Millennials grew up with the Internet. They place a different priority and value on work than their previous generations. As this “net generation” transitions from school to career, there are gaps between the reality and their expectations that they have to bridge. If you are a millennial graduate, here are some things that you should know before you dive into the workforce.
1. You are your own responsibility.
When you are in school, your life is pretty much structured for you. You receive academic guidance from your professors, and if you need career advice, you can go to your school’s career counsellor. Your parents may also provide support to make sure that you are ok and have everything you need. However, when you enter the workforce, your career is in your own hands. You have to learn how to manage your time, prioritize your tasks, and do your job well.
2. It takes time and effort to climb the corporate ladder.
Regardless of how well you do in school and how much technical knowledge you have, unless you strike lucky, chances are that you are going to have to start from the bottom of the corporate ladder. It takes time and effort for your employer to recognize your value. Don’t be discouraged because if you do your job well, you will be rewarded eventually.
3. Learning doesn’t stop when you graduate.
The job market is very competitive today. With the advancement in technology, your skills and knowledge may not be relevant three years from now. Therefore, you have to build your skills and upgrade your knowledge continuously to further your career. Whether it is informal or formal training opportunities, grab them. Moreover, learn to love what you do. When you find fun in your work, you will improve yourself constantly.
4. Keep it real.
When you have to work with many people, office politics is unavoidable. You should learn to avoid getting involved and be authentic. Hold onto your values and let them be your anchors and drive what you do. Be nice to people regardless of their designation and rank.
5. Compete with yourself.
Instead of comparing yourself to your coworkers and friends, compare your present self to your past self. In this lifelong career marathon, don’t focus too much on your competitions and forget to look at yourself. This may get you lost on your path. There may be detours and obstacles, and it’s ok. Just be the best you can be.