After I graduated from university, I took some time off before I started work. I knew that once I was in the corporate environment, there would be no coming back. I started my first job in late 2011, taking my first steps in working as an adult. I was naive and trusting, 2 qualities which have made me who I am today.
If I could go back one year and give myself advice, it would be this…
Being a fresh graduate is a daunting experience, especially if you are the only, youngest and most inexperienced person at work. You will meet people who will help and guide you, while others will test your patience and make you jump through hoops to evaluate your abilities. It is important that you establish boundaries and build your workplace persona early on in your career – someone who is not easily bullied, one who works hard and achieves success in the face of struggles.
“It’s a dog eat dog world”
The above philosophy is the epitome of working in a professional environment. In order to get ahead in life, you need to understand that people are mean and not every one is who they seem. This is no surprise, considering that everyone has themselves as their first priority. However, I have chosen to reiterate this statement to establish the importance of looking out for yourself at work.
Keep your distance
While working you will meet a number of different types of people. Develop a professional and friendly relationship with your colleagues as these are the people who will help you. BUT – always remember that many of them will view you as competition – these people are not being paid to be your friend.
Being a fresh graduate can be hardest times of your life because you are trying to build your career from scratch and you are highly dependent on others to guide you. The best advice to progress and succeed through this stage is to have a positive attitude towards your work. You are a graduate, this is the only time in your career that you will have less responsibilities so enjoy it while it lasts. Don’t take things too personally and make sure you have fun!
You will make it, and go further than you could possibly imagine at this point. Just be the enthusiastic person that you are, and nothing will be able to stop you!