The endgame is in sight, you’re about to throw the cap in the air and wave goodbye to uni. Fresh off the conveyor belt of University, packaged up with a degree and thrust into the world bright eyed and bushy tailed. I am one of said graduates and a final product of the education system (although it feels like it was light years ago). After a while, I luckily found my feet and I now have a place as a Brand Planner on the Account Management shelf at Vivid.
Whilst university was an invaluable experience on both a personal and professional basis, the realm of academia differs somewhat from the world of work and the tales that are spun to keep us eager graduates-to-be motivated. You might feel like you’re scaling a mountain with a vast incline and that the peak is forever blurring. Getting there will be a testing journey at times but surely that’s the one that is the most enjoyable and rewarding.
So here are the top 5 things I have learnt in my first job after graduating…
Set new goals…
Despite the portrayal of university in the media as a sex-crazed 24hr party lifestyle with minimal hours sleep and lots of booze, this isn’t a true representation of uni life (I can’t imagine its changed that much since I graduated). However, photos of Macs with Word and Keynote open, lecture notes with coffee stained rings and worn out library books isn’t very ‘instagramable’. If they were posted, they’d have equally boring captions such as ‘Does the hard work ever stop’ or ‘I need sleep’. But the hard work doesn’t stop. When I started at Vivid (all those 2.5 years ago), the first thing I noticed was how hardworking and dedicated everyone is. Although the goal at university was to graduate with a degree in tow, you realise that life is full of goals this couldn’t be more applicable than at Vivid.
Be proactive, ask how you can help.
After years in the education system, I was instilled with the thought of what was expected of me as a Millennial (I know I am one of those pesky millennials). However, going into my first job, I had little idea of what to expect. A few months in and I have learnt that it helps to be proactive in order to learn how to do your job and hopefully, get better at it. Your work colleagues know what they are doing so take the opportunity to learn from them by asking what you can help with.
Use the skills you learnt at uni or on your apprenticeship…
I both liked and disliked teamwork activities at University for different reasons which naturally comes with being in a team amongst other things. Whilst this was sometimes unfair and annoying as I said there were a lot of positives and it prepared me for teamwork in a professional environment where (finally) everyone does their best, resulting in success. All skills I learnt got plenty of practice at during uni and are all skills that I now use daily in my job.
Get to know your colleagues
That fruit loop or golden oldie you sit next to, you’ll be spending a lot of time with during the week, so take the opportunity and make use of their experience in the industry. Watch how they work (not in a stalker/drooly/creepy way), but ask questions, anything that springs to mind It will only help you to learn faster and do a better job. It’s also good to get to know them on a more personal level – the more you know your colleagues, the more you feel like you belong in the business. Plus, you’ll have more people to discuss the latest news piece.
At school and university or on a course, you’re always trying to get better, completing assessment after assessment, presentation after presentation. We are also told that once you finish your education, you need to get your work life on track. It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to progress as fast as possible. However, you can’t possibly learn everything at once so don’t be too hard on yourself – it takes time to gain knowledge and experience. Everyone has been in your position at some point – there is little to be gained.
So, set manageable and measurable goals that you want to achieve, ask as many questions as you can think of, think back and apply all you have learnt, make friends with your colleagues as you’ll be spending a lot of time with these guys but remember boundaries and you’ll get there in the end so don’t be in a rush to get to the finish line. With that in mind, I continue to expect a lot from myself as does Vivid, who in turn expects a lot from our people and potential Vividers because we know clients expect a lot from us and both Vivid and our Clients should expect the best.
What’s my point? There isn’t one. Wondering why I wrote this? Because we always want the best Vivders to join us, these people are those who have read to the end and know we’re a great place to work.
See you somewhere on the mountain!