7 Things About Being a Graduate
Having been off the graduate scheme for that ten months, it’s a good time to reflect.
So, what are the things to know about being a grad? ….
1. It’s an odd dynamic. Day one you’re allowed to talk to whoever, say whatever, you are your own, paid, person. Which is great — well done. But it’s odd. It’s also odd being on the same level as other people, people who have been there years. Which again — great but all the same, something to remember.
2. It’s something to be humbled by. I remember starting and thinking ‘Shit, what if I’m shit.’ but what you realise is… it’s better to be humble than overconfident. People tend to have an overall view of grads (and I’m sure that there are a lot of exceptions) but some people do think you are the privileged one. Which you can understand from the first point. If you empathise — you’ll get on better.
3. You have to work hard. It’s true that you’ve got to build your reputation, you have to work hard to get results which then translate into trust and people having confidence of you. You are at the very start of building your brand within your company and outside of it — it’s important that a good work ethic is part of that.
4. You will be tired. The first few weeks of anything new is pretty flipping exhausting. Pair that with a new company, a new role and a new understanding of how the working world works — don’t be surprised if all you do outside of work is sleep — I know I did. The important bit is to make sure you eat right, get enough sleep and make sure if you are commuting long hours that you take public transport if you’re not up for driving just yet. You’ll soon work out your balance of coffee, 10am snacks and the right quantity of lunch to get you energised but not falling asleep but in light of that — you need to make sure you are being safe. So take the public transport.
5. Relationships do not just last your placement. One great lesson I learnt is that you never know who your next boss is — so make sure you have a good interaction with everyone you meet. That person who really pissed you off in that meeting could legitimately be your next boss so you have to make sure, selfishly for you, that you are nice and respectful. Otherwise you could really end up with a right problem on your hands. And also — you’ll never regret being nice, you will regret being horrible.
6. It’s full of opportunity — take it. The short term nature of your placements means that you get the chance to be involved in lots of different things. Which means you get a really great understanding of what you do and don’t like. Why is that good? Well it means you can capitalise on the things you really love and you are good at — making for a wonderful career.
7. It makes business sense. Being humble about being a graduate makes a lot of sense because you are in a great position however, that doesn’t make you inferior. It makes total business sense to take on someone who is degree level qualified, full of punch and passion and young and ready to go into a business. From an age perspective the company can mould you and grow you into what they need, you are smart and capable which again helps the business with its goal. So what I’m trying to say is be happy you got on the scheme but not embarrassed or feel unqualified. You are smart, capable and full of good ideas — you just need to build some confidence and work your arse off.