Portrait of a young satisfied intern raising arms at office


Now That You’re in the Real World…

This is part three in a series.


I entered the “real world” last summer, just two short weeks after graduating from college. My entry into the real world occurred when I accepted a job as a recruiter with Vector Talent Resources. After spending 16 years in school, I anticipated I would get “assignments,” explained in detail by my manager. After I completed my assignment, I expected I would receive a rubric of some sort, letting me know what I had done well and what I needed to work on. Well, I should have listened to my elders a little closer when they talked about the “real world.”


As a recruiter, I was tasked with becoming familiar, relatively quickly, with the many different resources and databases used to locate candidates. Simultaneously, I was learning the terminology to understand the industry. It was extremely overwhelming at times and I always wanted to run to my coworkers to ask them for help!


In the real world, everyone around you at the office is struggling with countless tasks and being pulled in every direction—phone calls, emails, texts, office meetings, client meetings, reporting to managers, etc. I have realized that although it is OK to ask questions, I grow more when I take the time to try and figure out problems on my own. I have discovered that it is best to save my questions for when I am truly stuck. Your coworkers will appreciate it and you will gain confidence as you become more independent and others begin to ask YOU questions.


I’ve found that the best way to learn something new is to try to figure it out on your own. Going through the process of trial and error is the only way we truly learn. We have to accept that we will make mistakes. It’s easy to beat yourself up over any failure, but what does that accomplish? Absolutely nothing! Instead of viewing failures in a negative light, we should view them in a positive one. Failures are learning opportunities. So the first time you accidentally forward an email containing a whole chain of messages you did NOT want the recipient to see, you’ll feel terrible, but you will have learned an important real-world lesson!


Written by Montana Markell, Recruiter at Vector Talent Resources. For more information about how Vector can help you, contact Montana at or call us at 703.639.2160.


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