is no guarantee that you are immune to those habits. Actually, the correlation is quite the opposite. The better you do in college, the more likely you are to be negatively impacted by its harmful doctrines.
So, if you want to flourish in a working environment and prove to be the employee of the year (well, maybe not quite that high, but still), this article will help you avoid some of the most typical mistakes the newbies make after graduation.
1.Doing Only What You Are Told
Most goodie-two-shoes do everything their professors require in college. When transitioning to a workplace, they expect the exact same clarity of assignments and fair grading. However, not everything is that cut out in stone at a real job.
Most likely, you will have certain tasks in the beginning of your career that you will want to fulfill to get on your boss’s good side. Nonetheless, sooner or later you will get less control, and then it will be up to you how to invest your time. You can spend hours mindlessly answering e-mails or you can work on a strategic goal that will influence your company’s future in a positive way.
If you have an idea on improving something, do not be afraid to speak up. Your boss is not your teacher, and, if they are good at their job, they will hear you out. However, be careful here to keep the balance between being assertive and polite. You do not want to come off as a hater of company’s policies, but at the same time if you do not sound confident enough, you idea is likely to be thrown under the bus.
2.Being Afraid of Imperfection
We all have a little perfectionist burrowed inside our heads. It is a praiseworthy quality when you are meticulous and always try doing the best job possible. However, sometimes it is better to just let it go and submit a raw idea to your boss, even if at the moment it is not fully elaborated.
That does not mean that you have to rush to talk to your manager the moment some straddling thought pops into your head. Of course, you need to think it over and read on it extensively before you can go and waste some of your boss’s precious time. I am more talking about the cases when people are so afraid to be imperfect that they wait months and years before stepping up and presenting their idea to the world.
In school and college kids are shamed when they do not get an A plus job done. However, at work it is not the initial perfection, but more the afterwards development that matters. If you want to even get to the stage of improving your idea or product, you will first need to release it and obtain feedback. Without the latter you will never be able to reach true perfection, no matter how many alone hours you spend working on your project.
3.Being a Lone Wolf
In school you are inclined to spend most time reading, writing and researching, and not so much on lab work or team projects. However, at work you will have to face challenges together with your colleagues if your company wants to tackle them efficiently.
Team spirit is essential for the company to cultivate if they want to impede useless bickering and unhealthy competition. However, very often college students thrive in racing for the best grades and the most prestigious internships ignoring the needs of their peers.
Your company did not hire you for the sake of giving you career opportunities. You got the job because they believe you can do something for them, and freeing yourself of your ego can help you shift focus to the needs of the said company. You know, ask not what your country can do for you and all that jazz. You need to ask questions about the company and actively contribute to its development if you want to succeed.
4.Ignoring Basic Needs
Workaholism has been debunked by now, and there is an abundance of research about the necessity of good sleep, food and relationships for work quality and productivity. Unfortunately, not many young people are aware of it as in college they had to juggle multiple obligations at once, usually a part-time job, a bunch of classes and social gatherings.
However, if you want to make your work stand out, you need to take care of your basic needs. Good sleep, healthy food and at least a bit of sport is a must. Whether you like it or not, you are human, and humans need to refill their energy tanks and maintain psychological health.
5.Not Refreshing Your Knowledge
It is common for students to study only that material that is related to their current classes and assignments. Once they are done with their exams, they will go to work on new disciplines that their major requires them to take.
However, in the workplace there are no classes or exams, so, many students would decide that they do not need to study anymore. However, if you want to advance in your career, you need to set out your own curriculum of the latest trends and ideas in the field. Yes, it may not be necessary, but very often your interest is simply implied.
Moreover, if you have a meeting or a conference to attend, read on the topic the day before even if you think you are proficient in the material. Your task at work is much harder, as you need to not only show your awareness and knowledge, but also impress your listener to the point where they would want to invest their time and money in you and your company.
6.Not Thinking Long-Term
Again I want to emphasize the deplorable tendency of college students to only stick to their curriculum, without any strategic plan in mind. Most of them are simply too fatigued to think about their future in the long-run, as they simply want to graduate and get the burden off their chest.
However, graduating is not a solution to the problems of time scarcity and is not an excuse not to make long term plans. You will always be busy. Maybe, you will even be busier at work than you ever were in college.
Therefore, it is necessary that you carve out time to envision your future now, as there will never be an opportune moment for that. It will help you sift out the unnecessary activities and focus on the essential.
Just remember, there will never be an ideal moment for you to push for new beginnings, just like there will never be a perfect grade for the completed tasks. Workplace is very malleable, with much more pitfalls you could ever imagine.
So, take care of yourself and your personal growth, take interest in team projects, focus on the most essential and don’t be afraid to speak your mind. When you develop these qualities, you can bid farewell to your old college habits that dragged you down before.