You’re a Professional. Now Act Like One.

You’re a Professional. Now Act Like One.

You’ve got your diploma. You know everything about public relations, marketing, the latest and greatest social media apps and even gamification. Great. You’ve even secured a job. That’s really great. So now what? The transition to real world, that’s what.

The first summer after college graduation really is the worst. Suddenly you have no summer break. You’re lucky enough to have a job, but now you have to start going. Every. Day. And you have to be there at 8 a.m. Seriously? You see your summer fly by before your eyes. Unemployed friends are begging you to join them at the lake, at the bar, at *anywhere but work* and there you are watching it all happen through your Facebook feed as you post about spine health for a client.

Well, here are four tips to ease you into this new adult life. You may not like them, but hey, we’ve been there and we should know.

Potential Clients are Everywhere
In the salon, at the bar after work, in the gym – there are people everywhere. And any one of them might be your next client, so act accordingly. This isn’t to say you can’t relax and have fun when you’re not on the clock, but let’s remember: you’re an adult now. Public drunkenness and belligerent rants at the post-work hot spot are probably not a great idea. Always be a good representation of the company you work for. That way, if a conversation strikes up you can proudly state where you work rather than mumble and give them shifty eyes to avoid further questioning.

Office Culture – It’s a Thing
No matter where your new job is, it’s pretty much guaranteed that there’s an office culture of some kind. Maybe it’s relaxed and your new boss sports flip-flops and Hawaiian shirts on a regular basis. Or maybe you’ve got to wear an extremely uncomfortable suite and tie with shoes that click (if that’s the case, we’re sorry). Either way, it’s now your job to fit in. This doesn’t mean you can’t be yourself, just that you should take cues from those that work there and follow suit.

This isn’t just about the clothes on your back, either. We’re talking about all office culture: the email lingo, when you can leave early, how you should communicate with clients, how you should communicate with the boss. Paying attention to all of these things will help you build confidence at work and respect from your new peers.

Your Boss Didn’t Hire A Minion
You were hired because you have ideas, at least one would hope. You brought something to the table that your new boss liked. They saw potential in you. Don’t let them down now just because you’re nervous or scared or suddenly feel that college was a waste of money because you didn’t learn anything useful.

It’s tough to be the new one at a company. You feel completely in the dark 90% of the time, probably because you are. But put that college education to use and speak up, dammit! When you have an idea, don’t be afraid it’s a terrible one. It very well may be, but guaranteed your boss would rather you speak up and tell them what you think rather than just nod your head and do whatever they ask you to without question. On the other hand, if you’re directed to do something that you feel strongly is a terrible idea, challenge it. You’ll be more respected for giving your opinion, assuming you’ve got some idea what you’re actually talking about.

If You Hate It, Leave
“Life is short.” You only have so much time in this great world.” “Work to live, don’t live to work.” We’ve all heard these sayings a million times. But they have a point. If you hate your job, your boss, your new handbag, whatever, it’s time to make a change. It’s not fair to your employer, your coworkers or yourself if you begrudgingly spit out less than your best. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, it will show through in your work. And you wouldn’t want to put a damper on that groovy office culture, would you?

Amy Demuth, Account Executive
@amydemuth

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