555 days ago myself and 23 other recent college graduates were selected to be part of the SAP Presales Academy.
336 days ago I was trying to make sense of a “flex plan” when selecting my health insurance during onboarding at SAP.
147 days ago I turned 23, graduated from the SAP Presales Academy, and became a Presales Associate for the Human Capital Management software team.
By the year 2025, 75% of the global workforce in technology and other emerging markets will be from the millennial generation (Deloitte). While us college students were studying for exams and discovering the depths of our procrastination skills, consulting firms and governments across the globe were doing research on our generation to discover what it is we really want from future employers. Deloitte was able to sift through our Starbucks infused brains to discover that we want to LEAD. We want to become part of something that changes the world for the better, and we truly believe that businesses have that power.
Some people are born leaders, but most learn to lead over time. Here are a few things I learned on my first job that I’d like to share with fellow Millennials.
1. REALLY get to know the “career” people. Millennials on average change jobs every 2.2 years (Forbes), which prevents us from really gaining the knowledge that comes from sticking with a job long enough to call it a “career”. Find those “career” people in your office and ask them questions. Almost too many questions. They’ll pass on knowledge that that no article in a business publication can.
2. Learn things the hard way. Of course always try your best, but know that The Real World isn’t like school. Us Millenials are really good at school – 61% of us have college degrees, but our work is only as important as the lessons we learn. We can’t study for our job like the exams we took in college, but we can certainly learn from those mistakes that we will eventually make. This leads me to…
3. Be patient with yourself. Growing up with so many options available to us has given us the mindset that we should give up whatever we aren’t immediately exceptional at. Careers are meant to be a challenge – they’re meant to be something we work towards. We can only have valuable experiences if we give ourselves enough time and space to learn.
These 147 days on my first job have been challenging, fun, and not without mistakes. I have learned most from engaging with experienced colleagues and giving myself space to make mistakes. I am sure with time I will lose count of days on the job and keep track only of lessons learned and the value of that experience.