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Everything I need to know I learned from college… but I didn’t

– Megan Carrell,  intern at the Indianapolis Business Journal

As a recent college graduate, I had the privilege of experiencing that wonderful existential crisis of “What now?” Here’s a few things I’ve already learned about being an “adult”.

  1. It’s okay to not know everything.

To quote Voltaire, “The more I read, the more certain I am that I know nothing.” In the recent months while applying to jobs, I’ve learned just how much I don’t know yet in my field. But the best thing about knowing you don’t know everything is that you’re engaged and ready to learn more.

Start Googling words you don’t know, or search for articles that seem interesting. Follow both the big names and the local up-and-comers on social media. You never know where you’ll get that perfect advice, experience, or even job lead.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

This might seem like an obvious one, but it’s something I personally struggle with. New companies, new jargon and new people can be intimidating. Of course every job is different, but your boss or coworkers should be able to explain what’s confusing you. Sometimes it might seem like a trial by fire, but many times those flames can be put out pretty easily.

  1. There’s a difference between professional and uncomfortable.

I’ve been lucky so far to be at a job where my boss has been communicative. What I’m still working on, though, is finding the right way to be myself. Personally, I’m afraid of being overbearing or loud, so I go to the other extreme of polite and timid. What I’m only just now realizing is that acting like that might be making other people uncomfortable around me, just perpetuating this cycle.

  1. Nobody else knows what they are doing either.

It might seem like everybody else knows some secret you don’t. But other people – your parents, your significant other, your coworkers – are not flawless either. Just breathe deep and keep trying. Someday, maybe a recent college grad will think YOU know that secret, too.

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