Congratulations on your college graduation! Reaching this milestone is a testament to your hard work and dedication. While you might be a little bummed that this chapter of your life is closing, you have a lot of new beginnings to look forward to!
As you transition from student life to the “real” world, however, there might be a few road bumps along the way. To help you navigate the work world, here is our top career advice for graduates embarking on this new chapter of life:
Keep an open mind + be patient
As a recent grad, you might have a specific idea about what you want your career to look like in a few years. If this sounds like you, try to keep an open mind about different opportunities that come your way. For example, if you are feeling stuck in your job search, you might want to consider taking a temporary position or exploring opportunities that don’t seem as related to your major. By doing so, you won’t be limiting your options when searching for your first “real” job. Being open to diverse opportunities and staying patient throughout the process can make all the difference as a new graduate.
Learn from your mistakes
While you’re in the early stages of your career, you’ll likely be assigned tasks that you’ve never had to tackle before. At first, you might even feel a little in over your head and feel frustrated with yourself for making mistakes. However, it’s important to remember that no one, not even the most experienced professional, is immune to mistakes. The key is how you handle them. Instead of letting your mistakes serve as roadblocks, think of them as ongoing learning experiences.
Be respectful of your peers
When starting your first job, you might have a lot of questions. Instead of firing them away as they come up, our advice for graduates in this situation is to find a strategic time to ask your manager or colleague for help. Given that your team members might have more pressing responsibilities while you’re still in the learning phase, perhaps try researching solutions to your questions as a starting point. By doing so, your colleagues will appreciate that you’re mindful of their time and you might realize that you’re able to answer your own question!
Navigating the job market as a new grad is not always easy; especially when you aren’t sure which direction you want to take your career in. This is when networking can be particularly helpful! Seeking the advice of someone who has once been in your shoes might not only help you make more educated career decisions, but it can also expand the number of opportunities available to you. In today’s digital age, it’s easy to forget that not all jobs are advertised online. As a result, networking with industry experts is a great way to gain access to this so called “hidden job market.”
Build specialty skills
The skills you’ve learned in college that helped you ace exams often vary from the technical skills needed on the job and for career advancement. Given the differences in these skillsets, you’ll want to make the effort to continuously learn throughout your career. Once you get acclimated into your new role, be sure to start thinking about career development opportunities. Whether this is offered at your company or you take a class to earn a certification on your own time, making the effort to build your skillset can help you earn the trust of your manager and may even lead to a promotion down the line!