Rules in the “Real World”

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not graduating until next Spring, which I’m glad of, but recently I’ve been feeling like I may actually be more “real-world” ready than some of my peers. I see people on Facebook and Twitter in the middle of lectures, and their general demeanor makes me wonder how they’ve reached senior level classes at all. An article I read today on Inc.com wasn’t necessarily a wake up call to me, but certainly a solid reminder that in a very short amount of time my peers and I will have new rules to live by. Here are some “old-school” rules that stood out to me as necessary reminders to my generation.

1. Experience trumps education.  This one is kind of hard to accept. We just paid a bunch of money and spent 4(+) years at school and are ready to take on the world! Alas, unless there were many internships or jobs at the same time as school, all that time and money was spent to get to square one on the Life board. SO experience as much as possible while in school; internships, jobs, traveling, living. The more experiences we have the more easily we will be able to show what we can give a company.

2. Commitments mean more than just “best effort.”  Commitment: a pledge or promise; obligation. I don’t know if 20-somethings have historically been really bad at holding commitments or if it’s a newer issue, but I can’t say how many times I’ve been part of a group project and people just didn’t do their parts. By not doing their part in school they get a bad grade, so what do these people expect upon graduating? If a commitment is made and is not upheld in the workplace, especially without any warning that the person needs help/more time/whatever, the non-committer can expect a harsh talking to if they get to keep their job.

3. Multitask, yes; multi-think, no.  This goes back to my frustration with classmates who are always on their phones or laptops, doing everything but listening in class. For this point I’m just going to quote the whole thing. “You can walk and talk on the phone at the same time. That’s multitasking. You cannot give full attention in a meeting and be texting or emailing at the same time. Be fully present to only one activity at a time if that activity requires thinking.”
Come on, guys.

Gen-Y folk already have a bad reputation for having an aura of entitlement-without-responsibility. Taking this advice (and the rest given in the article), we may be able to eventually change the opinion of the general public. Maybe. I hope I do, anyway.

I didn't have a photo for this post... these are some daffodils in front of my house. Daffodils are the flower of hope, and I hope to never seem "entitled-without-responsibility" :-)

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