Posted January 04, 2016 by

4 habits to drop before your job search

During January 2016, College Recruiter will publish content designed to assist college students seeking either entry-level jobs upon graduation or summer internships. For more information about January’s focus, check out “Connecting the dots: Creating a 2016 career action plan.

Guest articles published in January will cover various topics to assist students who are either about to graduate and search for their first full-time jobs or who are searching for summer internships.

Robyn Scott, guest writer

Robyn Scott, guest writer

1) Not being able to work as a team

In college, students are often competing with their peers for honors or accolades. Most college students absolutely dread group projects, feeling that it’s unfair that they will all be graded together. This is a habit new graduates should drop immediately upon commencement.

In the job market, employees will be expected to work as a team pretty much every day. Although there will be some independent work, for the most part, departments will be judged on what they can accomplish together. Companies are thinking about their bottom lines and want to make sure deadlines are met and profits are made. Remember, there is no grading in the workplace; however, there will be the opportunity to move up in the company or be asked to leave it altogether.

2) Not taking time to climb the ladder

In college, freshmen become sophomores and sophomores become juniors in one year. Climbing the ladder in college is automatic, and students go from being totally inexperienced to being the oldest and most experienced in about four years.

In the workplace, climbing the ladder will take longer. Automatic raises are no longer standard, and employees may not be able to move up the ranks due to internal circumstances within a company. Someone doing an absolutely fabulous job may not be promoted because there simply isn’t an open position, and these days a job well done generally just means maintaining employment.

Employees who want to move up within the company will have to practice patience, perseverance, and creative thinking. The reality is some companies just don’t like to promote within; thus, employees may consider moving on to a different company once they have two to five years of experience.

3) Deadlines will always stay the same

For the most part, college students can hold their professors to predetermined timelines. The syllabus provides a list of deadlines that are basically set in stone for the entire semester. If the professor has stated that a 15 page essay is due the 8th week of class, they can’t just come in one day and say it’s due tomorrow. Finals are always given during finals week.

Things will not be the same once students become employees. A company may say that a team project proposal is due two weeks from now, but the boss can come in on Monday and say that something needs to be presented tomorrow at 9 a.m. sharp. In the working world, there are tons of different factors affecting timelines and deadlines such as budgets, client needs, and other departments within a company. New employees will have to adjust to being extremely flexible with deadlines.

4) Casual etiquette

One of the great things about college is that students can show up in jeans and a wrinkled t-shirt with a giant cup of coffee in hand; as long as they participate and know what they’re talking about, they often won’t be judged any differently.

This is not so in an office environment. Although coffee will be flowing generously, employees need to follow standard workplace etiquette and show up looking professional and prepared. In addition to looking the part, new employees need to make sure they are prompt, interact professionally and politely with their coworkers and supervisors, respond to emails and phone calls within a 24 hour period (at the latest), and get along with different personality types.

In college, students can choose who they spend their time with; however, in the workplace, they simply have to get along with everybody on their team.

Robyn Scott is a private tutor with TutorNerds LLC. She has a BA from the University of California, Irvine, and a MA from the University of Southampton, UK.

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