Things I wished I knew after Graduating from University, Part 2

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photo credit: eflon via photopin cc

Last week, I wrote a post on a few things I have learned since starting my first full-time job.  Read it here.

Even with almost 3 years of life experience under my belt, I am still constantly learning on the job,  I hope I never stop learning.  I hope you never do too.

Everyone is stumbling along, just as you are

Some may be further along in their journey; others are just starting out like you are. Some may see their job as a means to an end, using their job to fund their extracurricular activities. Others rather chase their dream job and trust that finances will flow on as a result. There is no one formula that will suit everyone. Each is on a journey, making mistakes and changing their minds along the way.

Seek out friendships at work

It is harder to make lasting friendships after university simply because you spend less time with one another, you are more cautious and you have busy schedules which limits your time. When you meet that workmate you instantly click with, even tedious projects become fun. Seek out friendships that make your work life enjoyable.

Toughen up without losing the purity and freshness of a graduate

The corporate environment can be tough. Workplace conflicts are almost inevitable. It will teach you how to navigate interpersonal relationships and deal with that passive aggressive workmate. Try not to let it corrupt the freshness of your youth. The world is still your oyster.

You have the power to shape your job, but be careful not to strive

Your job is not contained to your job description. If you have more capacity than what it entails, shadow someone in a different team or ask to be involved in other projects. You alone can own your career development, no one else can. Find the balance between coasting and striving.

At some point you will ask yourself, “Is this something I want to do for the rest of my life?”

If the answer is no, that’s okay. Read books. Talk to others further in life than you are. Talk to people whose jobs you think are interesting. In this post-industrial age, most people won’t stay in the same job for more than 3 years, unlike our parents and grandparents. According to Forbes, Millennials will hold 15-20 jobs over their lifetime. Let’s hope that by your 3rd or 4th job you have a better picture of what you want.

Don’t be afraid to steer your career in a different direction

You don’t have to work in the same field as what you studied in university. You may be surprised, but employers value university graduates because of their logical thought process and attitudes rather than their technical skills. Time spent in university will never go to waste either. Be practical but be ready to quit when the time is up.

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