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Asked by Byron on December 3, 2014

What is the most challenging aspect of adjusting to your career?

Answered by Kelly, Hiring Expert at The Schwan Food Company, on December 4, 2014

Hello - thank you for your question. I would say a few of the most challenging aspects of adjusting to a career is (1) navigating through workplace politics, (2) learning how to effectively work with a variety of employees/managers & (3) falling into a more regular routine.

(1) Navigating through workplace politics requires active listening & observation to understand how best to approach situations in different settings. Pay attention to both verbal and non-verbal cues & take time to reflect before taking action. Keep an open mind and understand office politics exist in every organization, school, etc. Simply be aware of what’s going on around you and act consciously & authentically.

(2) Learning how to effectively work with a variety of employees and managers is a lifelong journey. You will be working with individuals from a variety of different backgrounds, generations, tenure with the company, etc. Again, take the time to listen and consciously observe others paying close attention to preferred communication styles, personality types, etc.. You’re probably not going to jive with everyone so try your best to approach every situation as a learning opportunity and value the unique differences while always remaining respectful.

(3) Falling into a more regular routine can definitely be an adjustment for those just entering a world outside of school. No more extended winter breaks and summers off (unless you’re working in a school). Make sure to get plenty of sleep to ensure you’re on top of your game. Work hard but also take time for yourself. Vacation days exist for a reason so utilize them when you feel you need a bit of a break from the routine of it all.
Best of luck to you as you endeavor into the full-time career world!

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Answered by John, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on December 4, 2014

Great question! When starting a new position one could encounter a number of challenges. A normal challenge would be the learning curve. So, having to get acclimated to new people, supervisor, processes, systems, environment and in learning the business/product. In my opinion, I believe the greatest challenge following that would be in understanding the unique needs of your customer and how you can effectively meet their needs. I would say flexibility is the key and always keep an open mind for learning.

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Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on December 5, 2014

What has been, in my experience, the most challening thing to adjust to is the culture of the company at which you are employed.  You may be at a company, such as start up technolofy company, where decisions are made quickly with little bureaucracy.  Other companies are more conservative and risk aversive and thus, decisions only get made after much debate and multiple approvals.  In many companies, the culture is different depending on what part of the country or wIn either case, it is critical that you adjust to that culture in order to succeed.  Keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with either culture.  Both types of companies have been quite successful because of their cultures.  Even though one type of culture may not be what you are used to, those employees who are the most flexible and can adapt to their surroundings, are ususally the most successful. 

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