College Graduation is a Time to Start Fresh

Be respectful to everyone. Don’t be condescending to those without college degrees. Anyone at an organization longer than you, has more experience. Learn from them.

Do everything to be helpful. Not in your job description? Do it anyway. If you don’t, there are plenty of candidates for your entry-level job who will. (Exception: don’t get pressured into doing anything illegal or unethical.)

Pay attention to your table manners. Sit up straight, don’t use your fork as a shovel, take bite-sized pieces and don’t talk or let your mouth fall open while chewing. I have plenty of stories about people not hired or passed up for promotions because their sloppy eating habits would have been an embarrassment to an organization.

Graduate to a working wardrobe. Even in a casual work environment, avoid flip flops, maxi dresses and the rumpled little boy look. If you can wear it to the beach, don’t wear it to work (unless you work at the beach.)

Leave childish college binge drinking behind. Celebrating birthdays, job offers or because it’s the weekend, by getting drunk, is a road to nowhere. There may be hard choices ahead about leaving behind former drinking buddies. They're not looking for your friendship. They want you as an enabler. If you can’t drink responsibly, don’t drink at all.

Beware the office gossips. They are not looking for your friendship either. They are priming you for material, to be later used against you.

Come early and stay late, without complaint. Don’t be a clock-watcher. If work begins at 9 AM, get your coffee before 9 AM. If work ends at 5 PM, do not start packing up at 4:45 PM.

Always look forward. College was fun, but look for the fun in your future.

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