5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Graduated College and Entered the Workforce
Our Creative Director Virginia Huling shares her tips for college graduates entering the creative workforce.
Starry-eyed college freshmen are gearing up for a new chapter of their lives. Seniors are in the same boat, but usually with more stress associated with it. Consider this article a few lessons learned the hard way on my part. While it may take your own life experiences to really connect with them, follow these tips and you could be one step ahead when life shows up at your front door with a suitcase.
No one is going to teach you anything. It is up to you to learn.
Don’t wait. We have a wealth of information at our fingertips almost every waking moment. Knowledge is out there. Go find it. If you don’t know how to do something, Google it. Just don’t do it in a vacuum. Join communities of like-minded people and share knowledge. Learning is an active sport – you have to participate.
Tip: learn how to be really good at finding stuff on Google. It helps make everything easier.
You are expected to perform.
On that last note: Yes, you must participate. In your social life, relationships and work life. You may or not have found that career yet. Doesn’t matter. Your job expects you to perform. You can’t just show up and check out until lunch. Many of you may just think this is from a management standpoint, but this is just as important to your co-workers. Your professional identity is formed by how you show up to those around you.
“Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities; we didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results.”
-Dr Ray Stantz, Ghostbusters
Time is the most valuable asset you don’t own.
You may or may not realize it yet, but how you use or don’t use your time is going to be the best indication of where your future is going to take you. If you want to be good at something, dedicate the time to improving it. I’ve heard it takes 10,000 hours to become a master at something. I propose this is only half true. Practice can only make you better if you give yourself permission to fail, push yourself and then course correct. Learn from your mistakes, and use your time wisely.
This book explains this concept even better. Go read it right now.
You are worth what you can contribute. Life doesn’t care.
I know this one sounds overly harsh, but it’s a solid concept. If you never contribute anything – art, music, science, food, good jokes – then what’s the point? There are a handful of people who will love you just for who you are, but the rest of society needs things. You can be the one to provide it. From the most exalted of doctors to that guy who sells hotdogs out of a cart, they are all fulfilling a need. They are worth something to the eyes of society. Do not confuse this with self-worth. Be aware that just because you are a worthy person, doesn’t mean anyone else is going to care.
“If your presence doesn’t add value, your absence won’t make a difference.” – Zero Dean
A sense of humor will save your life.
Life is gonna punch you in the face at least once. Maybe it already has. How you manage yourself during difficult times is a big factor if you want to move on to better things. You can choose to stand with an event and let it ruin you, or you can choose to be a powerful person and treat an event with seriousness and humor. Yup, it happened. Laugh about it. We forget to see that all events shape us into the person we become and that we have the power to grow from it.
Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a full service digital marketing and design agency serving south Louisiana and headquartered in Baton Rouge. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.