BY Kristina Zhou

For university students, graduation is a term that can evoke grade anxiety and a turbulent influx of uncertainty, yet at the same time, it can perpetuate an unbridled sense of liberty and relief. Graduation signals the end of an era and the beginning of foreign territory: full time work.

Will the freedom of leaving exams and assignments behind be overridden by micro managing directors, who entrap us with work that leads to 5AM finishes? And how can you navigate full time work smoothly? Is there a one size fits all way to avoid potential work place complications?

These successful university graduates tell us the key mantra that assisted them in surviving and thriving, in the competitive reality of full time work.

Effy Xu

Don’t limit yourself: be a go getter.

As a fresh graduate, you may encounter managers who frequently assign you with mundane tasks: graduates are still learning, so, initially, it's perfectly normal to be given work that doesn't hold strong significance. However, if you have been at the firm for over 6 months and you’re still being offered administration-based roles, then schedule a meeting with your manager and request an explanation behind the lack of stimulating work. Take initiative and inform your managers: Tell them you want to be challenged. But most importantly, words are cheap if your performance is mediocre. So, make sure you bring an intense focus to every project you're assigned; show them you’re a determined individual who always aims high.

Helen Chen

Act as if you have a camera recording you at all times.

I’m not advocating an environment where micromanaging and constant surveillance should be the norm, however I am emphasizing the importance of always going above and beyond and utilizing every hour productively. This means, even when there’s no supervision you should refrain from sneaking a Facebook message or “bludging.” Trust me, final year students: if this mentality is ingrained within you, you will be able to achieve swift upward mobility.  

Aaron Yeung

Don’t be intimidated by your team.

Although work’s main priority isn’t socializing, showing interest in understanding people’s stories and engaging in great conversation with your co-workers, is vital to facilitating a strong support network. Remember minor details about someone, they’ll be both surprised and flattered, when you mention it again in a relevant situation.

Kobe Kan

When applying for jobs: be certain that you’re genuinely interested in the company/role.

Don’t let other people’s opinions regarding prestige and supposed superiority, steer you down a lane that never aligned with your interests. Similarly, do not be deterred by those who tell you that the dream job you’re applying for is too unstable and unconventional. Drown the white noise out and aim for the bulls-eye of your heart. (Provided it is reasonable and rational of course!)

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