Dear New Graduates: 10 Lessons for the Newly Employed

Dear New Graduates: 10 Lessons for the Newly Employed

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(Image: Thinkstock)
(Image: ThinkStock)

Keep Learning. You aren’t done yet. You have to keep learning in life, never more so than those heady, dispiriting years when you realize you learned nothing with a real-world application during your four expensive years in school. So many of the people we hire here at Red Branch end up wanting so badly to drop out and work here full-time, just because their final semesters seems so incongruent with their job here.

Your Naiveté Is Immensely Valuable. Sure, it can be a hindrance, but it’s also a goldmine of completely unbiased market research. It’s quite common for new employees to ask questions about marketing that I never thought of before. Keep questioning until you get an answer that suffices, but keep doing what you’re paid to do in the mean time.

There’s More Than One Way to Do Something. Six plus three equals nine. However, so does four plus five, and two plus five plus one plus one. There is more than one way to do something. When you start your first job, or even your first job search, there will be people who train you to think three plus six equals nine, and that’s all right because it does. But don’t lock yourself into just one way of doing things. Keep taking chances and trying different ways to do things.

Debate Is Fine; Excuses Aren’t. I love when someone on my team challenges an assumption I’ve had forever. Not that it’s fun being reminded that what you thought you knew is increasingly unreliable, but it makes me realize that I do have buy-in. What frustrates me are excuses. I know you didn’t mean to mess up, that it was an accident, that you didn’t know, that you were confused, that you got sick, and that you thought someone else was handling it; none of those are solutions. So, don’t offer me excuses until you have a solution. Fix it first, then analyze what went wrong. Don’t confuse justification with debate.

Don’t Let Anyone (Not Even Me) Define What You Are Worth. A job (even a cool one) at a desk (even a standing one) working for the boss man (even a woman one) isn’t for everyone. It wasn’t for me and it might not be for you. Define your own dreams, salary and path. It may not happen overnight, but it will happen.

–written by Maren Hogan

Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and content development. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space.

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.