Fresh out of university and the logical step forward for many is landing the ultimate job. However, the criteria for determining what the “ultimate job” is differs from individual to individual. Money, work environment, flexibility and brand reputation often dominate the minds of many seeking the job of their dreams. While these are all worthy considerations for career starters, they cloud the judgement of many and distracts them from a critical component in their computation, culminating in the failure to prioritize building for the future.
We all fantasize of a long and successful career one where we rise to the top of our organisation and become revered experts in our different fields. Planning for this wouldn’t do us any harm but this requires accurate assessment of skills, interests, and career goals, and aligning them to a career path that best suit a long and fulfilling career.
Here are a few tips to guide you through this process:
- Find what makes you sellable:
Amidst the euphoria that comes with graduation is the troubling uncertainty that dominates thoughts regarding the future. What do I want to do? What organisation would be perfect for me? These are just a few of the worrying questions certain to overshadow the thoughts of young job seekers. At this point of ambiguity, do a comprehensive analysis of your skills to determine what best makes you sellable. This should form the bedrock of any decision you take regarding your career.
- Ignore Short Term Attractions:
The lure of a high paying job or an opportunity to work for a reputable multinational will always prove tempting, even for the strong-willed. But this shouldn’t distract you from ensuring your future is at the centre of any immediate decision you take. This shouldn’t discourage you from being ambitious, but be prepared to take up less lucrative offers at the start of your career if they align with your long-term plans.
- Know the Industry:
It’s not enough to understand the formulas, theories and laws relating to your field of study. That’s acceptable for school. Building your knowledge base for the future requires an in-depth understanding of your field—the history, the industry, global and local trends, and the key players. The end-game is for people to marvel at your understanding of the field and accept that you inevitably a useful resource to any organisation. Remember, people are seeking out specialists not generalists in today’s world.
- Build a Super-network:
As you grow further in your career and deepen your understanding of a particular field, it is equally critical that you maintain a network of individuals that share a similar drive and purpose. Regular interactions with such folks will ensure you keep and focused and driven mind-set, a critical requisite for building a successful career.
- Sell Yourself:
Companies are spending a fortune to build their brands and sell themselves to customers. Why shouldn’t you? With the world increasingly becoming digital, companies are gradually turning to the internet to gather more information on possible recruits. Profit from this growing trend by building your brand online. Build your profile on Linkedin, tell your story on Facebook, and engage the world on Twitter.