Advice from the Real World

By: Ellen (Career Counselor & Guest Poster)

We are nearing graduation and I thought it would be fitting to share some life advice with our graduating seniors. We’ve actually done this before. Last year we gave out 10 pieces of advice for the class of 2014. I promise you, that advice still applies to the class of 2015. I wanted to share some real advice, from real people who’ve been out in the “real world” for awhile. Naturally, I turned to Facebook. I put out a call to friends (many of whom I have either went to college or grad school with or worked with) and they delivered some stellar words of wisdom about navigating life after graduation.

Advice from the Real World

  • You won’t work a traditional 40 hours a week at work. Be prepared to come early and stay late.
  • Reading a book never fully prepares you for the real world. There will be things that only experience will train you for. When in those situations, do not be afraid to ask for assistance. If no one is there to assist you, use your best-educated judgment and learn from the experience.
  • Stay in school as long as possible. Learn, travel, experience the world. Don’t join the real world – it’s draining. Ha – maybe that’s not a good one. 😉
  • From every experience, you either learn how you do, or you learn how you don’t. You learn how you do want to complete a task/project, or you learn how you don’t. You learn how you do want to treat people, or how you don’t want to treat them. You learn how you want to be treated, or how you don’t. You learn how much you do value a person in your life, or sadly, sometimes how much you don’t…or how much you do matter to someone or how much you don’t. But there is always a lesson in everything, even if you can’t see it right when it’s happening.
  • Stop thinking that wearing leggings as pants to work is acceptable.
  • Don’t bring fish for lunch to reheat in the break room.
  • Remember that it’s great if you like your coworkers, but that shouldn’t really matter when it comes to working well with them.
  • Everyone seems to be so preoccupied with finding the perfect job, and picking their “perfect” career right out of the gate. That never happens. How many people do you know who are doing the same thing they started doing, 10 or 20 years later? Just find the right job for right now and everything tends to sort itself out one step and at time.
  • Network, network, network. It is not “what” but “who” you know.
  • Be true to yourself and don’t forget to love your life. Also self care, self care, self care!
  • Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to have your “passion” be what you do for work. Yes, it’s nice if you really love what you’re doing for work, but that doesn’t always happen. Find something you’re passionate about and make sure it’s a part of your life somehow, whether in your work or your life outside of work.

Photo source: Unsplash/David Marcu

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