millennials at work“Post-Grad” has to be the weirdest point in my life thus far. Not only did I move away from home to Nashville, TN where I knew no one, I transitioned into a industry that I wasn’t completely use to.

There are certainly things that I wish I had told before I graduated. It would have made my job search and transition into a career in inbound marketing a bit easier. Whether you’re another millennial embarking on a career, or looking toward graduation, here’s what I’ve discovered in the months since I graduated in May 2013:

1. It is not about you! (And it never has been).

Remember when you were babied and had your hand held from the time you were in kindergarten until you graduated college? Yeah, that doesn’t exist outside of the education environment. People do not want to have to teach you something 6 times so you can “learn” it. You are expected to be shown once, maybe twice if you’re lucky, and then apply it. Catching on quickly needs to be one of your most critical skill sets.

2. You don’t know everything

Within the first 24 hours, I realized that acting like I know everything was the dumbest idea possible. You don’t want to say “yes” to everything. If do not know how to code the entire back end of a website in CSS, then don’t say you can! You will have projects on your desk that you don’t even know where to begin with.

Being honest with others, and especially yourself, is the best possible decision. Maybe eventually you will learn how to do those things that you didn’t know before. If you take initiative to learn on your own time, and learn from your coworkers.

3. Organization always doesn’t involve highlighters

When you got your textbooks in college, you probably bought a new pack of highlighters just for the upcoming fall or spring semester. You probably proceeded to highlight the bits and pieces of text that you thought were going to be on the test or “essential” to your life goals.

Yeah, that doesn’t happen anymore. Everything you touch has a purpose now. You would highlight everything you touched if that was the case. Staying organized now has to do with time management and prioritizing.  It doesn’t have anything to do with which test is first. In an agency setting like Inbound Marketing Agents, this means a balancing act of scheduling, client needs, and company needs.

4. You HAVE to talk to people

This has nothing to do with how much those people can help you move up the ladder. This is all about having people on your side. You need friends. Friends in the work place make everything so much easier. If you ever need a favor or you are under the wire, chances are a friend will help you out faster than someone you’ve never spoken to.

Friends will also defend you in times of crisis. But remember to return the favor. This is a 2 way street, right?

5. You are not as awesome as you think you are… YET!

Greatness takes time. You aren’t as phenomenal at your career path yet. You haven’t even been on the planet as long as some people have worked professionally. You can’t possibly expect to know all the ends and outs of every nook and cranny like some professionals do. But what you CAN do is ask those people questions. Ask them how they like their job. Ask them what they’ve learned along the way. You never know, a little networking may happen in the process.

To all millennials – and non millennials reading – what lessons have you learned during your career to-date?

image credit: twobee/