I will be officially part of the workforce on June 12 and I’m really excited about it. Being part of a company that revolves around my interests and the taste of stable income makes me giddy. (how blunt) Call me “old” but believe me, you’ll understand when you graduate and reach your 20s.
I decided to come up with this post to help you, even if it’s just through the simplest way of informing you, of how college helped me figure out what I want to do in life. To be honest, I’m not particularly there in that “lightbulb moment” yet, but the things I did in college gave me the skeleton/the basics of what I need in life to perform better in the environment I’m in. Whether it’s at home, at work, or at an event, these lessons that I learned from my daily college activities helped me ease through life with proper disposition.
- To be punctual is to be professional
After working for 6 months I realized that professionalism is made manifest through the simplest of actions–politely replying to an irate boss, confirming to emails, and of course, being on time in meetings. There’s a reason why college classes follow a certain schedule and why our professors come early or late to class. They’re on time because they’re committed to the subject, to their profession, and to you. They respect your time and in turn, you should respect theirs by coming to class early/on time.
- Groupwork prepares you for your future (Seriously)
Whether you’re a freelance artist , a work from home writer (like me!), an office worker, or a CEO, you will end up working with some sort of team. You can’t do things on your own. You need a team to divide tasks and execute them the best way possible for quality results. You can’t be a freeloader, period. Take those projects seriously and start a good habit of working your ass off or else you won’t progress in your future career.
- Your passion is what fuels you.
We live in a third world country, thus we need to do everything to stay in the workforce. (or at least work five times as hard and save twice as much for early retirement.) That’s the harsh reality of staying in the Philippines. Not to be negative about it but, you’ll basically work 60-70% of your whole lifetime. If you’ll stress out, squeeze your brain, and miss a few nights of sleep and rest, it must be for something you are passionate about. Don’t just think about the money, think about greater things like helping your family, making art, the satisfaction of serving people, etc. As early as now, choose your career path that is along the lines of your passion and make less regrets.
- Always ask questions
If you need to clarify something, ask. If you want to know the purpose of the project, ask. If you have a concern, you guessed it–ask. Chances are, other people in the room also have the same concerns you have. Also, there’s nothing wrong with asking questions (even in the nature of “questioning” someone or something) because it involves you. You don’t want to end up doing the things the wrong, or worse, doing things for the wrong reasons.
- It’s okay to say NO
Don’t say yes all the time. It may be an opportunity, but it may not be an opportunity that leads you to the right track. It’s all about focusing on your goals. It can be as simple as saving for a trip or as big as keeping your values in check. Practice saying no, and you’ll find the right doors open for you at the right time.
- Knowing your grammar is a vital skill
Your work life will revolve around tons of email exchange, meetings with big people, and presentations. You need to brush up on your grammar so you can be confident around people. Also, it won’t hurt to reread what you just typed and edit it again. (I am still learning this skill until now) Miscommunication can lead to ugly things, be careful. To add to that, knowing your grammar can boost your confidence, and that leads to better performance.
- So is note taking
You can’t go to class and leave empty handed. Take notes! Don’t just take photos of the powerpoint presentations, write it down. This practices your comprehension and memory on the topic that is being discussed. At work, you can’t copy notes from your co-workers or repeatedly ask questions that were discussed earlier because that just won’t work (and you’ll end up looking like you didn’t pay attention at all).
- You should not cram
I have crammed tons of time in school and I am not proud of that. My crammed pieces were not my best ones. Cramming at school or at work is not a healthy practice for you, your work, and your company. It decreases your potential to achieve great work. Start now and do not procrastinate. Prioritize and do tasks one by one (focusing on one task is better than multitasking) Don’t settle for less because you don’t want to get used to mediocrity work. “Mediocre” doesn’t get you anywhere but the “best” one does.
- Accept criticism to push yourself forward
Don’t be a know-it-all and admit your mistakes. Take criticism and listen. See what applies to your work and come up with a better output. Always do better than you did yesterday.
- A support system will keep your morale high
Bad company corrupts good character. Be with people who are a good influence to you–a group where you can pull each other up. I was lucky enough to fall into a group of people who pushed me forward and encouraged me to write my thesis, keep on track with my readings, and helped me with a few things I didn’t understand. That’s the kind of support system you need because life is tough, and your support group (aka friends) will help you through it.
So those are the 10 lessons (and tips) I learned in college. Hopefully, it helped you and motivated you. #toughlove. If you want to share some tips as well, feel free to comment.
*I am no life expert, I’m just a girl who wants to share my thoughts. 😉