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Editor’s Note: This post was originally for Brazeen Careerist, where I am lucky enough to be a guest blogger. If you haven’t checked out the site, I highly recommend it.
After college, you’ll likely never have to write a paper on the inhumanity of man in Don Quixote or solve 50 statistics problems using standard deviation before class the next day. However, you will have to prepare for meetings and presentations.
Learning shouldn’t end when you cross the stage at graduation.
According to a study by the Jenkins Group, “42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.” (The validity of this study is questionable, but it’s often quoted.) Just because you aren’t going to be graded on how well you know a book, doesn’t mean you should stop reading.
Read books on management, even if you aren’t in management (yet). Read books on other businesses. Read fiction for enjoyment. Every book you read adds to your collective knowledge. Not only are books great conversation starters, but they also can nudge you into make positive changes.
Balance your checkbook. Practice math. You never know when understanding financials can help you make a good decision or keep you from making a bad one.
More than anything else, learning makes you a valuable employee. It sets you apart, makes you a more well-rounded person and keeps your skills sharp.
Every office has that one person who has always done things one way. They begrudgingly accepted email, but that’s it. Change is glacial, if at all. Yet every year, new hires come in with baffling technical skills widening the gap even more.
“Individuals born from 1957 to 1964 held an average of 11 jobs from age 18 to age 44,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. Job hopping is more common now than ever before. If your skill sets haven’t evolved to make you competitive with those fresh out of college, how do you expect to land that next job?
While layoffs might not be as common, they are still happening and Survivor’s Guilt is still relevant today. As the February 2009 Times article states, “watching colleagues pack their things and go — and dealing with guilt that it wasn’t you, anxiety that you might be next, exhaustion from the extra work you must take on and even envy of those who get to leave such a sullen environment — that’s not much cause for celebration.”
It’s hard to go from a department of eight to a department of four. To take on additional tasks and keep telling yourself you’re lucky to be employed and have a paycheck still. But that mentality doesn’t make it less stressful. If there’s not a renewed sense of camaraderie or team building to make those left feel important, feel wanted, then it can easily become a place of people biding their time until something better comes along.
The newest lines of advice indicate you should never stop looking for your next position. Even if you’re happy. In the uncertain world of careers, this could be a lifeline.
My best advice? Don’t let people around you bring you down. If they’re being really negative, let them know. If you want to love your job and your workplace, do it. No one but you can help you deal with being a layoff survivor. However, that being said, if you are feeling very stressed out or overwhelmed find someone you trust to talk about it.