Leaving college to go out into the real world can be both exciting and intimidating. Even though you have been working hard to achieve your degree, there is still a sense of a safety net when you’re in college, as though you have all the time in the world to figure out your next move. While it is important to take some time to think about those next steps, unless you intend to take a gap year after graduation to travel and have a break, you will need to start seriously thinking about how you are going to secure employment. Some students even find themselves applying for jobs before they have sat their finals because the competition is so fierce, and they want to get a head start. If you are young, ambitious, and keen to kick-start your career in the business sector, then here are some tips you might find useful to make that happen.
Continue with Your Education
Stay in college? That hardly sounds like kickstarting your career but getting your master’s degree or Ph.D. could be a brilliant way to make you stand out from other candidates in the future and will likely make you eligible for more jobs opportunities as well. Of course, if you don’t want to stay at college for another year or more, you don’t have to. You can still get your higher degrees and work simultaneously by enrolling in online degree programs instead, just like this MBA online. This might even be a better route to take, as you will be gaining work experience while you’re studying, which will help to boost your resume.
Internships can be rough, as most of them are very low paid or don’t receive payment at all, only having their travel and lunch expenses covered. This is why a lot of people can be put off from doing internships or perhaps aren’t in the financial position to do them. However, if you can do this, it is certainly something worth pursuing as it is a good opportunity to gain experience and make contacts within the business sector. If you can, trying to do these internships while you’re still at college would be great, but if not, try to line one up for the summer or year after your graduation.
Keep Applying to Jobs
Applying for jobs is often a mundane and frustrating task, especially if you seem to be doing this all day while you’re waiting to hear back about coming in for an interview or hopefully a call from someone offering you a job. It can be easy to start feeling defeated and wanting to give up, but you mustn’t do. Yes, job applications are tedious, and having to tweak your resume for different roles and writing carefully curated cover letters take up a lot of your time, but the more applications you’re sending out the more likely you will get an offer. Just keep it up and remember that you’re starting from the bottom, so never turn your nose up at entry-level jobs, even if the pay isn’t great, because as a graduate, this is where you are.
Whether during your internship, in interviews, networking, or when you get offered a job, always act professionally. Be polite to your colleagues as you will want to get along with them to get a better workplace experience. However, you must also be punctual, and being consistently late will only make you appear unreliable, and you might even lose your job as a result or blow the job interview before you have even arrived. How you conduct yourself matters, and it will also be what puts you in a better position for when opportunities to pay-rises and promotions come up in the future.
You should be making the most of networking opportunities while you’re still at college, but you certainly need to do this when you graduate if you want to start your business career. Your teachers might be able to introduce you to people and give you a good reference, as will your classmates, but make sure that you’re looking into these opportunities yourself as well. Search online to see if any relevant networking events are going on near you, and always take a business card so that people can contact you. You can also use platforms such as LinkedIn to connect with other professionals online and perhaps ask if they wouldn’t mind giving you some advice or meeting for a coffee to talk about job opportunities. This is important because it will put a face to the name when it comes to your applications and allows potential employers to see your ambition and build a pleasant, professional relationship with them.
It’s a good idea to stay updated with the latest business news and current general affairs as well. This will help you get a better understanding of the job market and give you something to discuss in interviews or when you are at networking events that will show your passion for your business career. It will also show that you are assertive and knowledgeable about your field, which will help to impress employers and get them to take you more seriously as a candidate.
Have a Backup Plan
You might have a dream job in mind, and you should certainly go for it, but having a backup plan is also sensible. That doesn’t mean that you give up on your dreams, rather than you’re prepared to take a different path to get there if necessary. Always consider the different options available to you after college and consider them carefully, as having an idea of what to do if you’re initial plans don’t work will not only give you peace of mind but will mean that you won’t be wasting any time trying to figure out what to do next.
If you are keen to kickstart your business career after college, consider the tips above and start putting them into action.