Many recent college grads are making their way from the dorm rooms to the business world. This exciting transition is often times a rude awakening, at least to some degree. College culture is the world away from corporate cultures, so it is important to find your footing early on and make the necessary adjustments within yourself.
Here are a few things to remember when entering the business world:
Brush up on your office culture
Many college students have no idea how to function in an office setting and make the mistake of taking it too casually. Many of the basic “soft skills” are getting left behind, such as:
- critical thinking
- critical thinking
- punctuality, appearance, and manners
- writing skills
- motivation and enthusiasm
- teamwork ability
- organization and prioritizing
- communication skills
Spend time investing in how the professional world works and learning what your boss’s and your peers’ immediate expectations of you will be.
You create your position
Do not allow yourself to be limited by your “job description.” Take what you’ve been given and become the subject matter expert. Use that knowledge and fully participate in meetings and activities to showcase your value. Create in yourself a new position that only you can fill. Invest in your team on a business and personal level- and same for your clients.
If you choose to just fill your position and do the bare minimum, you can expect the same feeling from your co-workers, clients, and your company. The problem is that many “job fillers” still expect to be invested in without reciprocating. Breaking that mold will show everyone your true value, which extends far past the books your read and papers you wrote.
Positivity and risk assessment
Keep a positive attitude. We all have bad days, but there’s probably more to risk by letting them consume you now than there was in college- or possibly at any point in your life. Positivity and negativity are often contagious, so whatever you bring into the office is likely to “infect” everyone else. That means your negativity is a risk not just to your productivity, but to the entire team’s- and your boss knows that.
The bottom line
What you have learned in college is invaluable, and the experiences you’ve had are definitely something to use in your work. It is also important to understand that no matter how profound what you say or how exciting an idea you may have, it doesn’t matter unless it will ultimately contribute to the bottom line.
Business revolves around money (it’s why most of us are here in the first place), so always focusing on your personal “so what” will help you keep a business mindset. If you have a new methodology for the company’s social media, so what? How will investing in that now increase dollars later? Better marketing strategy? Fantastic, how will you use it to create something tangible for the company?