From the Classroom to the Office

, Posted on Apr 08

If you would have asked me as a senior undergrad where I would be in two years, I think it’s fairly certain that my response would fall somewhere between a haze and a faint trace of color.

Was I, at 21, prepared to join the ranks of the corporate world? After spending 20 years or so perfecting the protocol and skill set of the classroom, change was both intimidating and exhilarating. This was my shot, I thought, to finally apply my theoretical training into something tangible—an actual career.

If I am to recount my emotions after the first month or so after entering the working world, I have one word to describe it: humbling. Even as that continues to be an adjective that describes my every day here, I’ve found that one’s capacity to learn and grow over a period of time is often surprising.

Inspired by Nikki’s Five Important Lessons I Learned in My First PR Job post and the silent celebration of my first year here at Identity, I thought I’d devote a blog post to recapping the top four lessons I learned in the first year of adulthood, business “cas” and working the 9-5.

Your capacity to achieve great things is moderated by the belief that you can.

Think about it: you’re a college grad. It’s the first day at the office. People, processes, expectations, an atmosphere and a culture that you are, for the most part, unfamiliar with surround you. For me, this was a tall bill to overcome. What did I learn? A defeatist attitude is a huge obstacle to growth. The more I challenged myself to take on unfamiliar projects and individually manage client requests, the more I was able to bypass the limitations I had created in my head.

Experience breeds confidence.

Of course I didn’t know the whole Identity drill when I first walked through the office doors. Over time, I found that a healthy dose of questions, persistence and task repetition prepared me to better tackle new projects. Mentor support was huge in this developmental phase, and I have my amazing coworkers to thank for that!

Responsibility no longer affects only you.

In college, individual success is the primary focus. The mentality is always How can I get an A, not Gee, I hope everyone does well! While this is probably not the most becoming attitude, from personal experience, it held true.  Transitioning into the working world, this mentality was no longer sustainable. Working at Identity has truly revealed the power of collaborative creativity. Now, as clients “grade” performances, I feel confident delivering a product with one name behind it: Identity.

Growth stops when learning ceases.

The day you think you’ve learned everything, you have really failed to learn the most important thing along the way. It’s true: you enter into most jobs with transferable skills that can be applied to the occupation. But, more than that, you are selected based on your ability to develop not only those characteristics, but also your propensity to learn and master new ones.  In the past year, I can place no value on the education I’ve gained in learning public relations, marketing, social media, video production, inter-office communications and collaboration.

I am excited to see that list continue to grow.