Coming out of college and entering the workforce can be daunting! It’s your first jump into your career and whether you were the star student of your class and you feel on top of the world or you were the student who wanted to cling onto those four years and you’re totally unprepared; the reality is that your college degree doesn’t predict your fate - what you do after graduating college is what is important. Here are 5 pieces of real advice you should have early in your career.
- Be Humble and coachable.
Know that your ambition, energy, and ideas are all so valuable - but slow down. This is the time in your career where humility and coachability is key. Take this time, early in your career to observe your leaders, learn those valuable lessons about your work environment, communication styles, and decision-making. Your leaders want you to succeed; if your leaders give you advice or feedback, take it! Getting feedback is some of the greatest information you can receive to grow. If you have questions, ask them - your leaders and managers have been in the same spot you’re in.
- Don’t go for the position way over your head.
If you have zero experience and all the jobs you are going for require 3-5 years, but you’re not landing any of those positions - then you need to go back to the drawing board and take it down a notch. Look for entry-level positions that you can get the most experience and growth out of. As cool as that Marketing Manager position sounds, you have a lot to learn before you can land that job or any other manager position.
- Get a mentor!
A mentor can help you with any issues that may occur in your 9-5, give you advice on how to develop your career and they can give you an entirely unique perspective to help you identify opportunities and goals. Not to mention, having a mentor is great for accountability and motivation - you’ll be more likely to act once you’ve spoken to someone about your aspirations.
When looking for a mentor, connect with someone you aspire to mirror in your career or an old college professor you highly respect. They do not have to be your current manager or anyone in your current company, in fact I would recommend going outside of your company or department to find a mentor. Once you find the right person, connect with them on LinkedIn and have a genuine interest to know more about them and their career over coffee once a month or whenever the time is there.
- The sites with all those salary estimates aren’t always the most realistic.
“But, a statistical job site said I should be making $100,000 in Marketing.” A lot of recent graduates enter the corporate world with the understanding that their degree means they should be making the big bucks. However, they are crushed when they find out their first position in the corporate world is paying half of what some job or salary site says. To put it bluntly, you will not get a manager's salary as a recent graduate. Don’t limit your opportunities because a site told you your potential monetary worth. Remember, the experience early in your career is far more valuable than your salary.
- Learn to adapt - everything is an opportunity.
In the corporate world things change quickly and often without warning. Don’t be frightened or frustrated by those changes, think of them as opportunities. Your office could move, your project could be delayed or your deadline can be moved way up, your client might drop, your sales might take off one month and plummet the next - no matter the situation find the lesson in the change, adapt and you will grow. Once you understand that change is inevitable, you will be able to focus on solutions much more quickly, you will work with your team better, and above all else, you will learn and grow from every roadblock you encounter.
There are so many more pieces of advice we could give you to help you find a position, build the perfect resume, or find the right company for you to begin your career, If you would like to connect with one of our recruiters for advice or you are ready to find a new position, click the button below!