With all the effort you put in during your college years, it can be frustrating when you get to your first job and find yourself less prepared than expected.
At no other time in your life will you learn so much information as when you're in college, but the majority of it is content knowledge, not interpersonal skills. If you've developed keen critical thinking and big concept mapping skills, like when studying for big exams, those will transfer well to the workplace. But some of the other challenges won't be overcome as easily.
As you jump into your first job after graduation, you might find yourself feeling unprepared. These three challenges stem from a differences in your schedule, your work responsibilities, and your peers.
If you've chosen a medical profession, it's not unusual for shifts to span longer hours, or over night. During your shadowing experiences in medical school you'll get a taste of these hours, but not until that first residency sprint will you feel the brunt of it. Remember to take care of yourself, because you're no good to your patients if you're no good to yourself.
If you're lucky enough to land a job somewhere you've already interned, you may feel pretty confident in your ability to meet your boss's expectations. But no matter where you work, there is a learning curve to get to know the office - even basic things like their computer system and IT support, printers and copiers, and (hopefully not) fax machines. With teleconferencing becoming more and more common these days, you may be expected to navigate these programs seamlessly to put on a good face for clients.
Pay attention in your first few days, make notes you can reference later, and ask questions or for repetition if you don't understand. Find out where you can go if you have additional questions.
If you're in the medical field, whether a doctor, nurse, or technician, you may find that their equipment differs substantially from what you're used to, or it just completely new. Learning how to use the scheduling systems, electronic health records, or certain equipment that you weren't trained on, like GE C-arms, it can throw you for a loop. Just remember that everyone was a newbie at some point, so ask for help and get it right - don't sweep your mistakes under the rug.
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