Okay, school has been a tough ride, but we have news for you: Life after college a.k.a the "real world" is 10 times tougher. No more three-hour breaks or two-month vacations. Your trusty sneakers and pair of jeans are out to be replaced by a more respectable wardrobe. You will have bosses. You will bend to new rules. Freaking out already? No need to be. If you've been a diligent and conscientious student, you're set for your working life, because most of the skills you practiced in the academe are pretty much applicable to real life. We tell you how to rock the corporate world with your school-acquired skills.
Perfect grades came easily - you just had to ace those exams, and that's it. Shining at work will take a longer time, though. That's why you need to save a lot of patience and practice it as a virtue for you to put your career on the right track.
"You must build your own success from the ground up. Do not expect anyone to assume you're talented. You have to show them and this takes time. Usually more time than you expect," notes Emily Bennington, co-author of Effective Immediately: How To Fit In, Stand Out, And Move Up At Your First Real Job.
"It's a mistake to be rude to people simply because they don't have a fancy title," warns Jason Ryan Dorsey, author of My Reality Check Bounced.
Whether you're writing an email, answering a call, or even just meeting someone along the hallway, it doesn't hurt to be polite.That's why when entering on a corporate world. It really matters to build a great impression to everyone.
As a corporate self, you must learn how to communicate effectively...and this means becoming a good listener.
"You can learn almost everything you need to know-and more than other people would like you to know-simply by watching and listening, keeping your eyes peeled, your ears open, and your mouth closed," says Mark McCormack, author of What They Don't Teach You At Harvard Business School.
4. Speak Up
Time to put the speech skills you've developed in your classes to good use. At work, it's imperative to speak up. When you ask for a promotion, present to a client, or simply schmooze during office functions, it's crucial that you communicate effectively. Charm your boss and your colleagues with your eloquence and confident delivery, that's why hardwork on your job is not enough without having a winning personality to become likable.
"If you're the one at the staff meeting who doesn't say anything, know this: People will start to wonder why you are there, " Caitlin Friedman points out in The Girl's Guide To Kicking Your Career Into Gear. "You are there because are an important member of the team, and what you have to say is relevant."
But, don't speak up just for the sake of saying something. It still pays to do your homework and conduct research, so you don't end up blabbering.
5. Being Organized
Now that you're employed, you have to step up your game and be more organized than ever. This means you have to
"gain more control of your work, determine what is most important to you, and accomplish the most important task," adds Kristan.
Multitasking might be your thing back when you were still studying, but experts emphasize the importance of performing one important task at a time. Kenneth Zeigler, author of Getting Organized at Work, advises that you should
"bring 100 percent of your focus and concentration to bear on one activity. If you jump from task to task, you'll wonder at the end of the day, "Where did the day go?"
Organizing also entails performing a "job inventory," informs Scott Stevenson, director of advisory practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers. "List everything you do, including all your everyday tasks, and the things you do weekly, monthly, quarterly, every year. This way, you'll have a clear picture of what your work requires."
Office functions are not as fun as those parties in college. But whether you like it or not, you really need to be a social butterfly on those events for the sake of your career and relationships with your bosses and coworkers.
"Holiday parties, corporate retreats, occasional black-tie events, client dinners, and retirement parties require us to put our best foot forward," observes Caitlin Friedman in The Girl's Guide To Kicking Your Career Into Gear.
You may no longer be listening to your prof's lecture, but you'll find yourself in a board or staff meeting where your participation and full attention are required. One thing you can do to focus and keep your mind on the discussion is to take notes.
"If we don't actively keep extraneous thoughts out, they'll creep in and distract us from noticing significant facts and ideas."
8. Managing Time
Just so you know, in the corporate world, deadlines are sacred. It isn't enough that you get the job done but that you get it done on time. Joseph R. Ferrari, author of Still Procastinating?, stresses the consequence of procastination:
"Procastination is like stopping a train that left the station: When we procastinate, we hold others up."
And, you don't want to hold up the whole assembly line.
"Good time management is not about buying a great planner. It's not about learning tricks to move faster, or about doing everything with mechanical efficiency," shares Julie Morgenstern, author of Time Management From Inside Out. "
It's about creating days that are meaningful and rewarding to you, and feeling a sense of satisfaction in each and every one of your tasks.
9. Office Politics
Becoming part of office politics doesn't mean you have to play dirty-you just have to play smart. And you know what's the drill? You just have to Work Smart instead of Work Hard.
"You have a better shot at accomplishing your goals if the people in power support you, but they can hardly support you if they don't know who you are," explains Marie G. McIntyre, author of Secrets To Winning At Office Politics.
10. Office Romance
Office romances can be fun. It seems that both of you are still in your college. In which sneaking around and checking out each other is so much easy since you are working on the same roof. As a matter of fact, you have all the time to spent together. Before office hours, break time, during office hours and even after office hours. But you have to be careful on entering a relationship especially on the work field. You must first consider several factors that might ruin your career because of office romance.