What you don’t learn in college…
College is a phenomenal experience since you are surrounded by intellectuals & have lots of stimulating conversations. Imperative topics are learned & discussed in the classroom, but you also learn A LOT on the job. The classes give you a fundamental knowledge that you can apply to your tasks at work. However, you can’t really know everything about your chosen career until you start working. There is still a huge amount of on-the-job learning that will occur. Be mindful that although you may feel fully prepared, you still have a lot to learn. Don’t assume you know everything, and be open to learning.
You may have been taught to wear your name tag on the left, so when you shake someone’s hand you can look at their name tag less conspicuously. This kind of knowledge is important, but there is a lot more to it. Don’t come in thinking you know how to do everything. People with this mindset oftentimes aren’t willing to listen. They take everything as criticism, and may give the occasional eye role, which can come across as disrespectful.
How to deal with challenging personalities at work?
You may have a difficult boss or other superior that you will interact with daily. No matter how frustrating this may be, it’s imperative that you put on a smile, be complimentary, and not argue, even if you believe they are incorrect. You kill more flies with honey, and won’t get very far with a cocky attitude. There is a lot of information learned in college that is important to know, and may come up in a meeting, but much of what you will be doing cannot be taught in a classroom.
Make sure you are:
Keeping up with industry trends. This is crucial. Make sure to read all the industry newsletters so you will be knowledgable about the topic if an executive comments on them. You may work from the time you wake until you go to bed. There are no breaks, no study halls, no three-week Christmas vacations, only the real world. Keep this in mind when choosing your career. Make sure it is a passion and something you really enjoy since you will be spending the majority of your life involved in it.
Learn who the important people are in your industry. Remember that no one else will do this for you. They may give you names or suggestions, but it will be up to you to follow through. Starting in college, and all throughout your career, make sure you are active on LinkedIn, always making new connections and maintaining old ones. Lastly, work really hard and all should fall into place!