By Eddy Cruz, Director of Career Development
For our recent May graduates, for many, walking across the commencement stage brings with it a sense of jubilation as well as a perceived end point.  However, what many recent graduates fail to realize is that this point is not necessarily the end, rather a new beginning to what is to come.  So now after walking across the stage you begin to mentally prepare yourself for your impending job search, which ultimately leads to the first day within your new role as a professional. You realize the ability to take naps between classes is no more! The transition from college to career begins to set in and now you find yourself asking now what?  Well, it’s your lucky day, I would like to share three tips with you that were shared with me when I made a similar transition – oh, so long ago. So when starting out, keep in mind, it’s all about passion, attitude, and patience.

Passion is key when beginning something new regardless of what it is. If you are not passionate about what you are doing it will show through in all that you do and will impact the outcomes of your work. Without passion, getting up every day for work will be work. This will lead you down a path of an unfavorable experience for both you and the organization. If you find yourself in a situation that is not what you hoped, you have two options, first, move on to a new position or second, find something within your role that you are passionate about and use this to inspire and motivate you. Passion propels you to do better and to be better. Every aspect of a position as you start your career will not always be something you are passionate about, however, it is all in how you approach it.
Attitude is your approach to people, tasks, and conflict. Over my career I have had the opportunity to learn by observing and doing. Some of the greatest lessons I learned were from situations that did not directly involve me. I was able to observe from afar and gain some knowledge to use during similar situations in the future. When you find yourself in a new environment, take time to observe how your peers and leadership handle themselves in a variety of situations.  A wise man once said all humans make mistakes, but the wise learn from the mistakes of others. Do not blame others or circumstances for your mistakes. Take accountability and move forward. Another lesson learned is when I choose to have a positive attitude, I produce positive outcomes. You can learn a lot from others; emulate the positive and stay away from the negative behaviors.
Your approach to work is determined by the attitude you come in with. People do not want to be around others who are negative, a gossip, or a know-it-all. Keep focus in your work and maintain a positive attitude in all that you do. Leaders of your organization are always seeking out individuals with the right attitude with the desire to move the organization forward.
Another valuable lesson learned from a past mentor was the importance of patience. He would always say, “Let the DNA wrap around you!” Meaning, be patient and take the necessary time to learn about the organization. Allow yourself to become a part of the organization’s DNA makeup.  By gaining this understanding you begin to understand where the organization is going and begin to live it as well. Additionally, it becomes easier to understand expectations; they make sense and become clearer.
All in all, I hope you are able to take some of these suggestions and learn from my experience. As you begin your career remember these three things as you start your journey. It’s all about having passion for what you are doing, having the right attitude, and practicing patience, and you will get going in the right direction for career success!