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9 Tips for Graduates to get ahead in careers

By | August 21, 2014
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India produces 5 million graduates every year. This is more than the total population of some of the countries like New Zealand and almost 3/5 of Switzerland and Israel. With such a large number of job seekers 50 per cent of Indian graduates not fit to be hired, says NDTV report.

Those who are not lucky to get campus placements understand the fact that normally it takes six to eight months to find a job. Bear in mind that it takes a lot to build a successful career over the years. Good career choices are extremely important early in your career because you can set yourself up for success later on. Even though you might end up in a completely different career, the skills you acquire and the people you meet are what will open the doors for you.

The following are 9 Tips for Graduates to get ahead in careers.  

9 Tips for Graduates to get ahead in careers1. Think of your career as a series of experiences.

The most optimistic and intelligent way to look at your career isn’t how long you stay with one employer or that you focus on what degree you have. You need to collect experiences throughout your careers, whether that is with two employers or four, with one business function or five or in one country or three. The idea is that you need to be a lifelong learner if you want to make an impact, succeed and feel accomplished. The experiences you have will expand your world view, give you new perspectives and make you a more interesting person.

2. Don’t settle for a job you’re not passionate about.

Chances are that you might get frustrated in your job search. 6 months are over and still you don’t have any job in your hand, this can happen. In such case, please don’t just get a job that will pay the bills. Note that some people will push you to take this decision. This isn’t the greatest advice because research shows that you won’t last long there if you do. Furthermore, no smart company is going to have someone who is only there to make money because there’s always someone else who wants it more. When you’re passionate about your job, you’re excited; you work longer hours and end up accomplishing much more. Life is too short to settle for a career that you hate!

3. Focus on making a big impact immediately.

9 Tips for Graduates to get ahead in careers-big impactThe quicker you make an impact in a company the more attention and support you will get. Millennials understand this well because they won’t want to wait five years to get on a project where they can make this type of impact. Starting on day one, you have to learn as much as possible and start mastering your job so you can handle on to the bigger projects faster and prove yourself. By doing this, you will become more valuable in your company, which will increase your pay, title and you’ll get to work on better projects.

4. Take risks – Early and often in your career.

One of the important lessons this economy has taught us is that not taking risks is risky. There is so much out of our control and if we just keep doing what we did yesterday, we can’t get ahead. By taking a risk, you are putting yourself in a position to learn, whether you succeed or fail. You’re also showing to your management that you’re willing to put your reputation on the line to make things happen. As we become an ever more entrepreneurial society, those that take risks, both inside and outside of the corporate walls, will become more successful.

5. Spend more time with people than with your laptop.

Students are plugged in and don’t understand that the strongest relationship are formed in person, not online. I constantly see students looking down at their Smartphone’s instead of at people’s faces and it’s a missed opportunity. Soft skills will always become more cherished in companies so it’s important to drop your technology and actually communicate with people. People hire you, not technology and you have to remember that!

6. Measure your work outcomes and build case studies.

9 Tips for Graduates to get ahead in careers-Measure your workIf you look at any student resume, they almost always look the same. They have the same fields (education, experience, school activities). Under their experience fields, they list a company and then general information such as “Managed XXX project”. They dress up their experience bullets so they can turn menial tasks into something more marketable. The problem is that recruiters today, and especially in the future, are looking for outcomes. They want to know the numeric impact you’re having on a company through your work, which means increasing revenue or decreasing costs. Always think about measuring your projects and keeping track of the results because that’s what’s going to help you justify promotions.

7. Sacrifice today to position yourself for tomorrow.

You can’t have everything you want today so you need to work hard to put yourself in a better position in the future. Try to put in over more hours per week working on something you loved. As a result, if future you have the freedom to do what you want, when you want. While others would have used that same time to go out every night and party, you will be creating solid foundation for your successful career and I am sure you can! The more you do early in your career, the more it will pay off later in life and you will be thankful that you did what needed to be done in those early years.

8. Travel as much as you can, while learning about cultures and languages. 

We live in a global marketplace now and companies are looking to expand and hire the best talent, regardless of location. If your career offers you the opportunity to explore new places do take advantage of the same. The more you travel and experience the world, the better you will be at serving this marketplace and taking advantage of it. Furthermore, if you’re learning new languages, you are ahead of the curve. It’s hard for companies to find workers who are fluent in languages so if that’s you, you become more marketable. Please note that it is not at all necessary that travelling means going abroad. It can be moving out of your home town and might be your state and working somewhere else in the same country.

9. Locate mentors who live your desired lifestyle. 

9 Tips for Graduates to get ahead in careers-mentorsMentor is an experienced and trusted adviser. Most students aren’t selective about mentors and just feel fortunate to have them in the first place. I believe you need to choose the right mentor, who you can support and who has time to support you. That person should be someone in your industry who is living the lifestyle that you dream of. This way, they can tell you exactly what you need to do each day to get to their level. For instance, if you want to travel and do consulting in the future then find someone who has a job at Deloitte or Accenture to mentor you. Based on your meetings with them, you might even decide that the consulting lifestyle isn’t a good match for you after all.

Source: http://danschawbel.com/blog/my-10-best-pieces-of-career-advice-for-college-graduates/

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