Each time you graduate a school you hear the same thing: “They won’t let you get away with that in high school/college/the real world like we do here.” Each time it’s equally stressful and we are forced to ask ourselves “Will it really be that hard to succeed at the next step?” The first few times this happens you eventually find out the next step is not too different and your professors will work with you to help you find success. When you do make it to the “real world” however, you find out that you are on a brand new field. You see, not all skills you gain in school translate to the workplace, especially time management.
At school you are given your entire semester laid out in front of you on the first day. There are no surprise projects (besides the occasional pop quiz) and you are given months to achieve your carefully structured goals. That is not how the real world works. Tough luck, buddy. Being on time to work or completing an assignment ahead of time, these are the things that make you seem professional and reliable. At Bohlsen Group I found myself working on deadlines that didn’t even exist until I walked into the office that morning. It was engaging and a nice change of pace, but keeping up with the new projects and staying on top of long-term assignments was going to prove an acquired taste. Working with everyone here, I found that time management has three major keystones:
Bohlsen Group, as I was lucky enough to find out, has a culture of communication that leads to success. The first part of everyone’s morning is a company-wide meeting to discuss your daily workload. This generally acted as a touch base for collaboration that would give everyone a jumpstart on planning for the day ahead.
Some may fall into the trap of prioritizing the nearest deadline first, but it’s not always that simple. You need to be organized enough to break down your projects into their pieces and set personal expectations of what you can realistically complete in a day. Beyond that, you need to break up your work in a way that keeps you from burning yourself out on one project by spending your whole day on it. As I spent more time at Bohlsen Group and improved upon much of my skillset, I found I could exceed even my own expectations and beat deadlines. Each staff member has their own organization system that keeps them focused and on track for success, and by observing and experimenting I found one for myself.
Lucky for me, Bohlsen Group doesn’t babysit their interns. They give you a project, ask if you have any questions, and let you do your thing. This can be both a blessing and a curse. If you are a focused individual, you will get right into it and knock your work out. If you are easily distracted and not used to multi-tasking, you are in for a headache. You need self-control to keep from straying onto your personal content when on social media for a project (which is quite often). You have to find a way to enjoy the skyline view from the office and work at the same time. This is a make or break trait for many people in the industry, so when the responsibility was put on my shoulders, Bohlsen Group put me on a crash course to success.
You find out what sort of employee you are when you are left to your own devices. My time at Bohlsen Group taught me a lot about myself, the traits I could improve upon and the skills I excelled in. My time here will shape my career and has taught me the value of continuing to educate myself in my field. But more importantly than anything else, it taught me how to be on time in more ways than just being at your desk by 9am.