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Homework? What’s homework? I recognize that some of us haven’t done homework in ages (unless it has something to do with our marks). Any kind of “extra” or “interesting” finds that our profs send over often fall on deaf ears. And why shouldn’t it? We’re tired enough after class, and unless there’s something to kick us in the tushie, there’s no reason to do anything other than eat and stream old episodes of .

But doing homework can be a lot like your first job – or for any job that you’re new to, for that matter. So maybe doing homework all the time isn’t such a bad idea…

You spend a lot of time worrying.

When you pass up that piece of optional work or when you decide not to watch that optional instructional video, you always wonder if there’s something that you missed. Maybe it will show up on the exam, maybe it won’t, maybe it’s just a better explanation of what was taught in class. You’ll never know unless you actually do the extra work. Your first day at your first job is going to be a lot like this. You’ll worry a lot until your first day comes, and even then you’ll have no idea what to expect so you sort of hold your breath and hope for the best. Maybe it will be completely new to you, maybe it won’t, maybe it’s just a new way of thinking about what you have already learned in school. You won’t know what it’s like until you go through with it.

There will be a point where you just need to ask.

I have a lot of business cases to do for homework. I’m talking upwards of five hours a night. It takes an hour to read the case, another hour to stare blankly at a sheet of paper and hope that a brilliant idea comes to me, and then an hour of actually doing work. But when I have three cases to do in one night…well, I’m going to have a bad time. There’s no point in staring at a problem that I don’t understand – it’s not going to help. There comes a point when I just need to go to class and ask questions, and I would do the same at work. Sometimes, you just won’t know. And that’s okay, because you’re new, young, and still learning the ropes. It’s all good.

If you hate it, you’re not going to do it.

There’s something about being in a class that I dislike with every bone in my body that makes me never want to do the homework for it. Biology, for example. I never got into it, I did poorly on my high school exam, and I never took that class again. The general rule of life is that you don’t want to do something, you probably won’t unless there’s a compelling reason for you to suffer through it. I suggest you find a job that you actually like, in a company that you feel comfortable in. If you can’t, make your own company. (Entrepreneurship is always an option!)

What’s your first-day-at-work story?


Image courtesy of photosteve101 via Flickr (CC-BY-2.0).