b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: Advice for the College Grad

6/06/2006

 

Advice for the College Grad

It's that time of year: Graduation.

To the grad: Congrats! You're on your way to the start of what will hopefully be a lucrative career. Before you go anywhere, there are some things you need to know. Actually, there are A LOT of things to know, but most of them you'll figure out along the way.

Finding your first job may seem like the biggest challenge you face, but it isn't. In some cases, even though it may take months before you land your first gig, the real test comes during your first few months at the office. The most obvious piece of advice I could offer is lay low. Do your job well, but keep a low profile until you know the lay of the land. Use this time to learn how things operate in a corporate environment. Even then, learning the job is just the basics.

It's unfortunate, but you'll run into lousy people along the way and face many trials that test your sanity. Yes, I'm cynical... but I'm also being realistic. Sometimes it's not enough (nor is it okay) to use common sense; there will be others (possibly your boss) who will not do so. So be prepared for this.

Work is not like school. If you're the best in your class at school you can literally come out on top. Work is the polar opposite: You can be the best at what you do and be despised and punished for your acumen. Tread carefully.

Even when you know the lay of the land, the terrain can shift at a moment's notice. It's important to be flexible enough to roll with the punches. It's also important to know when you've had enough and need to bail. When you're young you can move around a bit to find that good fit. As long as you know that that "good fit" is rare.

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Comments:
This should be required reading for all college grads! In all truth, it wouldn't hurt high school grads to read it either.
 
Right on B.J.!
 
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