It’s been exactly one year since I became a University of Georgia alumna, yet it certainly doesn’t feel like 365 days. A lot has happened in the past year and I could not be happier with path I have started down.
Graduation always seemed like a terrifying step, and indeed it was, but as with everything else in life, it always works out just the way it’s meant to. To the class of 2011, (or any other class for that matter) here’s a little about what I’ve learned so far during my first year of the real world:
- Follow your gut: I know, cheesy right? It’s true. Don’t settle for the first job offer, or the tenth, if it doesn’t feel right. The job market is tough, I’m sure everyone has heard that a time or two, but the right fit is out there for everyone.
- Be patient: Following your gut may take a while, but in the end, it will be worth it, promised.
- Make life a priority: If working in the non-stop agency world has taught me anything, it’s that I could literally work 20 hours a day and not run out of things to do. Sometimes it’s hard to leave the office at six or resist emails on a Saturday, but do it. Your body, your mind and your boss will thank you when you are rested and can work at your fullest potential.
- Step out of your comfort zone: If anyone had told me a year ago I would be attending new business pitches to talk to total strangers, I would have told you you had two heads. Sometimes trying something totally terrifying can lead you to discover a passion you never knew had.
- Build relationships not connections: Business cards are great. Getting 20 at an event and not remembering a single conversation isn’t. Make connections by building relationships with others, it’s harder, but it will pay dividends in the future.
- Keep learning: For me, sometimes this is as simple (or difficult depending on the day) as checking Twitter. Find out with other people are up to and learn from them.
- Have fun: If you’re going to be at work for at least 40 hours per week, have a little fun while you’re there, even if this means YouTube video breaks in between meetings with the DIG team.
- Learn what other people do: Sure, I’ll probably never know how to build an iPad app, but learning what other people bring to the table helps to understand the company and constantly be amazed by how much smarter everyone I work with is.
I’m 365 days in and I know I certainly have a long way to go to really make the list above a reality for my professional life each and everyday, but the excitement is in the pursuit. I cannot wait to see what the next year, or 40 bring for my career and all of the amazing people around me that I have been blessed to have along share it with.