By Lexie Dye
While thousands of students are returning to college, recent graduates have either launched their careers or are trying to nail down their initial jobs. Others are just dreaming.
How do you put yourself in a position for achieving the goal you dream about? Here are some pointers that will ensure a successful career:
What are your strengths? What abilities and experiences set you apart from others? According to some professionals, simply identifying what is special about you and what in your history makes you unique can help put you on track. Do some soul-searching, put those tools in your toolkit and keep them assembled. When you’re in job interviews, talking with supervisors, or putting together documents for a business loan, the framework of your story can become a pivotal part of success.
Be ready to articulate
What exactly are you pursuing? In order to reach your goals, Fortune explains it’s vital to be ready to define exactly what you’re seeking. If you can’t describe to people what you’re after, you will miss opportunities. Be ready to articulate what you want, be it to employers, friends or coworkers. Sometimes the best openings come from surprising resources.
Sure, you’re probably ready to jump into a job – almost any job – that will help you start paying off debts and make ends meet. However, some statistics indicate college graduates who accept positions following school, which don’t require their hard-earned degree, are likely to still be in similar positions later. Employers will view whatever you do as an indicator of the quality you aspire toward, so it’s vital to make the most of that first job. Instead of settling for the first opening that comes along, find a position your degree qualifies you to attain.
Focus your efforts
In your pursuit of your dream job, avoid becoming sidetracked. Sometimes there is a ladder to climb and you need to develop certain skills, accolades or experiences to reach your ultimate goal. When applying for positions, you should try to get as close to your objective as possible. Literally getting your foot in the door of the right employer can be the key step in your journey. Consider a career track at companies with roles that match your ideals and look for a position where you can become involved and work your way toward your goal.
Consider going on your own
Perhaps you developed some terrific ideas for your own startup. As Entrepreneur suggests, right after college can be the best time in your life to develop a business of your own. You have the time, energy and your degree to grow a business that will be profitable long-term. One idea is to take advantage of hot, tech-oriented trends such as phone cases and wireless earphones. Grabbing onto a social trend can grease the wheels of your opportunities, launching your career to heights you’ve yet to imagine. You also can get some ideas perhaps from this list of 101 Business Ideas You Can Start Today.
Develop your presence
No matter what direction you go, developing a professional online presence can help your efforts toward success. You can use social media, blog pages and websites to make yourself known in the business world. Connect with as many people on career-oriented sites such as LinkedIn as possible and plug in information about your life showing you are capable, goal-oriented and responsible. It’ll set you apart from those who are unknown entities.
Seek a mentor
Do some research to find someone who is in a position to both help and guide you. Some experts point out unless your family members and friends are in careers that match up with your goals, you are probably best off finding a mentor through your professors or social media. But very often family members and friends have become significant door-opening mentors. Cast your net wide and chat with those who seem to fit the bill. Look for someone you feel connected with and who can provide encouragement and constructive criticism.
Now is a time of new beginnings. These smart strategies will help put you on the fast track to success. Pursue your dream job with confidence.