As demonstrated in our previous article ‘The World Outside Of College,’ we emphasized a range of important measures to keep in mind when leaving the somewhat secure and reliable world of higher education. When we move into the real world with care and attention, we may come across a range of experiences we had not expected.

However, this can go even deeper in some respects, in that meeting some of the practical realities of life and understanding them ahead of time can help you avoid moving forward with an illusory viewpoint. It can also help you stay dedicated and responsible when caring for your own positive path forward, something worth considering and appreciating ahead of time.

When you are able to arm yourself with this knowledge then unexpected situations cannot harm you or throw you through the ringer as much as they would have otherwise. This allows you to slowly become an informed, prepared and responsible citizen, the kind of person that makes up the goodwill of any worthwhile nation. With that in mind, please consider the following advice:

Pay Attention To Regulations

Pay attention to the regulations that may structure and determine the paths you take in life. For instance, it may be that you’ve always dreamt of working abroad, or you have the opportunity to work somewhere you have always wanted, only to be faced with the hardship of immigration law that you had not anticipated nor researched as well as you could have. In this instance, a deportation attorney at your side can help. This is perhaps one of the most common examples in the modern world of regulation and litigation gone awry, and it can affect those who may not have had trouble with any other form of working allotment beforehand.

But regulations, policies and contracts are worth paying attention to. It’s worth knowing where you stand and repeatedly informing yourself. For instance, taking on one working contract may seem appropriate on the surface, but underneath, in the pages of conditions, you may find terms that are not to your liking. The same goes for renting an apartment, or starting a new enterprise, or beginning any initiative of worth. Be sure you get familiar with the small print, because too many people find it can affect their life terrible. Perhaps the most important example of this is once again reading your repayment terms for your student loan, as there could be habits and practices you may have forgotten since.

Managing Your Professional Reputation

It’s very important to manage your professional reputation in the best possible manner. After all, while it is possible to hop from industry to industry, from career to career, even from country to country, you only get a few chances to sustain your professional life with a reliable reputation.

Additionally, some jobs and opportunities you will get will be a very natural extension of your ability to manage this. We can often think that we need to be the most skilled person in our career or the most talented in order to get work, but that’s simply not the case. In fact, being reliable, dedicated, easy to work with, friendly, and courageous can help you ascertain more work than ever. Of course, developing your skillset is important, but when you’re too good at something it’s also easy to feel entitled to opportunities, and this attitude can very easily convince people not to conduct further business with you.

Managing your personal reputation takes time, and is much harder to build than it is to tear down. But staying punctual, polite and dependable can help you more than even a diverse list of qualifications, as this reputation breathes life into those qualifications, and can help you gain jobs based on recommendation.

Staying Flexible & Trying Anew

It’s also important to stay flexible when building your professional career. For some, the regular habits of a 9-5 work schedule will become the new norm, but overtime or weekend work will sometimes become an apparent and necessary part of their daily flow. For others, it can be that staying flexible means working within the confines of the freelancer’s necessary discipline, as curating a professional reputation means staying confident, learning how to market yourself, and also how to manage workloads.

Staying flexible also means doing your best not to get too comfortable in the long run. For instance, it’s very easy for us to only rely on our professional contacts for work, or on a job that we have been accustomed to. But if we’re not constantly trying to develop, we can find ourselves in a difficult place. For instance, staying flexible is often best helped when you’re continually on the look out for better opportunities, or chances to refine your skillset. It might be that your job is offering first aid training to volunteers, and so putting yourself forward for that can give you one extra, free and reliable new qualification to add to your skillset, thus increasing your market value.

Learning How To Manage Risk

Learning how to manage risk can be an essential part of growing as a professional. This is because none of us get to decide if we take risks or not, only what form those risks may come in. For instance, it might be that our best friend has a million-dollar idea for a startup company and is asking us to be a part of that. However, it may be very clear that the chance of working in an employed, fully structured manner with benefits to hand is not possible there right now, but if you believe in the idea, you may think that this will come later, along with all the benefits associated with being an early adopter. No one can see the future, but we can learn how to manage and research options like this, and to responsibly weigh up either path. The more you can do this, the more you’ll sustain yourself throughout life.

With this advice, we hope you can fully grapple with the practical realities of working life. Remember, this is a marathon, not a race.

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