Preparing for a career you’re passionate about can take a lot of effort, time, and resources. And sometimes, especially for fresh graduates who are about to enter the workplace for the very first time, you may feel lost on how to start.
So where do you start? What exactly should you do upon graduation (or even before you graduate for that matter)? How do you work your way through your career path? How can you improve your preparations?
Asking these questions and seeking for the answers can understandably be overwhelming. But by following these career preparation tips, you may find yourself in the right path towards your dream profession.
Starting your preparations early can yield more results than you think. Most of the time, students mistakenly assume that their careers start after graduation. However, you can actually start building your work experience as early as your college years. This is particularly true for some industries where companies prefer to hire employees with a valuable amount of working experience.
If you’re still in school, start by making small preparations. Join clubs or organizations with people who can guide you towards you career path. Attend workshops and seminars that can train fundamental skills you will need in your profession. Apply for part-time jobs or internships you find interesting and relevant to your plans.
There are a lot of opportunities in the present time. Don’t miss out on them.
In every choice you make in your career aspect, make it a habit to choose paths that can help you achieve your career goals. Avoid distractions as much as you can and take advantage of every time and opportunity you get.
Problems are always easier to solve when you seek help. Don’t feel shy or ashamed by doing so. Having a mentor to guide you can help you more than you realize. Even in the simplest advice they unconsciously provide in small talks, you may find some of the answers you’re looking for.
Having people around you to share your career struggles with can help you go through many obstacles you’ll stumble along your career path. Having a nice meal with your colleagues after a rough day at work can be quite therapeutic.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, companies prefer employees with more substantial practical and professional background in the field. While you may think that it’s impossible to find one while you are still studying, there are actually a lot of opportunities available if you look thoroughly. You can find good practical experience even in the most simple events, seminars, and workshops organized by your university. You can also seek for available certifications. These are already a good start in building your credentials. A lot of part-time jobs and internships are also offered to students who want to have a head start in gaining work experience.
Working on your fundamental skills as early as school days can train you for the profession you want pursue. It’s also important for you to develop soft skills such as communication skills, social or people skills, and emotional intelligence. These can strengthen your versatility and adaptability as you start experiencing the real workplace. After all, we must go beyond the book if we want to survive the real world.
Mistakes are common for new employees. It’s both expected and understandable. For starters, a few slip ups won’t hurt and will provide you with valuable experiences. These may include being late for work, not following basic work protocols, or your supervisor criticizing you for your mistakes. Always pick up where you left off, learn from the past, and simply do a better job next time.
In some cases, some people cannot properly process mistakes, especially for those who want to perfect everything. However, the truth is, we will always encounter mistakes. The challenge is not to repeat the same one. By acknowledging and embracing your mistakes, you can set realistic standards for yourself, process your errors properly, and act on them accordingly.
Building professional networks and relations are one of the fastest and easiest ways to land a good entry-level employment. You can do this by attending talks and other events organized by your university or other companies. During these events, socialize. For example, you can have discussions about your research papers with college professors who you think can help you in the long run. You can also present interesting ideas and share your career plans with professionals in the same industry. Keep them in your contacts and send follow ups for possible employment opportunities in the future.
As cliché as it may sound, it is as simple as that in every aspect of our lives. In whatever you do, always do your best.
Don’t think too far ahead and instead, focus on baby steps at a time. Magnificent goals can sometimes be unrealistic and hard to achieve, which may only disappoint or discourage us.