Written By Victoria Alise Howard, Gartner Account Executive
Welcome to life after college! Let me just start by congratulating you on this big step and next letting you know that it’s all going to be okay. Many people say that the years you spend in college will be the best of your life. While I’d agree that afternoon naps and free football games were definitely a plus, I’d say that the best is yet to come. I won’t lie and tell you the transition will be easy, but it will be memorable.
The first and perhaps one of the most important things that you can do after walking across the stage and accepting the piece of paper that symbolizes years of hard work is define your “why.” This is your motivator, your reason for getting out of bed in the morning, the thing that drives you. Especially when taking a sales role, this is crucial. Take some time to contemplate and define what your driving force is. For me it’s family. When I’ve had a hard day and things don’t go my way or even when something great happens, I always think of my family. Defining your “why” will be crucial because it’s what will keep you grounded as your life changes.
Second, it’s important to be easy on yourself. Repeat after me: “Everything will not always go as I expected and IT WILL BE OKAY!” You’re in the early phase of building your career. Especially in sales you’re bound to have some slip ups, some less-than-stellar moments and some occasion where it feels like nothing is going right. Trust me, you’ll survive! Take those moments to be easy on yourself and reflect on how far you’ve come. And most importantly, LEARN from those moments.
This brings me to my last point. Take every opportunity you can to learn! Your 4 (or more) years in college has laid a solid foundation but has not equipped you with all the information you’ll need for a successful life and career. Use your “newness” and ask questions, request feedback, shadow others, get a mentor and never miss an opportunity to learn something new. At Gartner I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by team members, managers, trainers, VPs and members of other business units that have been more than happy to contribute to my growth professionally and personally. Find an environment that allows you to do the same.
As I stated earlier, you’ve just entered the most exciting time of your life! Now is the time to define who you are and grow. There are endless tips for what you should do to make the transition into the working world easier but I can only speak to the ones that have been essential to my progress. Define your “why” and take it easy on yourself because I promise you everything will not always go as planned. Lastly, take every opportunity to learn! Don’t try to make your transition perfect but instead make it memorable.
Are you a recent graduate looking to join Gartner? Take a look at our available sales roles here.