In the 10 years since I graduated the Commerce program at MUN I’ve learned a lot the hard way. Here’s what I would have told myself if only I knew.
- Design your life, or someone else will. Seriously. Sit down and make a plan on paper. If it pivots 100 times that’s fine. At least it’s your plan.
- You know nothing. All the last 17 years of school has taught you is how to think…hopefully. You can make up for knowing less by working harder both at the job and at learning the job. Work like a demon for your first 2-3 years minimum. Learn the gig and prove your value.
- Read. To help with #2, read industry websites, blogs and books. Learn the language of your trade.
- Ask for help. You’re new. People expect you to need help. You might have spent the last five years having all the answers. But you don’t now. And that’s okay.
- You’re job is to not screw up. That’s it. It’s not to redefine how your employer does business – yet. Earn the opportunity to do more and change things.
- Some people suck. But try to have empathy. You’re young, and I hate to be the one to tell you this, but life can be shitty. You will find truth in the saying, “ Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about”.
- Be curious. The grade 6-12 system tried to break you of your curious streak in favour of conformity. Get it back.
- Write all the time. About anything. This will make you better. Few people can string a sentence together. If you can write concisely and persuasively you’ll be invaluable.
- This is super corny, but so important. Everything you do, do it with love. Let go of your need to be right or to get the credit. Just be happy with the outcome. Tough love is okay. If you need to correct something or someone, just make sure you do it to help them be the best them.
- If you don’t like your job, quit. There will be another one. A better one.