It’s the time of year when we see many blogs and articles dedicated to graduating college students who, according to these pieces, have a lot to think about in terms of their future. Yes, it may be a good idea for you to travel the world and to start saving your money, but here at WorkSimple, we believe it’s also a good idea to actually take the proactive steps to improve yourself professionally when it comes to career management. After all, that’s how you’re going to eventually establish yourself in your chosen industry. Why not start before you embark on your entry-level job search?
So, for those who are about to turn their tassels and step into the workforce for the very first time, here are seven more bits of advice to propel you into the best possible professional mindset.
1. (Try to) figure out what you really want to do: We know your twenties are supposed to be a time to be a little confused, but if you don’t try to go through those trials and errors to eventually figure out what you want to do, you may be in that state of confusion a lot longer than you’d like. Go to industry events, read blogs, get a mentor, and immerse yourself in your interests. All of these will help guide you in the right direction.
2. Track your accomplishments: The easiest way to present yourself and your work is to track them as soon as possible. Start career management early and build a work portfolio so that when a potential manager analyzes what sort of candidate you are, they’ll be able to see how you work, how well you work, and the results of your work.
3. Build your brand: In addition to your work portfolio, begin building your brand online and offline. This means going to those networking events, getting your professional name out there on social platforms, blogging your stance on industry issues, etc. The combination of these efforts will help shape you as an industry expert and allow others to realize this is as well.
4. Get those thumbs up: Sometimes an endorsement is all you need to get your foot in the door. Get them — and don’t forget to say thank you!
5. Continue to learn: Especially when you’re not sure of a career path, it’s important to continue to learn about your industry or the industry you want to be involved in in the future. This is what makes proficient and admirable professionals.
6. Learn to be a self-starter: After the initial learning period, it’s not up to your manager to babysit everything you do. In addition, if you don’t come to the table with ideas, you may be on the chopping block. Learn how to be a self-starter now so that when you’re in a professional setting, you’ll know how to manage yourself without your boss having to hold your hand every day.
7. Know when to take control of your career: Your career is yours. You lead it in whatever direction you want. If you’re not happy or want to change directions, take control–no one is going to do it for you. In the same vein, know what you’re good at, and what you need to work on, so that you can optimize the traits that make you great. This is how people progress and rock at their jobs. Don’t you want to be part of that club?
What do you think? What are some other bits of advice you’d give graduating seniors?