One of the most valuable things to do after finishing my degree has been networking, meeting new people, attending events and having conversations with professionals and new friends from different backgrounds. The wisdom, humour and advice shared have really helped, as I’ve been going through the period of applying jobs and having many interview experiences on the phone, video call or in person. We learn so much through engaging in thoughtful conversations, and interacting with different people. It’s also a great way to grow your contacts, learn something new and have more understanding of yourself and the industry you may want to work in.
It gives me so much energy and motivation listening to each persons passion and enthusiasm for their job. I once had an interaction during the new year, where the marketing professional said she was so excited to wake up that morning to head to work. I talked to a broadcast journalism who shared her travels for breaking stories, and how it has built empathy and understanding for individuals, as well as the responsibility of communicating a persons story. I was talking with a CEO recently who said that emotional intelligence is extremely important in management, such as establishing a healthy team culture.
Presentation matters This seems like a shallow one, but I really do agree that presentation matters. The way we present ourselves, is the way we’re communicating to the world who we think we are, or how we would like to be perceived. You will undeniably be perceived through the way you dress, your body language and how you speak when you enter a room for an interview.
Most people are listening to your body language The words we speak have power, but it is very often our body language that can speak volume. Good posture makes me think of the amount of times I was told growing up to stand up straight. However, good posture also communicates confidence, openness, assurance and positivity. Make sure to maintain good eye contact, be an attentive listener and show that you are interested.
Growth mindset I’ve talked to quite a few people who have mentioned the growth mindset. A fixed mindset is when we get into the cycle of believing that we are only a certain way, and that it will not change because we believe it to be part of our personality or way of life. It causes one to restrict themselves in their life. A Growth mindset means you face challenges as a great opportunity to grow, and you can find positive aspects in every setback.
This too shall pass Whether it’s a good or bad period, it will pass. Enjoy the good times, and know that the bad times will pass and will be key in helping you grow stronger and more resilient. It’s often through the failures that we learn and grow. It can help push us to continue trying, learn from our mistakes and gain fresh perspectives.
Be a good listener You never know where there might be a hidden gem. You know that feeling when you’ve just had one of the most satisfying conversations with someone, where both of you were fully engaged. Being a good listener means showing that you’re interested, you ask questions and make eye contact. It means removing your self for a moment, and focusing your attention on the person.
Spend less time on your phone This one can be a challenge as phones have infiltrated into many aspects of our lives. They say that even the presence of a phone can influence the engagement in a conversation, and our phones can give a sense of distraction and take the attention away from being fully engaged. If we spend less time on our phones, we can enjoy more of what’s around us.
Start making your meals from the beginning I think this is a great one, because as a student I know how easy it is to spend when you go through a period of time where you’re eating out. It all adds up. It’s a good habit to establish from the start of a job, and meal prep your lunches. It’d be easy to get into a habit of eating out regularly, and spending a lot out of convenience.
Have a good work life balance It is what you make of it. If you really love your job, and don’t mind working long hours, yet still have time to do what you enjoy then that could be your sense of work life balance. Work life balance will be different for every individual. I remember a TV producer telling me that it’s important to maintain a balance between work, socialising, alone time and enjoying your hobbies. It’s important to establish a clear line between when you’re on and off work mode.
Don’t make your life all about work As a fresh grad, it’s natural to want to get a great job, go full in and work extra hard. One of the common advice I have gotten is that the first job may not be the dream job, and if it is then that’s great. Your first job is an opportunity to get your foot in the door. Being fresh in the working world is the chance to build your skills and networks. This is similar to the previous point in maintaining a good work life balance. Your life is not defined by your job position.
Learn to say no One of the advice I got was from someones personal experience. She said that she can see a lot of young grads wanting to make a good impression, which leads to taking on more than they can handle. However, it’s important to know how much you can manage, and learn to say no when you need to. Look after your own well being, and don’t let yourself burn out by picking up too much.
No one has it all figured out I’d like to say this in a humour me tone, but in all seriousness, no matter how old we are, everyone’s just doing what they can. Some of the best advice is that we are learning everyday. I don’t think anyone really has it all figured out, which is what makes life exciting.
Make an effort to interact with everyone When you’re in a new company, make an effort to interact with everyone. You don’t need to become friends with everyone, but it’s important to learn to interact with all kinds of people. It also makes the work more productive and efficient overall by establishing a positive relationship with your coworkers. It can also make people feel more valued and it shows that you’re able to work in a team setting.
Be fully present Time flies by and you learn so much from being present in a conversation. This ties in with using our phones less, and being a good listener. One of the advice I got for your early 20’s is to enjoy it as much as possible as it will go by. When we’re fully present, we’re able to absorb and fully experience what’s happening around us.
The importance of enjoying a job I know that many people tend to dread Monday’s and look forward to Friday’s, and it’s common that working can have its stresses, pressures and repetitive nature. Attitude is everything regardless of the situation, and having a job you enjoy will help you feel that you are reaching your goals and will make you feel more successful.
Knowing when to have time for yourself, and for interacting with people There are jobs that require constant interaction with people, and other jobs which may require more higher degrees of autonomy. Then there is also the fact that everyone has varying degrees of introversion and extroversion. Remember to take care of your mental well being, and take time for yourself.
Internship experience is valuable If I count off my fingers, I’ve completed eight internships in the last 5 years. These ranged from content writing, marketing, public relations, editorial and social media. These were all unpaid, but when I reflect back, they each taught me a lot and gave me incredibly valuable experience, skills and knowledge. They allowed me to meet many amazing people, and understand more about different work environments, businesses and tasks.
Emotional intelligence is more important than IQ The ability to understand others, and read a situation and how someone may be feeling is important in establishing a positive work environment. Having high EQ can also allow one to interact well with different people in a social or work setting. It allows one to relate with others, build strong communication skills, control one’s emotions, maintain strong relationships and be more self aware.
Let your personality shine through Don’t be afraid of being yourself. When you allow your personality to shine through, your natural confidence also shines through. We all have qualities, characteristics and quirks that are unique to our own. It also means that you’re able to be comfortable in your own skin, and it shows authenticity and honesty. It’s also what sets you apart from the person beside you.
Be aware of the energy you send out into the universe What we send out into the universe is what we attract back into our own life. This is so true in the amount of times I’ve visualised something with intention and felt only positive energy towards it, it manifests itself into reality. There have been times I’ve felt anxious, stress and worry and felt the rejection or failure.
Never stop learning No matter what stage of life you’re in, never stop learning everyday. Read, research, engage in conversations, observe and learn something new everyday. Let it feed your mind and enrich your life. Your life is what you make of it, and how you want to create and experience it is up to you. There are aspects of life we cannot change or control, but the parts that we can are in our hands.