Congratulations on getting a job soon after graduation! I hope things turn out to be really good for you and your career. But, indeed, you have a few apprehensions intermixed with excitement and anticipation for what may come next. This is exactly what it feels like to have a job; while we can deal with the latter part quite willingly and joyously, it is the former that can make things quite miserable for us.
These emotions reek of anxiety, stress, helplessness, and isolation, which are especially prominent among those who start working immediately after graduating. Dealing with these experiences without proper guidance will do significant damage to yourself and your productivity at work. So, you should deal with them asap. How? Well, a few suggestions provided here should be considered seriously.
Here are 5 things you should do to cope with stress if you start working immediately after graduating from college:
- Accept the difference
No matter how hectic it would have been, college life is an environment quite different from a workplace. In the former, you are treated as a student, placed in a balanced social and academic atmosphere, allowed discretion over life, and offered a ground to decide what your future could be. In the latter, you become part of a process in which your contribution is integral and highly responsibility-laden. A workplace is more formal, offers less discretion to your choices, and expects you to work in alignment with the organization’s greater purpose. If you have had a really outgoing, fun-filled, highly discretionary life in college, don’t expect the same in the workplace. Working can be fun, but the nature of fun may differ significantly.
- Ask for assistance whenever you need
You have just graduated from college and are new to the ways of the workforce. While there will be an orientation program for all the fresh recruits, you will still need regular assistance from colleagues and supervisors for all kinds of work. There are certain things you only learn through your co-workers, not orientation programs, because the practical execution of work may differ. All of this can expectedly create confusion in your mind, and hence, you should never hesitate to consult your co-workers.
- You are going to make tons of mistakes
You may have been the highest performing student back in university, but that does not mean that you never made mistakes. Just like that, you will find yourself making mistakes, failing in tasks, and showing an inability to grasp a few things as quickly as your colleagues. If these things make you worry, they are legitimate worries but not something you should lose your sleep on. For at least a year, you should be working under constant supervision of how you are doing things. Surely you will be disciplined whenever you cause problems but acknowledge this as essential to your growth.
- Socialization can be stress-buster
You need to break through your inward shell to socialize with others. Understandably, first-time interactions with colleagues can be intimidating because you don’t know and are completely inexperienced with the ways of life over there. But, don’t assume that interactions are always condescending or unpleasant like they show in dramas or tell you in gossip. You need to assimilate into the work environment and cannot do that without establishing a good rapport with your colleagues. Of course, not every one of them will like you, but you have to do what you must. This activity will help control your stress and alleviate social anxiety so commonly faced by fresh recruits.
- Speak your mind whenever necessary
There is no gainsaying that the first year is always the toughest for any employee primarily because he is in the learning stage and may be subject to unfair treatment from a few unprofessional colleagues. In fact, in many countries, the local culture encourages such practices that have an adverse impact on the mental health of young recruits. It is often expected that the young recruits should refrain from speaking their mind. Even if such a practice is encouraged in the local culture, you should not tolerate it if it costs you your mental peace. If your colleague is harassing you, speak up. If you do not understand the work, speak up. When I say you should speak up, I don’t mean that you should throw all the rules of professionalism in the wind. Be polite yet straightforward!
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