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5 Life Lessons for Fresh Graduates

5 Life Lessons for Fresh Graduates

Well, the day has finally come. At last, you’ve managed to graduate and earned the right to enjoy in this monumental achievement. Trust me: when reality begins to settle in, you will start to remember your college years as the best time of your life.

If you are interested to see what your life will be like from this point on, the following article will give you a rough idea. Here are some useful life lessons for those who have recently graduated.

Enjoy the perks of your recent success

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    Don’t let this period of joy go to waste. You will have few more chapters in life that are this vibrant, so make sure you make the best of it. Of course, don’t grow too attached to this feeling either, because it will hold you back if you do not abandon it on time. Think of it this way: this time gap between your graduation day and the day when you need to enter the rat race is like a last meal for a convict who is a about to be executed.

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    Soon, you will get a job and start thinking about how to seriously advance in your career. The more you devote yourself to that goal, the more trapped you will feel. In order to graduate, you need to work hard, but if you want to advance in your career, you will need to make additional sacrifices.

    Finishing college is a great achievement and you deserve to treat yourself by having a good time. Devote more of your time to doing what you love. Go travel and see other countries – maybe you’ll get new ideas for where you want your life to go. Your goal now is to make sure that once this period is over, your regrets are at a minimum.

    Face your new reality

    Here’s one of the major problems that will occur when your college days are over. During your studies, you have midterms and exams. These are all imposed responsibilities and, in a way, goals that you need to achieve. As long as you have those goals, you have a clear path in front of you.

    Furthermore, you get evaluated and have a rough perception of your level of knowledge. So as long as you earn satisfactory grades, you have this idea of advancement and that your life is heading in the right direction. Once your student days are over, there are no more exams, there is no way to measure whether you are heading in the right direction, and on a subconscious level, that can be staggering.

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    The choices you make are your own, and every failure you experience is felt on a more personal level, which can undermine your confidence much more than any exam you failed. You will experience a new pressure to do something valuable and meaningful during your youth, but you may not have a clear idea of what that is or how you are going to pull it off. It’s like you start to hear this inner clock telling you how another day was wasted.

    Moreover, you realize how your theoretical knowledge is not appreciated to the same extent in the real world. The important thing now is whether you have what it takes to do your job right. In a way, you are learning again from the very beginning. So, buckle up and start acquiring new and useful skills to create something meaningful.

    If you think that your theoretical knowledge can help you become a good teacher, think again. It takes tremendous amounts of self improvement to become a good tutor. Just presenting an abundance of facts isn’t enough.

    Start looking for a job

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      Getting a job will change your life dramatically. Sure you won’t have as much free time as before, and you might not end up doing what you originally intended, but with income comes stability. In other words, it’s better to have a job and routine than to be stuck in limbo. Once you have solid ground to stand on, you’ll have a better perspective on what you should do to improve your lifestyle, plus you will advance in learning more practical skills.

      Of course, this does not mean you should accept just any job that lands in your lap. Look for something that has more benefits than just earning cash. Make sure the employer accepts you as a valuable team member, get the job offer in writing, verify pay and benefits, see if commuting to your workplace takes too much time, and if you manage to get the job you want, send a thank-you letter to your employers to show them that you appreciate the opportunity given to you.

      Another thing to remember is that you should start saving money as soon as you start earning it. It is far more satisfying to make a bigger investment than to focus the fleeting satisfaction that results from pampering every minor desire. This can be somewhat difficult, especially if you are still trying to adjust to a new lifestyle.

      Try out freelancing

      Let’s assume there are no desired jobs available in your vicinity, or that you still don’t know how to leave a good first impression. You need to work on your confidence and your portfolio, so freelancing is a great tool to solve those problems. While working as a freelancer, you will be able to earn some money while improving your skills.

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      The problem is that even people who need freelancers don’t want to hire someone who doesn’t have anything solid to back them up. Luckily, you’ll mostly converse via messages or emails, so it will be easier for you to leave a good impression. You might have to take on a few jobs at the beginning that won’t pay as much, but that will secure good references and reviews.

      Visit places like Up Work and Craigslist to find job offers. There are various sites where people outsource writing jobs, design jobs, sound, video or photo editing jobs, and more. Additionally, if you want to develop your skills as a writer, start blogging and visiting places that pay their contributors. There are even job platforms that look for freelance handymen, so if you possess any particular skills, make sure you search out those relevant platforms.

      Remember to save your money. If you work as a freelancer, you can never count on the same income each month, which is why spending too much is out of the question. The last thing you need is financial suicide, so take some time to organize your budget accordingly.

      Don’t give up on your governing passions

      Finally, never turn your back on your governing passions. They make up a big part of who you really are, and the biggest sense of achievement comes when you work in the right direction. You might not have as much time as you like, but with good organization, you’ll manage to find enough of it and do something fulfilling. If your job is completely different from what you truly love, either look for a new one or view it as a means to an end — something that can help you gather enough resources so that you can do something you are truly good at and love.

      I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, because let’s face it, we can’t all be superstars and legends in today’s world. Let’s keep our goals realistic. If you make the effort to end up where you want to be, eventually you’ll get there. And remember: it is perfectly normal to change your aspirations and to start working toward different achievements.

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      Vladimir Zivanovic

      CMO at MyCity-Web

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      Last Updated on July 16, 2019

      7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

      7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

      Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

      In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

      There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

      1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

      The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

      Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

      Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

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      2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

      When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

      The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

      It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

      By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

      3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

      At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

      Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

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      Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

      You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

      Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

      4. Don’t Take Sides

      In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

      In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

      By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

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      5. Don’t Get Personal

      In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

      People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

      To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

      Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

      6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

      The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

      Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

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      Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

      7. Think Win-Win

      As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

      In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

      Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

      Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

      People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

      Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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