1. The first day on the job is the most challenging, but everything after comes a lot easier.
As soon as you open the door to your first “real” job after college, you will be hit with 398743598743 different anxieties, but, at least try to remain in the present moment. Part of the game is just faking it till you make it.
2. Be direct about your expectations and make your intentions obvious.
Working your butt off isn’t the only way you will be graded in the post-college adult world. You also have to be able to articulate and express to your boss what will make you excited to come to work every day.
3. Establishing relationships with mentors who believe in you is, quite possibly, the most important thing you can do.
Believing in yourself is essential to anything you do, but also having others who believe in and trust you is empowering.
4. Don’t put off making important decisions.
Don’t sleep on important deadlines or expectations because as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler say, “BITCHES GET STUFF DONE.”
5. Set goals every day, every week, every month, every year.
Basically, keep challenging yourself again and again.
6. Never fear failure. It will come, but just as easily go.
You think Justice Sotomayor ever gave up? No. So, what if you’re fired, or not offered the job you want so bad? Sometimes what you think is a bad career decision can lead to an even greater opportunity.
7. Always have faith in yourself and your ambitions.
Success doesn’t come easy. Mindy Kaling’s sitcom didn’t just fall into her lap. She worked HARD for it and it paid off.
8. Don’t make important decisions based on what you think others expect.
This isn’t some weird mental game where you have to position yourself in ways to please everyone around you. Sometimes trusting your gut and intuition is the best thing you could ever do.
9. Chances are everyone around you is as uncomfortable or anxious as you are.
Some people are just better at hiding it.
10. You will have awkward interactions with your co-workers in the workplace.
It’s just gonna happen. It sucks, but trust me, it will. #awkwardturtle
11. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re wrong.
People like you better when you admit your mistakes because that’s what makes you a normal, relatable human being.
12. Mistakes? You will inevitably rack them up.
Don’t be afraid of them. Embrace them. Cowering in fear of ‘em will only make things worse. TRUST.
13. Don’t hide who you are.
If even Beyoncé, the queen, can admit when she’s wrong, then you FOR SURE can follow in her flawless footsteps.
14. Happy hour doesn’t mean what it meant in college.
Don’t get schwasted at the company happy hour and make a fool of yourself, or at least wait until your boss leaves and its just you and your co-workers gettin’ down with some margs at the bar.
15. It’s OK if you get passed on for a position or a project that you really wanted.
Maybe it wasn’t meant to be, or maybe an even greater opportunity is waiting for you. This is not the end of the world.
16. Remember: No one is perfect, even if everyone looks like they’ve got it all down.
If you worked as hard and put in as much effort as you could in an eight-hour work day, then there are no regrets. PLUS, if you actually talk to your co-workers, they will tell you that the secret is they still get as anxious as you probably were on your first day.
17. Don’t be afraid to speak up in meetings or when your boss asks for feedback.
Just because you’re new doesn’t mean your input isn’t valuable. You have to prove why you should have a seat at the same table with everyone else.
18. You will realize offices are actually really awkward. *bumps bathroom door into boss’s face*
“Aw, shit, SORRY. I just graduated from college…I don’t know how to conduct myself as a real-life adult.” Your boss won’t appreciate your weekend hangover story as much as your friends at your cubicle will. It’s about finding the right balance.
19. Stick together with the friends you make in the process.
They will look out for you, and you will will do the same. PLUS, having work buds is just plain fun.