Congratulations almost-grad! Barely two months left and you will be marching your way up the stage to receive a scroll supposed to be your diploma. It took four or five years of blood, tears, sweat, and eye bags to earn your elusive degree. Soon, you too, will be joining the workforce. Chances are you’ll be recruited in a company or organization which will ask for your eight-hour five-or-six-day work-week commitment. I’m sure you’re excited, even elated, to beam with pride in your graduation pictures as early as now. I don’t wish to spoil your mood though, but it does pay to take a quick reality check for the looming transition phase in your life up ahead.
Here are some observations about the career world I concluded so far that might be useful:
So you think it’s fair to say that you’ve been independent enough to survive college in a dorm or away from your family. Perhaps, you’ve also been a working student and that’s great! However, what struck me about independence after college is the fact that there are no more curriculums to be followed anymore. No one will ever tell you of which the right path is to take. All you can gather are advices, hints, and warnings. Heed them, but also be prepared to discover along the way that you haven’t made the best decision yet.
Promotion can appear far-fetched and dragging.
In college, we are accustomed to having a definite time frame. For instance, each semester, we are sure to move up or progress both in terms of academics and organizational position (if you have one). In the “real world,” the progress is not easily determinable and may take around 2-3 years or more to move a step up in the ladder.
If you want a life outside work, you have to work harder for it.
In college, we can afford to be spontaneous. Invitations abound from time to time. Opportunities to go to an event, join a competition, engage in extra-curricular, or eat lunch with a friend frequently come your way. In the office, you won’t be exposed to as many such opportunities, and even if you encounter them, you’d probably think twice due to your workload on-hand. The sad thing is, if you want to pursue a hobby, a sport, a relationship, or your deeper passion outside your job, you have to prioritize to make time for it – sometimes through blood, sweat, and tears.
After graduation, be emotionally prepared to let go.
Sounds so drama, right? But believe it or not, it is one of the most difficult changes to deal with especially if you’re a keeper or a clinger. In a classroom setting, you’ll have a bunch of friends you would meet every day whether you like it or not. Savor these moments with them, ‘cause there will come a point that even if you’d love to meet them all at once, you will find it difficult to squeeze an appointment with them through your busy schedules.
The working world is a test of your true value system.
As young people, we have this hobby of procrastinating. Que sera sera. Whatever will be, will be. We have that ironic mindset to live at the moment, and worry later. While this could perhaps boost your positivity, it might be detrimental to some extent. Beware that the priorities, values, and beliefs you formed during college will be carried over to your work life. Believe me, they’re hard to break and will only be fortified for every choice you make especially during the formative stages of your career.
Interpersonal skills are a must.
In the office setting, you will be demanded to work with colleagues from different backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, and generations. Do you think you’ve been portraying grace under pressure too well all this time? Wait until you work with deadlines and with this new bunch of people. You might rediscover yourself in ways far different from before.
Once you get hired to your job, you start with a clean slate.
Graduating with honors is a goal every student aims or secretly aims for. While it is good to achieve a stellar transcript of records, the characteristics that comprise you as a supposed excellent student is what count more. When you step into your office on your first day, perhaps you would create a buzz that you came from this university with this honors or place in the boards. All eyes will be on you as you perform your job. In the workplace, such recognition will only earn you higher expectations. Your past grades would only matter if you can live up to them as far as your work output is concerned. Yes, my friends, this could be both good and bad news for you.
It’s okay not to know yet what you really want to do or how to get there. Be open to learning and maximize your every experience. Seek mentors.
It might be heartbreaking to know that the first job you landed is not the ideal job you pictured to be. And sometimes, even if you’re convinced that it is, you will find yourself asking if this is what you really wanted to do for the rest of your life. Many graduates emerge from school clueless about what they are to pursue once they get out there – and that’s perfectly fine. However, as we ask God for direction each step of the way – make sure you do your part to learn and to maximize every opportunity you encounter. Never waste precious resources including brain energy. Even in the worst circumstances, resolve to pick up jewels along the way. Always strive to be better and not bitter even when faced with the toughest challenges. After all, this is what college should’ve molded us to be – strong-willed youth with an eager drive to succeed. Unless we prove this, ourselves, we might as well have failed earning our degrees in the first place. Additionally, seek out mentors to guide you in your path. Remain teachable.
God bless in your prospective career! :)
also published: http://rightnow.ph/8-things-about-career-life-college-wont-teach-you/