I hope I’m not the only one who remembers the often gifted book for graduations across the country: Oh The Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss. (Is this still a thing? Am I dating myself?) Since college will soon be behind you keep these things in mind as you embark on new experiences, and the many spaces you’ll occupy in work and life:

  1. You’re Interviewing Them Too

At Emerson, we get the opportunity to create spaces and communities that support our creativity, ideas, and connections with others. Remember that you’re seeking out companies and a culture that will help you continue to thrive professionally. Yes, you definitely want a job, but as they assess whether you’re the person they want for the job, you’re assessing if they’re a good fit for you as well.

  1. It’s Not All or Nothing

No one has just one mentor, friend, confidant or cheerleader to get them through challenges in work and academics. There’s also not just one job that fulfills all aspects of who we are.

  1. You At Work

After graduation, you’ll have to focus more on maintaining professional and personal boundaries in the world of work. Professionally though you should also feel like you’re part of a community where you contribute and are engaged. You will be spending a lot of time with colleagues on a daily basis so it’s important to assess what the cultural fit will be when taking a position. Honoring your authentic self is about recognizing where your values, personality and work style will be valued. Being your authentic self is sharing and developing those aspects of who you are in the workplace as you respect your peers around you for what they bring to the table as well.

Will it be perfect all of the time? No. Will you click with folks early on a few days into the job? Maybe. Can you seek out the peers in your workplace that you’ll have a good working relationship with? YES! In your career will you meet and work with amazing people that speak your creative language? 100% yes!

  1. You Outside of Work

With regard to your whole self, also remember that your job may not include all elements of what excites you and makes you feel connected to a bigger cause. You might be focused on environmental issues, or social justice, or contributing your efforts on gender parity, racial justice or transgender rights. You, of course, have a life outside of work and for things that mean a great deal to you, carve out time to pick a cause you feel strongly about, and work with like-minded people on it.

  1. Keep Growing and Learning

Okay, pause here for a minute and consider this as GOOD news and don’t shoot the messenger:

Chances are you’re exhausted with assignments and projects and looking forward to a breather, but we’d be doing you a disservice if we said that your learning stops after you walk across the stage. Your degree, combined with your raw talent and skills will contribute to any organization that needs a story to be told. Trust in that.

At the same time, keep your eyes and ears open to stay educated and challenged about the world of work, your industry, and the world around you.

Congratulations Class of 2018 🙂

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