As a recent college graduate, my first weeks at HON seemed like an intense internship. Learning new processes, being introduced to my co-workers and finding the closest source of Dr. Pepper, it was all familiar. Then it hit me—like a dodgeball to the face at the HON National Sales Meeting (that happened)—this is the real deal. Devoting my professional existence to a sole job was a new venture for me, but one that I was excited and prepared to take. However, there were a few things that I was not necessarily briefed on during my college classes.
They don’t teach you how to schedule a meeting. I quickly learned that meetings are the go-to method for organizing thoughts, delegating tasks and brainstorming ideas in the workplace. Scheduling a meeting is a fine-tuned process that requires extreme attention to detail and strategic timing. Ensuring that Person A’s schedule is open when Person B is free, and making sure Person C has enough time to get to their conference call, can be a difficult task. Breathing slowly and taking your time scheduling will ensure your meeting time is set for 1:00 p.m. instead of 1:00 a.m.
They don’t teach you how to manage emails. In college and high school, a new email in your inbox usually consisted of spam, a professor reminding you of homework due or your mom sending you pictures of the family dog in a sweater. Once at work, I discovered emails are precious pieces of information that should be treated with dignity and respect. Accidentally deleting the wrong email could lead to embarrassing follow-up emails and ultimately leave you at a loss of information. I recommend immediately organizing important emails into sub-folders so you can easily find them at a later date.
They don’t tell you work can be enjoyable. After numerous professors’ lectures discussing their days roaming the halls of large corporations, the prospects of finding an organization to work for after college that was fun and exciting seemed bleak. I soon learned that the words boring, slow and lazy are not in HON’s vocabulary. Working for an organization that is rapidly changing and continuously improving can make your workdays seem more like just days. It doesn’t feel like “work”. I wholeheartedly believe in the phrase “life is what you make it” and believe the same idea can be translated into the workplace.
I’m sure as my time at HON continues I’ll come face-to-face with other tasks I was not taught how to accomplish while in school. That’s the great thing about life though; you are never fully prepared for anything. New experiences will happen and new lessons will be learned, that’s how we grow as humans.
What was something you weren’t taught in college, but quickly learned?