Recommendations for new members of the “real-world”

This is primarily for new analysts/consultants but could apply to anyone starting a new job really. The “real-world” reference is to clarify that this doesn’t apply to interns. Interns exist in a bubble, no matter which company they are at.

So here goes a some things that I think you should know about/learn to do, especially if you are working in a big professional services firm:

  1. You will be asked to do things that you find extremely boring but you should do them and better understand why you hate them
  2. Paying your dues is definitely true unless you are really lucky or… (not going to go into it)
  3. You will not receive instructions for most of your tasks
  4. Seek out individuals who will help you and guide you beyond your firm assigned buddy and counselor (also applies to #3)
  5. Always attempt a task and come with problems AND solutions (also applies to #3)
  6. Learn to be lazy – Does not mean don’t work hard but rather work smart. Find ways to do things more efficiently
  7. Look to learn from everyone around you – peers and seniors, especially Partners.
  8. Definitely look to learn from your seniors, no matter how dumb you may think they are.
    1. They are probably not as dumb as you think they are and they will have always have something for you to learn
  9. Pass on your knowledge to worthy and willing individuals
  10. Acing your English classes in college does not mean you will be a good business writer. Watch and learn others’ writing style and then create your own.
    1. Offer to draft emails for seniors and see how they change it before sending it out
  11. Do not get defensive about your mistakes, just listen and focus on what you should change
  12. Do not get defensive about others’ mistakes that are made to be yours, just listen and focus on what you should do to not be blamed in the future
  13. Diversify your skills and projects – This ensures that you work under a variety of management styles and polish different skills in our toolbox
  14. Seek to make your own path rather than follow others unless you strongly believe in them and their path
  15. Understand yourself and stick to it. Otherwise, you will lose yourself and the job will define you
  16. Find hobbies or activities to do outside of work to give yourself a break from work and also meet people outside of work
  17. If and when drinking alcohol at work events, know your limits
  18. Be nice to everyone because people remember it. If someone is particularly mean to you, just keep your distance and remember them. 😉
  19. Don’t send angry or drunk emails
  20. Challenge yourself because others are not going to go out of their way to do so
  21. Know that there is always politics involved in the “real-world” – My recommendation is to stay as far away from it as possible

This by no means is a comprehensive list. And the numbering does not indicate how important it is.

Let me know if I should add others on there or if you agree/disagree with any.


About Keshav Malani

I am the co-founder of Powr of You ( I am extremely passionate about tech, startups, & in general learning & challenging myself. My career has been focused on tech and strategy. I have also founded 2 successful small businesses. View all posts by Keshav Malani

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