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Hindsight Hacks: 15 Things I Wish I Knew Right Out of College

Hindsight Hacks: 15 Things I Wish I Knew Right Out of College

Oh, that pesky little thing called hindsight.  It’s always easy to be knowledgeable after the fact. When you are 22, fresh out of school, and making your own trail you don’t have the benefit of all that hindsight.  There is one good thing about getting older and that’s wisdom. Those of us who have gone before can’t go back and do it again but it’s not too late for you.

Here’s 15 things to get you started off right in your post-college life.  Life is wonderful so wrap your arms around this great big world and embrace your unlimited opportunities.

1. It’s a new day and new game

It just doesn’t matter if you were the high school quarterback or president of your fraternity. When you enter the workplace, it’s all equal footing.  On the flip side, if you were not the most popular guy around, big thumbs up.  It’s a new day for everyone.

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2. Drop the permanent frown

Nobody likes it.  It’s not cool. All that tells people is that you are insecure and emotionally immature.  Be a part of the fun.  Don’t sit on the sidelines in judgment. That won’t get you very far.

3. Learn to speak up in meetings

If you don’t do it, the jerk in the corner is sure going to do it and we don’t really like hearing from him.

4. Be fluid

As they say, flexible is too rigid. There will always be shifts in technology, leadership, and the workload.  Things just change – a lot.  You will drive yourself crazy if you cannot be adaptable.

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5. Don’t be so offended

Learn to pick and choose the battles you want to fight.  You really don’t have to be offended over every single thing.  Get over it and move forward.  Don’t spend negative energy on things that do not matter in the long run.

6. Don’t think of your first job as your forever job

Get your experience, do a great job, build your resume, and know when to move on.  Leverage the skills you learn and parlay that into greatness.

7. Travel

Spend time traveling across the U.S. and overseas.  Take in the fullness of life and not just life within a 15 miles radius of where you live.

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8. Live overseas

If you ever have the chance to live overseas, take it!  Your life will never be the same.  You will understand who you are, your culture, and you will really feel like a citizen of the world.

9. Don’t be ordinary

Don’t spend your weekends just going out to a dinner and movie.  Take a hike in the mountains, learn to paint, or go sky diving. Be unique. Experiences make you.

10. Be humble, be genuine, and be awesome

This fits into the category of keepin’ it real but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a caring person in life.  We are all in this world together. You will get more out of being genuine than you ever will bearing some fake persona.

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11. Make friends and keep friends

Life has its ups and downs.  You cannot go through everything alone.  There will come a day when you need to rely on your friends so make friends and keep friends.  Conversely, be a good friend because they will need you, too.

12. Everyone has a hard time finding your first job

It’s not just you.  It’s hard for everyone starting out.  Suck it up, buttercup.  Just keep at it.

13. Be healthy

You have a long road ahead of you and the more fit you are, the easier it will be.

14. Your job is not your identity

Jobs will come and go. You have to live with yourself 24 hours a day so be sure you like who you are.

15. Everyone has a story

We are the author of our life.   Write a great story that keeps unfolding chapter after chapter.  Share your story and have others share their story with you. Everyone has a story, you just need to ask them what it is.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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