Last night I watched the secret life of 4 year olds which was super cute by the way; watching how each 4 year old was so different to each other and how they learnt from their mistakes. And then today, I met with my mentor and spoke about the graduate scheme. And it made me realise that the playground of 4 year olds trying out new things isn’t that far from what it’s like being on a graduate scheme. And if you don’t agree, here’s why you should:
Any grad scheme is the perfect time to experiment. Try new things, try different ways of working, see what difference you can make by using what you’ve learnt at university and seeing whether anything works just as well in the workplace. For example, at university I organised action meetings where my coursework group would all sit together in a room and work together. That way, if we had a question for each other, all we had to do was ask across the table instead of waiting hours for a reply from an email. You may think in a work situation, this is just everyone sat at their desks doing their work. But by bringing people together onto one task all together, it brings focus and speeds up progress a lot more quickly.
Nobody knows who you are yet. Just as in a playground, 4 year olds will play mums one day and nurses the next; they know how to go about changing their style. In work, you are meeting new people all the time, especially if your graduate scheme rotates often, giving you the chance to reinvent yourself each time. I’ve always been quite conscious of other people’s styles in my team and worked out which ones I would like to be similar to. On my next placement, it is my chance to try emulate some of these characteristics and see whether they agree with me. You may think its just an act, but fake it until you make it. Side note: There’s an amazing TED talk about faking it until you make it here.
So when you next go in the office, choose the type of person you want to be that day. Once you’re confident and happy enough with it, it will become natural and you’ll just be you!