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5 Things They Do Not Teach You In College

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College at times seems like a mini model of the real world, till one graduates. It is then that we realize that no course in university prepares us for the challenges of the workplace. These universities give the illusion that they are mass-producing CEOs, business tycoons, Nobel Prize winners and more. According to Mugdha Pradhan, CEO and Founder of iThrive, “What you learn in college is not always applicable in the real world.”

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There are in fact several things that you only learn on the job and hence the concept of internships and experience matter as much as qualifications. Only when we start working do we realize that drafting the perfect mail is an art, taking follow-ups and completing tasks efficiently is the flex of the century and negotiating pay to satisfy both parties is an essential skill set. Mithun Vijay Kumar, author and political analyst, said, “You may have understood the tools but understanding the needs of the clients is what companies need.”

Similarly, here are some things that they do not teach you in college.

1. Finance

If you want that G Wagon at your doorstep, you have got to stop spending more than you have. Every penny can not be saved but not everything you make is to be spent. Create a budget by estimating how much you will spend on things and stick to your budget. The ugly truth about our generation is that we believe Google pays each time we use Gpay. Saving money alone won’t help, you need to divide your savings into lifestyle needs and emergencymoney. The emergency money is for real crises that may unfortunately strike. Use the 50, 30, 20 method which is, 50 per cent spent on needs, 30 per cent for luxuries/wants and 20 per cent on savings and paying debt.

2. Emails

This old tool is essentially all the social media you need during your corporate day. Get into the habit of checking your emails often and reverting on time, in detail. An experienced freelancer once advised ‘if it is not on mail, it did not happen.’ So be sure to add all details of your pitch, progress, excels, etc clearly. Kumar said, “Understanding your requirements is important”. A simple way to go about this is by checking if your mail subject is the perfect trailer to the contents, start the mail by mentioning the purpose of the mail, and in the same flow list the other items. Do not leave emails unanswered and you’ll float.

3. Time

Pradhan recalled, “I really wish as a rookie I had learnt how to create boundaries around my time”. If your output measures our productivity then you my friend, have no time to lose. Start your day with a task list adjacent to which you mention the time frame for each task. Do not overestimate your capacity and sticking to the schedule is of more importance. Then run your list past your immediate superior to check what task needs to be completed by when, which will help you prioritize.

4. Graduation is a myth

You never really stop being a student. Kumar emphasized that “freshers should be as open as possible towards learning”. Your focus should be towards picking up as much as possible. Get an understanding of the workplace culture and connect with co-works outside your department as well. When the time comes for collaboration you’ll be able to be quick with your work as icebreaking, introductions, and understanding people would be something you have already done. Your degree alone is not the ultimate exam and lesson, pick up courses along the way to enhance your skills and be up to date with the data in your field. There are several online courses with flexible hours to help you for the same.

5. Ideal flow

Pradhan explained how one should aim to be “Indispensable at their job and then become redundant, let someone grow under you and then find another role”. Growth is a major player in career success, if you are not growing then you are missing out. Aim to be so good at your skills that are of more value to others, once you reach this stage, push yourself onto another challenge.

The bottom line is, to gain experience to not complete days at a workplace but tasks and projects. This is just the start of your journey so do not be impatient for success and promotions. Work on yourself and trust the process. In college we are all entitled, the hussle has just begun and with the right attitude to evolve, you will do just fine.

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