Hey College Grads! Don’t Be “That” Guy or Gal

I’m on a roll here with these graduation posts; this is four in a row.

Here are the previous ones:

Today’s post is offering some advice that may seem a bit counter-intuitive.

Job training agency Wolf Leaders Academy has put together “The 5 Most Annoying Behaviours of Graduates in Their First Job” and the first one is kind of surprising:

  • Believing you will turn around the performance of your business already on day one

While it is certainly good to be excited about a new job and your desire to prove yourself, you need to take some time to learn the company culture, how to navigate the organization, what are the various skills and tools you need, and what success looks like, before you start trying to prove yourself. Also, you need to first significantly ramp up your knowledge in the area you are responsible for.

  • Acting like a know-it-all

You might think you know things. You don’t. When in doubt, just ask. Do not pretend to understand everything right away when you don’t. Your boss and your colleagues expect you to ask questions and will be happy to answer. I know it sounds strange, but they really will enjoy helping you out.

  • Not respecting basic office etiquette

This would include behaviors such as arriving late to meetings,  not greeting people when you arrive in the morning, leaving your trash behind you in a conference room, your personal hygienic routine is lacking. Ask your boss and colleagues for feedback – sincere feedback – and observe what are considered the ‘norms’ in the office.

  • Feeling a sense of entitlement and, worst of all, showing it

The truth is: you are entering a totally new world and you have to start from scratch. You need to gain the trust of your boss and colleagues with hard work, strong results, and grit. Your past performance in college means nothing, so don’t rest on your laurels.

  • Waiting for your manager to tell you what to do

Being successful in your first job requires delivering on what you are asked to do but even more importantly going beyond your official mission. Show that you can do your job while you are hungry for more (and can digest it) and you will go far.

I think all these behaviors offer the recent college grad some insight into what an employer is looking for, or better yet, what they are NOT looking for.

Good luck to the class of 2019!

*image from CBS New York