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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.

      More by this author

      Vladimir Zivanovic

      CMO at MyCity-Web

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      Last Updated on October 13, 2020

      How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

      How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

      Have you been stuck in the same position for too long and don’t really know how to get promoted and advance your career?

      Feeling stuck could be caused by a variety of things:

      • Taking a job for the money
      • Staying with an employer that no longer aligns with your values
      • Realizing that you landed yourself in the wrong career
      • Not feeling valued or feeling underutilized
      • Taking a position without a full understanding of the role

      There are many other reasons why you may be feeling this way, but let’s focus instead on learning what to do now in order to get unstuck and get promoted

      One of the best ways to get promoted is by showing how you add value to your organization. Did you make money, save money, improve a process, or do some other amazing thing? How else might you demonstrate added value?

      Let’s dive right in to how to get promoted when you feel stuck in your current position.

      1. Be a Mentor

      When I supervised students, I used to warm them — tongue in cheek, of course — about getting really good at their job.

      “Be careful not to get too good at this, or you’ll never get to do anything else.”

      This was my way of pestering them to take on additional challenges or think outside the box, but there is definitely some truth in doing something so well that your manager doesn’t trust anyone else to do it.

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      This can get you stuck.

      Jo Miller of Be Leaderly shares this insight on when your boss thinks you’re too valuable in your current job:

      “Think back to a time when you really enjoyed your current role…You became known for doing your job so well that you built up some strong ‘personal brand’ equity, and people know you as the go-to-person for this particular job. That’s what we call ‘a good problem to have’: you did a really good job of building a positive perception about your suitability for the role, but you may have done ‘too’ good of a job!”[1]

      With this in mind, how do you prove to your employer that you can add value by being promoted?

      From Miller’s insight, she talks about building your personal brand and becoming known for doing a particular job well. So how can you link that work with a position or project that will earn you a promotion?

      Consider leveraging your strengths and skills.

      Let’s say that the project you do so well is hiring and training new entry-level employees. You have to post the job listing, read and review resumes, schedule interviews, make hiring decisions, and create the training schedules. These tasks require skills such as employee relations, onboarding, human resources software, performance management, teamwork, collaboration, customer service, and project management. That’s a serious amount of skills!

      Are there any team members who can perform these skills? Try delegating and training some of your staff or colleagues to learn your job. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea:

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      1. Cross-training helps in any situation in the event that there’s an extended illness and the main performer of a certain task is out for a while.
      2. As a mentor to a supervisee or colleague, you empower them to increase their job skills.
      3. You are already beginning to demonstrate that added value to your employer by encouraging your team or peers to learn your job and creating team players.

      Now that you’ve trained others to do that work for which you have been so valued, you can see about re-requesting that promotion. Explain how you have saved the company money, encouraged employees to increase their skills, or reinvented that project of yours.

      2. Work on Your Mindset

      Another reason you may feel stuck in a position is explained through this quote:

      “If you feel stuck at a job you used to love, it’s normally you—not the job—who needs to change. The position you got hired for is probably the exact same one you have now. But if you start to dread the work routine, you’re going to focus on the negatives.”[2]

      In this situation, you should pursue a conversation with your supervisor and share your thoughts and feelings to help you learn how to get promoted. You can probably get some advice on how to rediscover the aspects of that job you enjoyed, and negotiate either some additional duties or a chance to move up.

      Don’t express frustration. Express a desire for more.

      Present your case and show your boss or supervisor that you want to be challenged, and you want to move up. You want more responsibility in order to continue moving the company forward. Focus on how you can do that with the skills you have and the positive mindset you’ve cultivated.

      3. Improve Your Soft Skills

      When was the last time you put focus and effort into upping your game with those soft skills? I’m talking about those seemingly intangible things that make you the experienced professional in your specific job skills[3].

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      Use soft skills when learning how to get promoted.

        According to research, improving soft skills can boost productivity and retention 12 percent and deliver a 250 percent return on investment based on higher productivity and retention[4]. Those are only some of the benefits for both you and your employer when you want to learn how to get promoted.

        You can hone these skills and increase your chances of promotion into a leadership role by taking courses or seminars.

        Furthermore, you don’t necessarily need to request funding from your supervisor. There are dozens of online courses being presented by entrepreneurs and authors about these very subjects. Udemy and Creative Live both feature online courses at very reasonable prices. And some come with completion certificates for your portfolio!

        Another way to improve your soft skills is by connecting with an employee at your organization who has a position similar to the one you want.

        Express your desire to move up in the organization, and ask to shadow that person or see if you can sit in on some of their meetings. Offer to take that individual out for coffee and ask what their secret is! Take copious notes, and then immerse yourself in the learning.

        The key here is not to copy your new mentor. Rather, you want to observe, learn, and then adapt according to your strengths.

        4. Develop Your Strategy

        Do you even know specifically why you want to learn how to get promoted? Do you see a future at this company? Do you have a one-year, five-year, or ten-year plan for your career path? How often do you consider your “why” and insure that it aligns with your “what”?

        Sit down and make an old-fashioned pro and con list.

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        Write down every positive aspect of your current job and then every negative one. Which list is longer? Are there any themes present?

        Look at your lists and choose the most exciting pros and the most frustrating cons. Do those two pros make the cons worth it? If you can’t answer that question with a “yes,” then getting promoted at your current organization may not be what you really want[5].

        The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. —Mark Twain

        Here are some questions to ask yourself:

        • Why do you do what you do?
        • What thrills you about your current job role or career?
        • What does a great day look like?
        • What does success look and feel like beyond the paycheck?
        • How do you want to feel about your impact on the world when you retire?

        Define success to get promoted

          These questions would be great to reflect on in a journal or with your supervisor in your next one-on-one meeting. Or, bring it up with one of your work friends over coffee.

          Final Thoughts

          After considering all of these points and doing your best to learn how to get promoted, what you might find is that being stuck is your choice. Then, you can set yourself on the path of moving up where you are, or moving on to something different.

          Because sometimes the real promotion is finding your life’s purpose.

          More Tips on How to Get Promoted

          Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via unsplash.com

          Reference

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