Graduating – – To The Real World
You’re about to graduate. You’re about to join the ranks of those we call well-educated. But have all those years of study and sacrifice prepared you for the real world? In what reads like “Post-College Life For Dummies,” Russell Bunio shares 50 best work practices that he has picked up from successful leaders and adapted to his own work ethic and personal success. “The Graduate Handbook” details readers through what to expect in the workplace and how to make the best of it. It’s a perfect list of reminders for the college graduate who is leaving the realm of full-time student life forever in the past. Here’s a few of the 50, and my commentary based on my post-graduate education, the one called the school of hard knocks!
* Early In, Out Late
The sooner you realize that the time you’re investing as an employee is an investment in your own future the faster you will move towards your goals.
The old cliche is “don’t work hard, work smart.” Wrong. Ask any entrepreneur. In order to achieve great things, you’ll have to work smart and work hard.
* From Me to We
The millennial generation has been accused of being the “me” generation. So were others. In our exuberance to excel, we sometimes forget that we are not in the game alone. When our team (friends, co-workers, family) win, we win.
* Customer Focus
Everyone is your customer. Even you. Act accordingly.
At the beginning of any journey, someone has to show you the way. Choose a good guide. Later, it will be your turn to be the guide, and it will become even more clear how important choosing a good one was to your own development.
* Write It Down
Unless you have a photographic memory, keep a record of what works well and what was a lesson you don’t want to repeat. Build on the good, and use the mistakes as warning signs along the road ahead.
* Professional Communications
Besides the intended audience, there’s almost always someone else listening. Including you.
* Reliable, Trustworthy
Those people who come to the decision maker’s mind first are those who have a reputation for results. Be that person.
Yes, the turtle will eventually get to the finish line. But it’s better to get there before all the judges go home for the day.
* That Interview
Would you hire you? Dig deep, and look at who you are and what you bring to the table, as well as how you present it. When you can say “wow,” you’ll get the position.
* Attention to Detail
Knowing that some things demand more detail and some less, you have to become a good cook, and add the amount that makes the end product delicious.
* Look, Listen, Learn
Be an observer of everything. Practice and learn to use your entire field of vision and all your senses to really experience what’s going on around you. Be alive and fully engaged.
* Ethics and Ethical Behavior
There is no footnote to bad behavior, it will not be excused away. There is little in life as valuable as your reputation.
It will get you noticed, whether you’re in charge or not. You can lead from the front, beside, or from behind, and either will garner attention leading to unexpected future relationships.
* Make Accomplishments Known
Humility is fine in its place. And pride can turn into boastfulness. Practice the fine art of self-promotion that brings admiration and respect.
* Those Bosses
You will have good bosses. And you will have not-so-good bosses. Learn from both. Respect both. You will have your chance to emulate soon enough. Consider a “plus 1” on this, and strive to help your not-so-good boss be better.
* Continuous Improvement
Our world is not static. Everything is constantly changing. You, too, must continue to change, to evolve, to improve, or face the consequence that something better will replace you.
Image credit: Disoriented Sabbian Paine