According to the 2018 McGraw-Hill Education Survey only 4 in 10 U.S. college students feel well prepared for their careers. Largely, students don’t feel they’ve gained critical career skills they need to transition into the workforce. There is a big gap between student and employer perceptions.
With only 40% of college students feeling career ready one thing seems for sure preparing for post-graduation life early is essential. So, here are a few tips from our Management Team to help you reach career success.
- Develop your work ethic, your communication skills, your determination, your problem solving skills, and your ability to lead yourself and others. Those will be the difference makers at the end of the day. Do NOT stress so much about college choice, major choice, GPA. Those are the things drilled into you as you grow up. Although each of those will be a part of your career path when you look back, those will not be deciding factors in your level of success. You and only you will be the deciding factor. Those will be the difference makers at the end of the day. – Taylor Duncan
- Utilize this unique period of your life when you shadow and interview prominent people in your field of interest. You don’t need to intern for three months at that investment banking firm, pouring coffee and filing papers to get “exposed” to the industry. Write a letter to senior management asking to interview them. You’ll be surprised at the response and the access you get. The most jealous person? That hard-working intern who rarely gets any fact-time with management. -Jeff Gunhus
- Get involved. Utilize your summers to volunteer at your dream company or take that internship even if it’s unpaid as opposed to working at taco bell. The money lost by not working that hourly job will be returned 10 fold in your career. It’s never great to go in debt, but it may even be worth having to take that extra student loan. – Tyler Morelan
- Do challenging things. So much of our lives people try to shelter us from failing, feeling vulnerable or putting ourselves out there. When in reality having those experiences is what makes us stronger, teaches us to deal with adversity and gives us the confidence to go after what we want in life. To quote Thomas Edison, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” -Nick Shroer
- Understand the role of your feelings when it comes to long-term development. Feelings like fear, anxiety, and doubt often accompany any task you have not completed yet and thus are reasons TO DO things, NOT reasons to shy away. Your short term anxieties are like lactic acid for the brain; temporary pain in the short term, development outside of your comfort zone and newly learned skills for the long term. Your brain is currently hard wired to acquire pleasure TODAY and avoid pain TODAY the best thing you can do while young is to rewire your brain – find comfort in discomfort. This will keep you in a state of constant growth and will acclimate you to stress. Much like climbers on Everest must camp up high to grow their tolerance to breathing in high altitude, so you must train yourself to handle stress while the body and brain is young and the pain tolerance is high. Do this, and success in any field will be the natural by product. -Chris Heerdegen
- Do more than the job description. Once you are in a job or career the best way to move up or redefine your position is to take on more than the minimum expectations of the job. Early in your career volunteer for new projects, committees, training others, etc. Don’t be afraid to fail. By taking on additional responsibilities think of it as a free pass to try a promotion. If you succeed you’ll likely get promoted or earn additional compensation, if you fail you usually will keep your job because the extra work wasn’t in your job description. – Sean Phelps
Have you had success attaining a great job after graduating college or have any advice for others? Leave your comments below.
College Works Painting