As your college years come to an end, your job search success as well as the positions and starting salaries you are offered take on a new level importance. Your needs, goals and personal responsibilities will all change, since you will be expected to make your own way. Being a grown-up means new challenges and behaviors as well as a different way of thinking.
Only about ten percent of any workforce is both willing to and capable of taking on a significant project or assignment, successfully carrying it through to the end and gaining a reputation for performing at a level that will lead to promotions and salary increases. If you want to be someone who is in the top ten percent, you must be aware of the factors that will get you there and keep you there.
A Career Success Strategy for Recent College Grads
1. Demonstrate a strong interest in your job, your employer and the assignments you are given
2. Add to or demonstrate your knowledge of the issues to be addressed (You may have to do some research or interview those who have been involved)
3. Develop a clear understanding of the desired results
4. Demonstrate the ability to carry out an assignment to the end
5. Demonstrate the ability to gather the resources (information, people, money, tools) needed for the job
6. Be willing to make decisions yourself, but ask for additional help, instruction or resources when needed
7. Demonstrate a positive attitude and genuine enthusiasm
8. Develop and demonstrate the ability to overcome obstacles and solve problems
9. Demonstrate the ability to deal with criticism and sniping from others
10. Show respect and appreciation for the people who help you
11. Each week, try to learn something new about the people, products, services, changes, problems, solutions, history, future and the customers
12. Keep confidential information confidential
13. Write clear and effective reports and make impressive presentations
14. Accept any praise with a simple ‘thank you’ or ‘glad I could help’ and credit the people who helped you
15. Be ready for or ask for another project or assignment
16. Offer to help others managing projects that are of interest to you
17. Always try to deliver more, better or faster than expected
18. When you are finished, ask ‘What’s next?’ and ‘What else can I do?’
Learning and performance improve
with effort and determination,
so does success.
Launching your career is your responsibility. Only you can do that. Because it will take so much time, effort and dedication, employers know that not every college grad will be up to the task. They are looking for the ones who can.
If you want to be one of the ten percent who will advance in your organization, receive above average salary increases and will be seen as someone who belongs with this employer, pay close attention to the strategy outlined above.