So if you don’t already know, I graduated from college in December 2015 and I went straight into Corporate America in January 2016. Thankfully, I was able to skip that awkward time where you have a degree but don’t have anywhere to use it (Praise God). But anyways, I’m coming up on my 6 month mark and I was doing some reflecting. I am 100% not the same person I was 6 months ago. Growth is a blessing and I’m happy its happening to me. I decided to outline some of the most important lessons that I’ve learned from being a young professional. You don’t have to be working in Corporate America to apply these things to your life. You can be doing anything, even working for yourself. I just wanted to share these with you all because I feel that they’re important life lessons.
- A positive attitude and flexibility are everything. Having a positive attitude in negative situations affects your outcome. When you have a negative attitude towards a certain situation, you forfeit your ability to solve the problem and you shut down your brain. A brain that is shut down cannot solve a problem. I am a planner and I struggled with being flexible and I wouldn’t bend for anything or anyone. If I created a schedule and things did not go according to the schedule, I would have difficulty. However, I quickly learned that things do not always go as planned. Which means, I had to learn to be flexible. Our jobs require us to solve problems and there would be no problems if everything went according to our project plans/schedules. So keeping a positive attitude and remaining flexible are important parts to our daily life.
- If you have a question, ask it. The worst feeling is when you’ve been given a task and you have a list full of questions that you didn’t ask. Now you have to go back and ask your manager or peer questions after you’ve already had the conversation. I’m the type of person who has to process information before I have questions. So if I’m hearing something for the first time, I won’t have questions at the time, but later on, I’ll have a million. Since I know this about myself, if I am able, I prepare for all my meetings so I’ll have some idea of the questions beforehand.
- Its ok to have bad days, but you’ve got to get over it
Sure, we all have those days where we’re not feeling it. But we have to get over it. Your outside feelings should not affect the quality of your work. It’s okay to be human and to have a moment, but you’ve got to pull it together and move on.
- Build relationships with the people around you. When I first started, I didn’t understand why people asked so many personal question about each other. I didn’t understand why people would ask me how my weekend went or what I was doing in my personal life. But as I spent more time at work, it dawned on me; it’s easier to work with someone that you know. You can get more work done and things flow more naturally if you are familiar with the people that you are working with. I had to learn to not be afraid to build relationships with the people.
- Take advantage of every opportunity Being in the GMF program opens a lot of doors. Not only do you get to experience very different areas within the company, but you are given so many other opportunities. Before I started my rotation, I was closed to many experiences (personal and professional) and I could always come up with a reason to validate why I was closed. However, when I entered into the professional world, I told myself I would say yes and be open to as many things as I can. So when an opportunity presents itself, my answer is yes. You never know where certain opportunities and situations will lead you.