College Graduates. As they move out of dorms and back home to their parents or into Ikea appointed apartments they share with roommates, I empathize with how overwhelming the thought of deciding who you are going to be in the world might be. Even those who didn’t live on campus but worked full-time and went to school in the evening and on weekends might now be wondering if the new degree will now provide a new identity or a new life.
There’s an odd part of me secretly waiting for the day that our world looks like the one in the movie Divergent. You know where there are only 5 groups of people: The Brave, The Peaceful, The Intelligent, The Selfless and The Honest. I imagine that some newly minted undergrads might be feeling the pain of the Factionless—those without defined purpose or use.
Times haven’t changed so much. When I completed undergraduate school, the word “English” was written neatly in calligraphy on some very fine linen paper but mentally, I was still majoring in un-decidedness. So while you may be roaming around Factionless, wondering how it’s all gonna play out– I offer priceless advice for the college graduate:
Grow Up Your Social Media Footprint
Yeah…that means getting rid of the sexykitten365 email address and deleting all cover/profile photos of you leaning against a door looking hazily into the lens as if you’re the coolest cat in town. While you are at it, delete all of the photos of you from parties, rallies and any place where you had on face paint.
Wash your face, put on some appropriate clothes and get one of your friends to hook you up with a new profile photo (head to shoulders). Stand in front of a white wall or sit on a park bench. Create an image that says I’m awake and ready!
Get serious about networking and get yourself a free account at Linked In, Levo and The Ladders. These websites and others have you covered in terms of looking for career advice, job searches and employer research.
Now that your parents can’t force you to go to Girl Scout Meetings, you need an introduction to networking for grown-ups. Your activism on campus may have been fueled by a desire to change the world and a never ending campus meal card but fighting the good fight back home requires a different strategy. Sites like Idealist, Meetup and Volunteer Match offer hundreds of ways to connect so you have no excuse for not getting out there and finding people who care about the same things that matter to you.
Memorize Your Generations and Act Accordingly
As most of you are on the hunt for jobs and paid internships, it’s important that you understand whom you will be dealing with in the workplace. Yes, there’s a mix of race and gender to be found almost everywhere but the real goldmine for workplace dynamics is age. Each generation has a different philosophy regarding everything from money to work ethic and if you know that in advance, you can avoid some very common rookie mistakes.
- Mature Silents (Born 1927-1945): Yep, they may be 70 or older so respect your elders for real and understand that this group values loyalty,family and discipline.
- Baby Boomers (Born 1946-1964): Driven, team focused and committed to hierarchy are some words used to describe this group who were the first to watch television.
- Generation X (Born 1965-1980): This group of street-smart, entrepreneurial, designer label wearing individuals are often cited as self-absorbed and unimpressed with authority.
- Generation Y/Millenniums (Born 1981-2000): Although they were more than likely wanted and nurtured, this group trusts their friends first and their parents second. They’ve never known anon digitized world and they’d like to make an impact—they just don’t want to break into a sweat to do so.
- Generation Z/Generation Katniss- They haven’t graduated yet but this group has concerns about world safety, gender equity and personal independence.
Congratulations to the class of 2016!
LA Drye is a workstyle specialist and author with a passion for all things related to women in the workplace. Subscribe to receive new posts directly in your mailbox.
When not ranting and raving here, she can be found on Twitter @ladrye, on Instagram @the.drye.eye or on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/washndrye.
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