College commencements are just around the corner, and with them the annual deluge of advice for the soon-to-be graduates. Graduates are in for a lot of advice: some good, some bad, some that is repeated to the point of annoyance. This is a major turning point in your life, where the relationships you build, the skills you acquire and how much you learn from the mistakes you make will play a big role in what kind of professional you will be and the professional options that will be available to you. Absorb and consider everything, this is a time to be a sponge and learn as much as you can. And on that note, here are five tips for graduates who are entering their professional life.
There is a balance to be struck with doing your best and overthinking things. Tina Fey writes in her book Bossypants something Lorne Michaels says often at The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30.” Meaning sometimes the best outcome you’re going to get is done, and not good. And sometimes good will have to do, because there is no time for perfect. Do not get too hung up on a project, or be too precious about it. There will be another project, client, case, etc. Just keep your head down and keep working.
Your mom may already be giving you this advice, but now is the time to start taking it. Your schedule in school is so flexible, and in the workplace it will be incredibly regimented, meaning the importance of a routine is paramount. Find a workout you enjoy and a time frame you can commit to. Find healthy foods you enjoy and make them as often as you can. Buy fresh produce and learn how to cook for yourself. All these things will only get harder with age, as you get more set in your habits and have more responsibilities. It will never be easier than it is now, so start as soon as you can and make it part of your lifestyle.
You are going to accomplish some great things right at the beginning of your career, and you are going to make some mistakes. Know that the mistakes are learning experiences, and that it is so important to make mistakes at the beginning of your career, otherwise you’re not trying new things and you’re not learning anything. Make sure you take something away from them, because in that way they are an asset. Your mistakes will make you better. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and keep moving forward when you do.
So much in socializing and recruitment is based online these days, but the currency that will always get you the job is simply people liking you. And the more people who like you in your industry, the better network you have. Being able to carry on a good conversation is imperative to connecting with people, cultivating relationships therefore connections, and so many young people are losing that ability to connect with people to devices. Be interested in other people and be interesting, practice your social skills by calling family members and friends, introducing yourself to people you don’t know at a party and learn how to connect with people you don’t know and how to put your best foot forward in conversation.