In America, more and more young adults are perusing higher education to land a well-paying job in today’s job market. Although many of them have attended class, studied hard and nabbed great internships, the biggest obstacle for them is learning how to handle that first "real world" job after college.
A couple of college graduates have shared their experiences about landing their first job and what they would have done differently with the New York Times.
Here's what they learned and told the Times:
Garry Polmateer, now 35, wished his younger self knew “the importance of dressing professionally.” He would often times go to work in “cargo pants and rumpled golf shirts.” As the old saying goes, "dress to impress" in the workplace. It doesn’t matter if you are the vice-president of a large company or an unpaid intern. Wearing business attire to work will remind your employer that you are serious about your career.
Timothy R. Yee graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with honors. Yee “thought he was hot stuff.” But, his ego got the best of him and he got fired because of it. Yee was quoted saying, “I was insulting, arrogant and shallow.” Many recent college graduates believe that since they survived college and earned their degree, they rule the world. The fact is they are at the mercy of their employers. Be humble, respectful and grateful for the fact that you have a job.
Heidi Waterfield, now 48, wishes she took more chances with her first job. Waterfield mentioned how, “[she] sat in [her] office and waited for assignments. When they came, [she] fulfilled them to the utmost. [She] was bored out of my mind.” Some new employees are too reluctant to pitch their own ideas and just sit waiting for someone to tell them what to do. Instead, change it up: pitch an idea and be your own boss for once.
Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
Twenty-eight-year-old Megan Hall “[wishes she] would have known how to better pace [herself] professionally, to slowly figure out what [she] was capable of doing while maintaining a good work-life balance.” Many recent college graduates want to make a good impression by seeming eager, enthusiastic and determined to be the best. But, they end up taking on more than they can handle. Remember to make time for work and your personal life, and learn to say "no" sometimes.