How does a career starts? Which is the first step of a successful career? How do I get from being a normal fresh graduate to getting where I want in 20 years?
These are few questions that every young graduate will think about when switching from an academic background to the business world. The questions aren’t easy and they don’t have a specific answer…
The perfect start to a career can be defined in many ways. For some aspirants, it could be the salary package while for some it could be a certain profile within a specific company.
Some aspirants want to get a job in a particular company while some would want certain types of perks, benefits and terms of employment, a specific location or a certain company environment. The bottom line is, most job aspirants will want a certain kind of job, one that they would love and also pay well.
Unfortunately, job searching is not that easy, especially when one is a fresh graduate. When you graduate, you would have little to no professional experience and that will work against you, regardless of the academic qualification.
What you need is a set of skills and some experience that would make you hirable for companies. Let us look at the kind of skills and experience that companies look for, which you would have to develop while in college or university.
- Companies are looking for graduates who have commercial awareness. Candidates who have business acumen will be deemed more hirable. Whether through internships or some other achievement, you must establish that you are aware of the market and the industry at large. Job searching will become much easier if you have such a skill.
- Communication skills are a prerequisite. But it is not just about your written and verbal communication skills. You would need to be an articulate communicator with others, in general and pressing scenarios. Teamwork can become ineffective if the members cannot communicate articulately. Companies today look for lucid communication. It is needless to say that you have to be a team player as well.
- Job searching can become much less complicated if a candidate can solve existing problems. Having prompt cognitive responses is desirable in any job. If you can provide evidence that you are good at troubleshooting or solving problems as they crop up, then the job is almost assuredly yours.
- Other skills that companies look for are ability to persuade and negotiate, leadership, how organised you are, motivation, perseverance, ability to handle pressure and confidence.
- You must be dynamic, have a tendency to take up an initiative, be proactive and self motivated.
To develop such skills and to make job searching easier, you should partake in extra-curricular at your college or university, gain some work experience through internship or a part time job, document every achievement and have credentials to show that you have the requisite skills. Finally, you must develop a network, from alumni organisations to professional associations.
This is the very first step of a long process that would eventually turn your first experience of your career into an interesting path to success. Just remember, job searching doesn’t start when you need to look for a job the first time, it need to start much earlier in order to be as less stressing as possible!