STUDENT LIFE / JUL. 10, 2013
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6 Golden Rules for Graduates

Congratulations for landing your first job after graduation. This is the first step in your practical life and it is important to understand the implications of entering the workforce. In your first job, there will be a number of expectations, from everyone – including your boss, colleagues as well as yourself. The change in routine will come as a surprise, the continuous change in goals, targets and deadlines takes will take getting used to and you will have to learn how to balance your work and personal life. 

Being a fresh graduate who is entering the workforce can be challenging and difficult. Here are the 6 golden rules that will help you survive the first stage of your working life, as well as help you shine in the working world:

#1 Listen Before you Act

Many graduates are inclined to think that they know the corporate world better as they have recently received education in a specific field. However, it is imperative not to undermine authority and listen to superiors and your colleagues carefully – especially those offering advice and guidance that will help you progress. Accept their opinions and contribute your ideas in a diplomatic manner, without seeming arrogant and overconfident.

#2 Be Patient

As 21 century graduates familiar with the fast tracked technology world, individuals often expect the corporate environment to be more progressive. It is advised to be patient and have tolerance for delays in promotions, recognition and acknowledgement as they will not be handed out readily to graduates. You have to work hard, be persistent and determined to succeed, without having a negative and frustrated attitude towards work.

#3 Beware of Office Politics

Regardless of the country you work in or what profession you take on, if you are working in an office, there will be office politics to be dealt with. Graduates should steer clear from gossip – without contributing or engaging in it. In the case that you are a victim of gossip or ill feeling within the gossip, it is best to talk to your manager to set things straight. Refrain from sharing stories about others with your colleagues as you are unaware of the history and the consequences that one wrong statement can bring.

#4 Adapt to your New Environment

A whole chapter of your life has closed, you have graduated from full time education into full time working therefore individuals are bound to feel nostalgic about their carefree university days. Graduates should try and keep these thoughts to themselves, as out loud they can be carried to your boss or manager, which would essentially make you seem uncommitted to your job role. Be accommodating to your new life and adapt to the office environment, make it you mission to succeed in your job and be a force to reckon with in the workplace.

#5 Be Visible and Network to Raise your Profile

Graduates often relax after they land their first job, thinking that after the first job, the rest will come flying in. This is not the case as career advancement is a difficult procedure and many individuals struggle to get promotions or better job offers due to their inactive presence in their field. Be visible within your department by contributing to discussions and connecting with co-workers in various departments. This will raise your profile within your company as well as amongst industry professionals.

#6 Keep Calm and Be Responsible

In your first position as an employee, there are a number of expectations that you need to come terms with – one of them being responsibility. “With great power comes great responsibility” is a phrase that speaks volumes in the working world. The more duties you are entrusted with, the greater expectations there will be from you. Therefore it is important to learn from your superiors, observe their management style and keep acquiring skills that will enhance your employability and make you qualify for promotions.

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