The job market as everyone knows is a highly competitive one. Some people are lucky enough to leave school or graduate university and fall into their ideal job, but for many that’s not the case. Finding your ideal job and succeeding in the world of work has undoubtedly got harder and will get harder still in the future. Whether you’re moving from school to work or university to work there are some lessons that you should take with you.
I freely admit that I took inspiration for this article from Bill Gates who gave a speech about 11 rules that school kids are not taught. Like him or loathe him, no one could deny that the man knows one or two things about succeeding in the world of work.
Because I’m a different type of person from Bill Gates I baulk at the world rules because having always been a bit of a rebel, I get the childish urge to break them. However, you can think of them as you like – rules, suggestions, tips or advice and incorporate them into your thinking or ignore them. I believe each point is key to succeeding in the world of work. You’ll have to see if you agree with me.
1. Life is not fair, so get used to it. Don’t expect the world of work to be any different.
2. Have realistic expectations. Don’t expect to walk into a job with a £50,000 plus salary and a whole handful or work benefits the moment you leave school or university.
3. Your boss is not your friend. Your boss 4won’t show the same tolerance as your teacher or lecturers did. Missing deadlines or incomplete work will not go down well.
4. Don’t try and run before you can walk. You may arrive at work with lots of qualifications, but that doesn’t make you an expert.
5. Don’t act as if certain jobs are beneath your dignity. You’re being given opportunities that someone else would be glad to take
6. Take responsibility for your own errors at work and learn from them. You can’t pass the buck to parents, teachers or colleagues in the world of work
7. Watch your body language. Invading peoples space, showing you’re bored, sulking, showing anger are all tolerated far less in the world of work.
8. Accept the world of work is a competitive place, even when you’re thinking you’re not competing against anyone else. Where at school or university, you were given multiple opportunities to repeat work to improve your grades, you won’t get multiple chances at work.
9. Never stop learning. You may never want to do another qualification, but if you’re going to translate the success you’ve had at school or university into succeeding in the world of work, you’ll have to keep on learning.
10. Accept responsibility for boosting your own self-esteem. Don’t expect that people at work will tell you you’re wonderful before you’ve proved yourself (and they won’t necessarily do it even then)
Succeeding in the world of work, is not a given or a right. It requires a lot of hard work, commitment, a sense of humour and the ability to bite your tongue.