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View topic - Getting prepared to join the workforce

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Board index : THE BOARDROOM : Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:44 am 
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Get Real Graduate

Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:15 pm
Posts: 507
Hello everybody!

In december, im finally graduating college and I feel that REAL life and starting to work will be an INMENSE change for me. Change in lifestyle, habits.... EVERYTHING. I was wondering, is there any book you recommend that can get me a bit prepared about real life, working etc.? I wish I could get some info about "HOW" to work, or how real life works, some sort of tips or pointers for the changes that are coming soon in my life

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:46 pm 
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Get Real Graduate
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Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:40 pm
Posts: 1496
Location: Sydney
"Real life" starts when you come out of your mum's vagina, not when you finish college. THIS IS YOUR LIFE, bro. You reading this, now. In college. etc.

I'd advise anyone against learning "how to work". Sounds like "how to join the rat race" to me. I reckon you're better off spending the time instead figuring out what you want to create and what you want from a career. This is advice from an unemployed guy, though.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:10 pm 
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Arm Chair Therapist
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:28 am
Posts: 81
Location: Indiana, USA
I can't help you with figuring out how to get a job since I took the easy way and joined Army ROTC in college, guarunteeing me a job straight out of school. However, maybe I can give you some advice that I believe is pretty universal on a few things once you get one coming from someone with military officer experience and is currently a supervisor at a chemical plant, if you decide to do something that is not entirely individual.

1. Own your mistakes, even if it costs you your job. Most employers will not fire you for honest mistakes (though reprimands of some sort may be likely). Own them, learn from them, and do not make the same mistake again.

2. Don't do things to make yourself look good. Do things to make others look good. Young employees seem to struggle with this the most, especially if they are talented and know it. I specifically look for this in employees, but even if your supervisor doesn't, it will still pay dividends over the long term. It is an important part of teamwork. I have had many talented young employees who ended up quitting or being let go, simply because no one wanted to work with them and they burned all their bridges.

3. It is ok to be a little cocky, especially if you are confident in what you are doing. Being quiet and timid, you will end up getting overlooked many times. However, there is a fine line between good cocky and arrogance. Refer to the first two points to see if you are stepping over that line.

For example - I had one cocky employee that was very talented, learned fast, worked fast and efficiently, and always got the job done. The problem was though that he was young, would work work hard on the spotlight, but sandbagged other tasks he deemed below him or if he had to work for another employee. He was quick to throw others under the bus. No one was willing to work with him and eventually I was limited to only putting him on individual tasks because of it and counseling him. Instead of owning up to his attitude, he took an opportunity at another department, where they let him go for pretty much the same reason I was counseling him for.

Yet I had another cocky employee that was very similar in work skills, but everyone liked having him work for them or with him. This guy was in love with himself and would let anyone that would listen know it. Yet people liked him because no matter how menial the task, he always applied himself fully, was always willing to help soemone else, and he always made the team look good.

4. Always remain professional. Even if the place you work is super laid back, everyone swears, short and flip-flops are appropriate attire, etc. There should always be a sense of professionalism about you. By that I mean being competent, always striving to be better, avoiding personal drama (gossip alone can come back to huant you), and maintaining proper heirarchy relationships. By the last I mean that it ok to talk about some things with your boss or those that work for you. However, getting too close can compromise you work relationship, especially if it is with those that work for you. Fastest way to lose respect of those that work for you is to be their best buddies.

Hope that is useful for you.


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 3:55 pm 
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MasterClass Alumni
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 7:18 pm 
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Get Real Graduate

Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:15 pm
Posts: 26
I agree with all the above points and I'd like to add my 2 cents as I was recently a graduate as well.

First of all, there's nothing you can really learn about full time work from a book. Jobs vary a lot, from the workload to the culture to the training you receive, so there's no one size fits all approach to it. You can prepare yourself however when you have a job or are applying for jobs. Research the company and other similar companies, and try to find people who have written about the work culture etc. This should be standard practice for interview preparation anyway.

Once you get a job and start working, the only thing you need to do is be humble and be prepared to work hard and learn. I have used very little of my uni knowledge in the 2 jobs that I have had since graduating. I can't speak for other fields but in banking and finance the vast majority of what you learn comes from on the job experience, and often times things that you learnt at uni aren't exactly how things are done in the real world.


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