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How To Succeed In the Workplace After College

The immediate post-college period is strange. For your entire life (more or less), you've existed in structured environment of learning, where accomplishments can be quantified and progress can be measured yearly. After you leave this educational totem pole, there will be a period of adjustment. You'll have to find a job, and you'll have to start making your own unstructured path through life.

Here are five tips to help you succeed in the workplace after college.

1. Be well-rounded

Employees with multiple talents are in high demand. When you're in college, be sure to take a wide variety of classes. You are going to have to fulfill all of your major requirements, but you will have additional credits to spend on elective classes outside your major. Mix it up. Embrace variety, and when you enter the workplace you'll have a diverse set of skills that'll help you excel as a professional. 

2. Be able to learn quickly without getting flustered

When you enter the workplace, you have to be willing and able to learn new things. Don't get flustered. Figure out what you need to do and do it. If there is a learning curve, attack it. Get up to speed quickly and illustrate your ability to take on new tasks with minimal direction.

3. Hone your computer and communication skills while in college

Computer and communication skills are vital traits for any employee in the 21st century. You need to be familiar with computer programs. Make spreadsheets in excel, learn how to navigate Microsoft Word like there's no tomorrow. Become adept at Internet research. Practice your written and oral communication skills, so that you can communicate confidently and effectively once you enter the workplace.

4. Network

Just because you're out of school, it doesn't mean you can't continue to network. Some of the most rewarding jobs you'll ever have are jobs that were created from contacts. Branch out and make allies. Find people that share your interests, and keep in touch with them. The more genuine contacts you have, the more likely you are to find a solid job.   

5. If you don't feel challenged at your fist post-college job, then find another one

When you exit college, you're coming off years of dedicated, focused work. When you get your first post-college job, you're going to want to show the same sort of diligent, hard-working attitude that got your through school. However, you may find that the position you have found yourself in is unchallenging. If this is the case, don't spend months and years trying to make your job feel rewarding. If you don't like what you got, change it. Find another gig where your skills and be put to better use. Don't wallow in a dead-end job because you fee like stable. Charge ahead, and choose your own future.

If you've done well in college, you can do well in the workplace, it's just going to take a little adjusting. Be confident in your abilities and never sell yourself short. If ever you feel like your capable of achieving more, put yourself in a position to do so.