Some of life’s hard lessons a young reader should expect upon entering the adult world.
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A few years ago, we released our popular “Morphing Into the Real World – A Handbook for Entering the Work Force” as an eBook. The book represents a survival guide for young people as they transition into adult life. It includes chapters to describe how a young person should organize themselves, how to adapt to the corporate culture, develop their career, and improve themselves professionally and socially. Basically, its 208 pages of good sound advice to jump start the young person into the work force.
In the Introduction, I prefaced the book by describing some of life’s hard lessons a young reader should expect upon entering the adult world. There is nothing magical here, yet you won’t find these lessons in the business schools, only in the school of hard knocks, to wit…
There are several lessons to be learned in order to make the transition from school into the work force, but none more important than these first basic truths you should always be mindful of:
* You are entitled to nothing. If you want something, you are going to have to go out and earn it.
* Nothing is free. Forget what the promotion says, people do not offer something without wanting something in return.
* Life is not fair. In fact it can be downright cruel and dehumanizing. Keep in mind, with rare exception, companies are not democracies; they are dictatorships. As such, they operate at the whims of the person in charge.
* Becoming an adult means assuming responsibility, be it on the personal or professional sides of our lives. Knowing this, put your best face on and act like a professional, someone you want others to respect.
* Becoming an adult also means making decisions. In theory, if you make 51% of your decisions correctly, you will be successful. Also, do not procrastinate; if you do not make a decision, the decision will be made for you (and probably not to your liking).
* If anything in life is constant, it is change. Some you will like, others you will have trouble swallowing. Nonetheless learn to accommodate change. Learn and adapt.
* People act on their perceptions, regardless if they are valid or not. As an old systems man, I can tell you authoritatively, if the input is wrong, everything that follows will also be wrong. Don’t jump to conclusions; always seek the truth.
* The only good business relationship is when both parties benefit (aka “Win-Win” relationship). Avoid situations where one party benefits at the expense of the other (aka “Win-Lose” relationship).
* Everything begins with a sale. All of our efforts, regardless of how mundane they may seem, should be geared towards producing income for the company. Without sales, everything else will eventually come to a halt.
* There is only one problem with common sense, it is not very common. The obvious is not obvious to a lot of people. You will undoubtedly discover that decisions are based more on emotion as opposed to logic.
* Your personal and professional lives are one and the same. Some people like to separate the two, but the fact remains, there is only one you.
Finally, I’ll leave you with a thought from a good friend of mine who survived over thirty years of corporate politics:
“You cannot move to the top of the ladder by breaking rungs and breaking rules….we all must move through the learnings, the little successes, the disappointments, to develop and grow.”
– Michael B. Snyder
I have had several parents tell me they appreciate this section out of the book as they have experienced this themselves and found it to be valid rules to live by.
NOTE: Next week I’ll present a five part series titled, “Bryce’s Management Series,” where I’ll explain the basic mechanics of management which all young people should know.
Keep the Faith!