May 22, 2012

My (Rather Basic) Advice to College Kids About to Join the Real World

  1. You do not know everything. 
  2. It’s okay to accept when you don’t know something and ask for help - ask Google if you can’t handle asking a person but do ask.
  3. Meet all kinds of people. It helps you see different points of view and exposes you to different ways of being. If you’re stuck with the same group of people all the time you’ll never grow.
  4. Put yourself out at work. Focus, and go the extra mile because everything counts. If you’re not the best at what you do, someone who really wants your job will do it for you.
  5. Know what's happening in the world and especially what's new in your area of work. Put your net-surfing skills to good use!
  6. Do not expect to be treated differently because you graduated from a fancy university. You still have to do the odd jobs at work and start from the bottom.
  7. Dress appropriately for work. This does not include torn jeans. Even if you’re in a ‘creative’ job you can make an effort to be presentable. No one needs to see your butt-cleavage. Ever. Deodorants are your best friend, especially in summer when you share a cubicle.
  8. Be polite to everyone, especially peons and clerks - they don't need to take shit from you (or anyone) just because they serve you tea. ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ go a long way. It also helps to greet people in the morning and say bye before you leave work.
  9. Do not gossip. You may love your colleagues but they’re still working with you. Save the trash talk for home.
  10. It does not help to suck up to the boss. In fact, it makes you pretty annoying to everyone else and your boss will see right through it. He or she became the boss for a good reason.
  11. Don't take criticism personally. It's not about you, it's about work and the bigger picture.
  12. Always take private calls outside the office work area, and if you can, keep your phone in silent mode.
  13. It’s alright to drink with colleagues after work, but there’s a fine line between drinks with colleagues and a hot mess that is hung-over the next day.
  14. You do not know everything.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Priths!
      This is based on personal interactions, so I'm very sure its relevant :)

  2. Very cool, I like. I can particularly relate with point 8. I personally observed two interview candidates at my old job--one was a Harvard MBA with sound credentials who aced the interview but did not talk very politely to the peon in the office on being offered tea. Another was a slightly lower credential guy who did so-so in the interview but befriended the receptionist, thanked the peon and even managed to make friends with the building security fellow. At the end of the day, when the firm's partners were making hiring decisions, they actually went and asked the peon and receptionist what they thought of each candidate. The Harvard MBA lost out.

    You never know when life can take a full circle and treating someone with respect does not cost a cent. Make it count!

    1. Wow! It's pretty incredible that they chose to ask the peon. Just goes to show that kindness comes right back at you...


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