Ever wonder what could have been, or look back on past decisions and wish you had played it a little differently? Here are 7 things recruiters wish graduates knew before entering the workforce.
You are not special
And I mean that in the kindest way possible. You have spent years dedicating yourself to your field of study, which is great, however, there are hundreds, even thousands all bright eyed and bushy tailed that are eager for that first opportunity, just like you. Degrees and Diplomas do not make the man/woman, it is how you apply your knowledge and how hard you work that predicts success, and ultimately, becoming that sought after team member. This is perhaps the most important in my list – tips for graduating students.
The Advantages of Professional Networking
It plays a huge role in future success, and you should be building that contact list while in school. Step out of your comfort zone and reach out to professionals in your sphere of influence. Having a LinkedIn account is a step, but this should just be the first intro into building a relationship. Step away from the screens, and get out there and meet people. Your network of contacts will go a long way in growing your career and if done correctly, can lead to opportunities that most others will not privy to.
Commit to Your Job
Yes, the pay probably sucks, and maybe your co-workers are gossipy or your boss is a narcissist. The grass is not always greener, as they say. You should be aiming to stay at least 1-2 years in your first job, or at the very least, completing a project you were hired to do. We all have to take our lumps in the first few years, and it does get better. If you are hopping from job to job, you will limit your marketability in the job market.
Your hours of work may be 9-5, but plan on putting in extra time to complete projects. We all have to put in our lumps in the beginning. I can’t tell you how many times I have spoken with a recent grad that is unwilling to work overtime or feels that they are above staying late to finish projects. Work life balance is important yes, but putting in a few extra hours per week goes a long way when it comes time for reviews and promotions.Take Your Vacation – You may be putting in overtime, but make sure that you take your vacation time. It is so important to take time for yourself to re-energize and relax, especially if you are putting in some extra hours at work. If you can’t take a week or two at a time, try and schedule extra-long weekends, or book time off when your project is complete. We all need at little R&R to keep our selves sharp.
Money Isn’t Everything!
I have seen young people make that crucial mistake of leaving a job for another for a few extra bucks. The pay might be good, but consider other factors before accepting that job. How long will the commute be? What is the team like, what are the opportunities for advancement? If you are thinking of leaving for a better offer, do your due diligence before making that leap. Being happy in your job will only make you more productive and keep you inspired to do your best.
Don’t Burn Bridges
It is indeed a small world, and your industry is likely connected in ways you have never dreamed of. When resigning, ensure you give the full two weeks’ notice or more to ensure your hand off is successful. Be gracious when you resign, and thank your employer for a wonderful opportunity, even if you despised your boss. Keep in mind that your new employer may reach out to people not on your reference list to check you out, so it is so important to be on good terms with your co-workers and boss when you leave a company.
These are just a few points to keep in mind when entering the work force that will help you succeed in the long term. Remember that you are not the only talented person in the market, work hard, network, and weigh each move in your career carefully and you have a better chance of opportunities that your counterparts may not have access too. Hopefully this list – tips for graduating students, will be helpful in making wise career choices, and ultimately a rewarding career.
Krysten Fleischhacker is the Practice Manager at Everest Management Network Inc. Everest Management is a recruitment firm dedicated in helping clients finding and managing their most valuable resource: People. Prior to Everest Krysten worked as a Business Manager of York Search Group. With 10 years of experience she possesses a vast amount of knowledge in human resources. Her passion for her work is shown in her willingness to help fresh graduates through mentor ship programs. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.