Thursday, 17 October 2013

What can we expect when we grow up?

By Lorena García (undergraduate FIGRI student) 

Are you in the seventh semester of Finance? Or maybe in the ninth semester of Economics? How many of you are ready for a big change in your way of life? How many of you are scared of growing up and becoming an adult?
Life comes without instructions and, in some stages of life, emotions are stronger than we would like. It is absolutely normal to be afraid of change and it is normal to have doubts, but it is part of us and our personal growth to face this fear!

Have you ever heard your teachers telling you that “what comes after college is terrible and hard to get used to”? Nothing in life is easy, and when we want big returns, our effort must be greater, and so must our sacrifices.

Alejandro Fernandez is one of my many cousins. He graduated from college five years ago, and when I asked him about the big step between university and work, he told me “when you finish college, the most important and helpful stage in your life begins.” And then he admitted, “when we start working, we only know the basic things from college, so working becomes a learning stage!”

Once he told me about one of his experiences. One day, his boss called him to his office and asked him, “do you think you are at a BBQ at the office?” Alejo was extremely surprised, and he didn’t know what to say! His boss reproached him because even though that day was Friday, he had to attend the company dressed appropriately. And what was he wearing? Khakis, a T-shirt and a pullover – not a suit.

This anecdote demonstrates that there is a lot to learn during our first years at work, and my cousin suggests some tips about our behaviour when we are getting used to our new jobs. Here are some of the most important:

1)      You are the newbie, so you have to recognise the style inside the company and become part of the group in terms of how you dress and speak, for example. You cannot impose your own preferences.

2)      You must be best friends with the security guard (as a strategy, in case you need some kind of help some day), and of course have a good relationship with the people in management positions.

3)      Never – listen to me – NEVER talk about anyone else, no matter what. You have to keep your personal opinions about people at your work to yourself.

4)      Do not pay attention to appearances. Take the opportunity to meet people and don’t judge them.

5)      Lastly, and most importantly, be yourself and be happy! The only way that we can achieve this is to do what we like to do, and find the right place for us where we can do what we love to do!

You cannot imagine how reassuring those words were for me. Of course, those words do not mean that it is going to be easy, but at least I know I don’t have to be wise and know everything about everything.

All we have to expect as students is that when the stage comes, we must give all of our potential, all of ourselves, and not pretend to be what we are not yet! I hope you all have enjoyed this little article, and that this could be a great help to you too.

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