In need of career advice? Here's an unconventional source for graduates
How are these cartoons helping graduates to figure out their careers? Source: Andrii Podilynk/ Unsplash

What should I do when I’m feeling anxious? What are the types of communication habits I should avoid? Adulting is hard… how do I know I’m doing it right? I’m always frightened of new challenges… will that make me a failure?

As a fresh graduate joining the workforce for the first time, your mind will surely be inundated with thoughts like these. And no matter how much sound career advice you get from guidance counsellors, your parents or other adults, even the best among us still feel like we’re groping around in the dark.

But that’s okay. Ask any adult – they’re winging it too. And organisational culture and behaviour experts Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy have a creative way of showing you why: through quirky yet relatable cartoons.

As co-authors of the book No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work, the duo run the Instagram page Liz and Mollie where they feature the cartoons, offering helpful advice on how to manage your emotions and find fulfillment at the workplace.

Here’s a useful one on the many different styles of work feedback.

Breaking down fear

As we said above, when you start your first job after graduation, it’s normal to feel scared or perhaps uneasy about what awaits.

On your search, you may have been carefully analysing company reviews, employee benefits and office environments.

At your university, you may have been attending numerous career workshops, networking events and one-to-one sessions with a career coach.

However, as this is your first professional role, you will essentially be learning by doing, instead of through training manuals or actual experience. There’s no shortcut – it’s only through practice and making mistakes that you’ll gain the experience you need to build your expertise. This applies to both your technical work skills and your people skills.

That’s where visuals like Liz and Mollie’s prove to be very useful. By softening the blow and taking a friendly approach to uneasy work moments, students and graduates may not take harsh corporate experiences to heart.

Visual learners vs. Verbal learners

Another advantage to these insta-worthy tips is that they cater to visual learners.

Throughout university, the majority of career advice may have been offered to you in a verbal format. Either through intense discussions with a job counsellor, interview reenactments or other techniques.

By relaying useful information in engaging illustrative styles, these cartoons bring career advice to life and provoke important topics in today’s working world.

Hidden advice

It’s doubtful that your university careers centre ever prepared you for the ups and downs of a work-based friendship – as displayed above.

It’s also unlikely that job-related lectures at university informed you about the average noises an office makes – as displayed below.

Important or not, unspoken occurrences such as the expected office pantry etiquette or employee seating plans won’t be obvious to you until you take the job.

Yet, they’re still important factors that tie into the social atmosphere of your chosen office.

Whether its cartoons, memes, online videos or downloadable handbooks that help you to deal with contemporary career culture, always stick to the one you feel most comfortable with.

There should never be pressure to conform to one type of career advice and visual cartoons, like these, seem like a great place to start!

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