- How adventurous are you? You don’t have to go base-jumping in your career if that’s not you, you could simply try a small dive first if you want. Social media is full of amazing entrepreneurs and risk takers who strike it successful but remember that they are a small few who make it. Being a small fish or taking that standard program is good too and may be a high enough leap for now. For a fun test to check how adventurous you are, go here!
- Do you smile when you think about what you will be doing the next year, 3 yrs or even 5 yrs? If not – what does makes you smile (and I don’t mean kitten videos)? Is there a way to incorporate that feeling of joy into your next step?
- Reflect on your past – even if you feel you aren’t experienced enough to have a past – you do. What have you done in the past (activities, courses, vacations etc.) that has engaged you and given you a sense of purpose? Reflect and document your past, grab those memories to help you see your next adventure.
- Are you choosing too quickly? You don’t have to make a decision right away – push away the pressure from parents, teachers or yourself and while you don’t have to be completely confident in your decision, you do need to be confident that the decision is yours and if you don’t have a decision yet, don’t worry – take the time to make it. Don’t rush it! Take a breather! The world will not end if you end up taking a pause (even if that means living with your parents for a bit) while you make a decision. Rushing things can be costly!
- Get some help. I don’t mean talking to Mom, Dad, Gramma or your older sibling. They mean well but are they objective, impartial and taking your passions and personality into consideration? Go talk to your Career Centre, Guidance Counselor or invest in a one-on-one Career Consultant who can help guide you.
- Identify their interests, talents and skills and use that to decide the next steps in their career
- Create a personal brand both online and in-person to represent their true selves (this includes resumes (both traditional and cutting edge), application forms, social media branding and networking
- Be proactive and innovative in their job search
- Effectively interview and even negotiate for a new role
- Be impactful in a new role and manage the transition positively
- Students (Secondary School, College & University)
- New Grads and those with early career confusion
- New Parents both going on or coming back from parental/maternity leave
- Employees experiencing outplacement, layoffs & terminations
- Companies who are trying to assess an employee’s leadership or management potential or desire
- Individuals dealing with relocation (including international moves)
- Those going through Mid-Career confusion
- Individuals contemplating Retirement, 2nd, 3rd Careers & Beyond
Have you heard “Ain’t it fun” by Paramore? It’s a catchy tune with great lyrics that drips with sarcasm and, in my opinion, offers real messages for all those new graduating students who are about to embark on their new lives as professionals.
I, for one, am excited to see what future generations will come up with and I get energized by their enthusiasm (maybe a good thing since I work with, and around, students regularly). The challenge is that I have had far too many conversations with students recently (as well as with the employers who are hiring them) about their lack of preparation for their future careers. Many students enter the workforce and get overwhelmed with “real life” versus their previous academic existence. Many students want the independence and easy step forward that is so easily depicted by Hollywood with the dream life (job, salary etc.) straight out of school. The reality is so very different! According to The Atlantic, up to 45% of College grads between 18-24 will actually become boomerang kids and move back home. Many are shocked that finding their supposed dream job, or even any job, is much harder than expected. Want to avoid being disappointed and yet still be on your way (whichever that way looks)? You need to prepare. How do you prepare? Here are just a couple of my tips…
- Check out what others who graduated with your education are up to? Use LinkedIn, your school etc. to find these people and look at their paths. It may not be your exact path (and probably shouldn’t) but it will show some options of next steps. Better yet – contact these people and ask them how they did it and what they learned from it. You will find that most people will be open to these types of conversations! They may even become an excellent mentor.
- Research the real cost of living (that doesn’t include only KD as a food group). Remember that your starting salary alone (if you even get one) will probably not afford you a cool condo in the trendy area. Remember the comfy clothes (Lulu’s perchance) and Uggs that got you to class as a student? That’s not going to cut it in a new job and you will be expected to own and wear appropriate clothes. Student loans? You do know they have to be paid back, right? Cost of drinks at the fancy club versus your Uni watering hole? How are you going to budget for this new life? If you know this information, you are going in with your eyes wide open and you will be know what you can handle financially and where the balance should be.
Develop a plan! Plan for the fact that you may not get that corner office or dream job for quite a while. What are the steps to getting there? What aspects of your dream are you willing to be flexible with while still staying true to you. Will you be willing to take a very entry-level job but at your dream organization? Are you willing to take a chance on an entrepreneurial opportunity and capitalize on those great ideas of yours? Students coming from any place (high school, college or Uni) have many bright opportunities out there but they cannot assume that those opportunities will be all sunshine and lollipops. They need to go out with eyes wide open and most importantly, plan for their bright futures.
You’re in your final year of post secondary education and you’re looking forward to waltzing into your first exciting “real” job. But in today’s competitive human capital environment, few new hires are being recruited directly out of school and you’ll likely have to work harder than ever to garner the attention of businesses. Young professionals are still in high demand, but the talent pool is larger, more diverse and more competitive than ever. So wake up students and stop hitting that snooze button, because it’s time to pour the coffee and face the real world. What advice can I share? These four tips that will surely help you confront your biggest career challenge yet: getting the right job.