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10 Tips for The Real World From Lauren Berger

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Congratulations, you graduated!

You have moved out of your senior year apartment, celebrated graduation with friends over the summer and are either (A) looking for your first post-college position or (B) preparing to walk into the office of your first career move.

Reality is starting to sink in. You’re entering the “real world.”

Intern Queen Lauren Berger shares her top 10 tips for entering the real world.

1. Pay attention to your e-mails.

Everyone gets 100 e-mails a day. We get it. Make sure that you know how to properly structure your e-mails, customize them and keep them professional.

2. Prioritize your work load.

Understand your boss’s priorities and what needs to get done and when. Set deadlines for yourself even when they don’t exist.

3. Clean up your brand.

Go through all of your social media channels and decide what image your want to portray to friends, family and colleagues who follow you. Have a plan and be consistent.

4. Be aware of POP (Petty Office Politics).

Understand the relationships around you. How do people know each other? Why were certain decisions made? You can’t avoid politics but you can loop yourself in to better understand them.

5. Find a mentor.

Always be thinking about a mentor and whom you click with (in a professional way) inside of your company. If your company has a mentorship program–get involved. If they don’t–create your own.

6. Don’t just attend networking events–actually make yourself network.

Put away your cell phone, look people in the eyes and try to have meaningful conversations. Give yourself a goal. How many new people will you have conversations with at the event you are attending?

7. Run your work–Don’t let your work run you.

Make sure that you’re staying on top of your workload. Make a to-do list before you leave the office to ensure less “dawdle time” every morning.

8. Make a budget.

You’re probably not making much money in your first job. Be aware of your finances and expenses and make sure you track them regularly and set rules for yourself.

9. Prioritize the people who matter.

If you’re close with specific family members and friends–make sure that you make time to stay in touch with them. Maybe it’s a matter of calling them when you leave work at the end of each day. They’re big part of your life and you don’t want your work to eat up your time to stay in touch with the people who matter.

10. Take yourself and your personal needs seriously.

I promise–no one will take you seriously except YOU. At the end of the day, if you aren’t happy, you aren’t going to enjoy any job.

This article was originally published in USA TODAY College.

Photo: Thinkstock

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