Let’s cut right to the chase. As a recent grad, I remember hearing people make jokes about how college doesn’t actually prepare you for the “real world” and how you are essentially wasting four years of your life to graduate and get thrown right back into that overwhelming freshman feeling of knowing absolutely nothing. I found myself thinking… “If that’s true, why am I wasting all this time and money to graduate and STILL have absolutely no idea how to get by in the real world?”. This is a real concern college students have. I know because I was right there a year ago. Now that I have come out the other side, I can now see that college has undoubtedly benefited me, surely in my academic knowledge, but also in my everyday life. I know your impending graduation and lack of direction can be discouraging, so I’m here to give you some reassurance that what you are doing today IS preparing you for the future! Just keep in mind that the workplace is a new environment, and of course, there is going to be a learning curve… BUT that doesn’t mean there aren’t super simple ways to prepare for success when you start “adulting”.
I’ve realized in my first 6 months being out in the working world how grateful I am for the tools that I learned while in college and how they have made me a more well-rounded person and contributor to the team I work with. That’s why I’ve put together these 3 simple tips to reassure you that you are ready!
Get Comfortable Asking Questions.
College taught me how to be hungry for knowledge and eager to learn from people who are more experienced and probably know better than me! This is one of the most important lessons you need to learn to be successful in any industry. People LIKE when you have questions and curiosity WILL help make you successful! Working in such a dynamic industry like the produce industry, curiosity and willingness to learn are essential.
Use Your Calendar.
If I had to pinpoint one key area college helped me with, it would be actually using my calendar! This has seriously kept me in check. I’m sure any college student reading this understands what I mean when I say that I’m not sure I could function day-to-day without it. Make it a practice now to not only write in due dates of projects or meetings, but also create daily checklists. It will make your life SO much easier when you transition into the workplace. Make lists, check things off, and use your laptop’s calendar to set reminders; It will truly be a life saver! The last thing you want at a new job is to quickly fall behind or to be known as someone who isn’t reliable.
Lastly, yes, we realize communication is important in just about every aspect of life, but in order to be successful in the workplace, this one is a biggie! Remember all those group projects you hated in college?… I’m here to tell you, there was a reason for them! Collaboration is absolutely essential in the workplace and communication goes hand and hand with that. Stepping into the workplace, you want to put your best foot forward and produce the best work you can, but all of that starts with communication. Don’t understand what is expected of you? Clarify. Need help with a task? Ask for it! It seems so simple, but it’s something that you have to tap into every single day. If you start to master that now, well then… you are ahead of the game!