A Graduate's Guide to Surviving the 9 - 5 Life

college, professional, young professional

A college education prepares you for so many things but the 9 to 5 work life is not one of them. Yes, that's why you're encouraged to do internships but those only do so much.  Right about now, thousands of bright eyed 22 year olds are taking their first steps into the next 30 years of their life. Yes, it really is that dramatic. And what these starry eyed babes don't realize is that it is truly a different world out there. The college life is over. 

For those of us that don't have the Silicon Valley or freelance life, you will most likely have a cubicle and share an area with some interesting characters. On top of that you will, to some extent, have an Office Space experience. I personally have wanted to take our office printer out into a field and beat it with a baseball bat, I really have. Now I'm making it sound grim, but it really isn't so bad. There are just some things that all new grads need to remember before entering the workforce. Remember these things, work life will be a breeze, sorta.  

Learn About The Office Culture
Working in an office there are often procedures or habits that you just don't understand. Sometimes its because you're new, other times its because the office is stuck in the 80s. Either way, learn what is expected of employees.

Create A Productive Morning Ritual
It is so important to get your day going on the right foot. Start by getting your morning coffee or tea and reviewing your to-do list for the day. And maybe if your company allows, read your favorite industry related news source. Dedicate a half hour to this before getting right into the day to day work. 

Make The RIGHT Friends
Be selective. There are friends and there are work friends. Sometimes work friends can become actual friends but don't confuse the two. When you're the new person, you are out of the loop of all the office politics. Be neutral while you evaluate how you want to position yourself. While you should of course make your own decisions about people, know that some alliances can be harmful to your career while others can set you up for advancement and growth. So basically, it's Game of Thrones in the real world.  

Create A Work Playlist 
When its 2 p.m. and you aren't sure if you can make it, the right playlist can save the day. It should inspire you and even make you want to dance. Don't underestimate the power of a great playlist. 

Make Your Space Yours 
Most people work best in places where they feel the most comfortable, so make your space as homelike as possible, but be professional. If you are lucky enough to have a window, bring a plant. Hang a few posters and bring your favorite vacation photos. Give yourself something pretty to look at while you daydream. 

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