Whether you are new to the job market or just looking to take a different path in your career strategy, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Sure, we all want to do something we love. Right? Now, I’ve worked in all sorts of interesting business sectors – Government PR, tourism, education. I’ve done the worst jobs and I’ve done the best ones, and let me tell you a little secret… On each and every one of my workplaces, I’ve found the good along with the bad. Without exception. And I know, the economy is still going through a certain crisis period, although in this day and age, opportunities are everywhere. There are a few things I wish I’d been better aware of when I finished college, but trust me on this one – It’s never too late! Here are some tips.
If you’re still in college or near graduation, please pay attention to this. I am still surprised as to how many students take their education for granted. Okay, maybe you’re not an official adult yet and there are important parties to attend to, but take a good look around. There are so many possibilities you’ve never even considered. And now is the time to go for it. Take advantage of it while you can. First of all, you need to appreciate all the opportunities our generation has. Broaden your horizons, explore, learn new things, travel, make new friendships, join clubs, take different classes. All of that may just come in handy for you at a certain point in your life. For instance, why not take psychology and communication classes? It will be of good use to you, not just professionally, but also in your everyday life. Let’s face it – All business is actually people- business, so your deep understanding of human behaviour will always be an important asset. Learn new languages. German, russian and chinese could definitely be useful. Join college newspaper. You’ll learn journalistic writing skills. Assist at your library. Explore part-time student jobs. Take a semester abroad. You will not only gain valuable skills to put in your CV, but also build your character. And if you’re near graduation, set your goals early and wisely. Some major companies and organizations offer internships only a certain amount of time after finishing your degree.
Knowledge is power. The only real constant in today’s market is change. New and improved skills are wanted and required in every niche and sector. So why not go back to school? Could be for a few courses, couple of years or you just might want to tackle that Ph.D. degree. There are some great scholarships out there. Although, if you are a new graduate, you might just feel sick and tired from all the studying so you wanna take a break, get some new work experience. That’s fine too. Just keep your options opened.
Make a killer CV! You would be surprised to find out just how many people struggle with writing a solid resume. This is a very important step, so take your time. Use multiple templates from around the web and use them to form your very own. You might want to check out the europass website for examples. It will give you good guidance points. Are you multilingual? Don’t just write it as a skill. Make new CVs in all the foreign languages you know. It will increase your area of job search. For new online connections make a LinkedIn profile. Also, do some face-to-face networking and talk to your friends and acquaintances. Ask, explore, act, just don’t give up. If you already know some interesting companies you would love to work for, send them an open application, follow them on social media, ask about internships and job opportunities. Be persistent! Even if they offer you an unpaid internship, take it! It usually leads to something long-term and you’ll be getting valuable job lessons. So, what are the key points in building your own magnificent resume?
Well, first of all, include your name and contact information. You usually write this kind of info in the upper left corner. You know, the basics, first and last name, address, email, phone number. Some people even write their birth date and some other things, but that’s optional, unless it is not specifically required by an employer. Then center your title, just write CV/resume with your name next to it. Tap that enter key a few times and we begin with the real stuff. Your first segment should be about education. Name your respected institutions and the years you attended them. Start from your highschool degree. Did you specialize in a certain craft, language, skill? Were you an active member of some social club? Have you won a contest? If it is important to your overall background and target jobs, include it! Just don’t write something like a proud beer pong champion 2008 and you’ll be fine.Do the same with writing about your college education. Full name, place, years. Name the title of your academic degree – are you an undergraduate (associate or bachelor) or graduate (masters, doctoral, professional). Also. name your specific education field and study area. If you attended many interesting courses and gained a various skill set because of it, don’t be afraid to mention it. Next – work experience. Write down all of your former workplaces and jobs, starting with the last one. Name your employer, your job position title and the amount of time you worked there. Add a brief job description next to it. And last, but not the least, name your additional business skills. Here is where you shine and show your unique assets. Write down all the foreign languages you know, even if it is only conversational spanish. How about those tech skills? What tech skills you ask? Oh, I don’t know, you selfie taking, social media obsessed, meme posting simpleton! How about photography, image editing, academic writing, proofreading, translating, social media marketing and online management, Internet, MS Office, basic coding, WordPress… Yep, they all count. How about your driving license? Or some volunteering you did? See, it’s not that hard. Just don’t forget your cover letter. This is where you briefly introduce yourself, bring up some character qualities, emphasize why you want to work in a certain company and why are you the right person for the job. You are welcome!
Prepare properly for job interviews! Imagine your target company as your new crush. So brush up on your stalking CIA /KGB skills and find out as much as possible about your new potential employer. And I don’t mean just visiting the official website. I’m talking about newspaper articles, media pieces, , social media, top managers… Find out some interesting and not so easily obtainable information and casually drop it in the conversation. So when they ask you if you have any questions for them at the end of the interview, don’t just shrug your shoulders. It will appear as if you are disinterested. This is where you enthusiastically inquire about general workday schedule, different departments within the company and you nonchalantly notice how the new, yet unconfirmed partnership could bring about some positive changes and variety. Furthermore, be prepared to introduce yourself, smile and answer a bunch of ”where do you see yourself in 5 years generic questions.” But, the most important thing you can do is prepare a special strategy presentation for your new workplace. Think of your interview as a business meeting. Both parties are here to discuss, learn new things, negotiate and, even more importantly, see how they can benefit from each other. So make some constructive suggestions. You need to show that you have a good understanding of your business area and all the goodies you bring to the table. Put yourself in your employer’s shoes. Stand out with your expertise level and be self-confident.
Continue to learn new things. Be curious. Being a well-read and informed individual is always a goal to strive for. Be active in your local community. Take some free online courses. You might not get a certificate, but your working skills and knowledge will speak for themselves. What a time to be alive!
Accept part-time jobs even if they are not your first choice. There is nothing wrong with making a few bucks on the side while you get up on your feet. Whatever you do, do it well and take pride with it. As my granny used to say: ”It’s better to be a good cleaning lady than a lousy supreme court judge!”
Don’t be afraid! Believe in yourself. Or at least believe Winnie the Pooh. He knows that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think. If you want to be an entrepreneur, work for it! Do your research. Make contacts. Take it step by step. Persistence is the key.
Travel! Especially if you’re in your twenties. It took me 25 years and a health scare to start living the adventure.I moved to a new town, started a new job. It was everything I feared, yet it made me stronger and wiser. And the possibilities are endless. Do you want to teach english in Asia, volunteer in Africa or give scuba diving lessons on some exotic island? It’s up to you.
Don’t forget to do something that you really love. You might be a lean mean manager machine at your workplace, but still have a heart of a poet. Never deny or forget your special talents. They might not be very lucrative at the moment, but they nurture your soul. So sing, write, take photos, run, make jewelry… Do it as a hobbie and it will never stop to inspire you or make you happy and relaxed.
If you don’t like it, quit! Now, this is a very simple one, yet so important. If your job is making you stressed, nervous or depressed, ditch it and find something new and better. Trust me, it is not worth the hassle.
Don’t worry too much. By far the best one I heard. Your career doesn’t define you as a person. Your six figure income won’t make you happy and healthy. It can try… We wouldn’t object to it, though! 🙂 After all, it’s your life outside the workplace that counts, not the other way around!