12 rules for new grads

We know this is the time of year when everyone is giving new graduates advice. We’ve done it, too.  However, Harvard Business Review just published a list of 12 rules for new grads that we wanted to share with you. These tidbits are based on the question “What advice would you give new college graduates about launching themselves into the workforce” which was posed on LinkedIn.

1. What you learned in college is a foundation for future learning, nothing more.
We’re not downplaying your degree. What you learned is important. But, what you learned how to learn is essential for a successful future.

2. Be someone your colleagues want to work with.
Have a positive attitude in the workplace. Be that person who gets the job done. Keep the commitments you make.

3. You’re not a smart as you think you are, even if you are as smart as you think you are.
Humility will take you a long way. After all, you don’t know everything.

4. From the very first moment, remember you’re creating an impression. PhotoForJune5Post
Remember people take literally seconds to make a first impression. So, you’re going to want to make a good one. After all, Will Rogers said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

5. Do what’s required, from the menial to the extraordinary, to get the job done.
You’re going to have to pay your dues. That means working on things that may be beneath your abilities. But, if you show others you are willing to work hard and are dedicated and energetic, the advancements will follow.

6. The harder and smarter you work, the luckier you’ll get.
Good work habits and work ethic are more important than talent.  You’ll go far if you have discipline and focus.

7. Learn to listen, listen to learn.
If you listen well, you will learn. Epictetus, the Greek philosopher, said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Keep that in mind.

8. Always do your homework.
We know, you’re sick of homework. We understand. But, if you’re not prepared on the job, people will lose respect for you.

9.Don’t learn the tricks of the trade, learn the trade.
There are no shortcuts. Figure out what you want to do then do all you can to be great at it. Don’t be tempted to take shortcuts. Usually they’re dead ends.

10. Embrace your weaknesses.
Of course you want to emphasize your strengths, but you need to identify and compensate for your weaknesses.

11. Network your brains out.
Cultivate business relationships and treat each one like a bank account into which you must deposit at least as much as you withdraw. Educator Dr. Mitchell Friedman offers 16 networking guidelines.

12. Don’t lose yourself trying to be what you think others want you to be.
Know what you think when someone is trying to be someone they’re not? You certainly don’t want people thinking that way about you. Be who you are.

Good luck.


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