How To Be A Leader In The Real World
I have been attending Arcadia University for 4 years. I have gotten involved in many different leadership positions and developed my leadership skills and my knowledge of growing as a leader throughout my time here. Here I am, about to graduate. I have a job lined up, I will be close to my friends, and I will finally have finished school, and it seems like everything is coming together. It’s easy to say that I’ll be able to carry over everything I have learned to my new career and the new people I will be surrounded by, but when I think about exactly what that means, it’s pretty scary. I will be joining a whole new community, living at home away from my friends, and entering a job where the majority of the employees have been there for years. How will I possibly be able to identify myself as a leader when I have so much to learn before I can even feel comfortable there? I don’t know what to expect, and I don’t know anyone. I am much more comfortable identifying myself as a leader in a role that I know well, but how do you establish yourself as a leader in such a new setting?
When I first started here it was easier for me to get involved in our community. There were a lot of other students in my position as new students, so I made some friends, we got involved together, and from there I was able to expand my network and grow as a leader on campus. I am usually able to make friends fairly quickly, but when I take a step back to think about it, my whole life this has been done in a school setting or something similar to that. I have had jobs before, but I have never entered a full-time work setting like this. The fear of the unknown is really settling in.
I found an article called “Start You New Job Like A Rock Star” on forbes.com, and it really opened my eyes to maintaining a positive attitude rather than focusing on what-ifs and fears. The author writes that “starting a new job is a time of optimism” (Hedges). Some of the tips that are described begin with going in ready to learn. Being a leader means knowing that the learning process is never over. There is always room to grow as a leader, and I have definitely held on to that lesson from my experiences here. Though it may be hard to go in right away and feel confident in my abilities, a good leader listens and lets others lead the way while they learn the ropes. Another of the tips the article gives that resonated with me was to build a network of trusted colleagues. Though this is a new setting and a professional setting, it is important to make friends! The people you work with are people too, so don’t be intimidated by being the “new guy”; jump in and get to know people as you are learning about the position and the organization you work for. Understand the organization’s goals and ideals while also getting to know the people you work with. Find out who you can trust and allow them to get to know you as well. When people know the kind of person you are, they are quicker to trust you and see you as a leader as well.
I think the best tip I have, and something I plan to follow as I start my new job, is to stay calm and be patient. There is no need to be anxious about starting a new job. You were hired because you are skilled and qualified, and you are someone they want to work with. Getting to know people and feeling like a confident leader again may take a little time, but letting other people teach you is an important skill that a leader must have. If you don’t feel like a leader right away, don’t worry, it is all a part of the process and the skills you have developed will continue to grow as you continue to learn. Good luck!