Are you a student who wants to prepare for a successful future career? Continue reading this.
While students are still in school, particularly at the tertiary level, many continue to focus specifically on the minutiae of their academic pursuits, largely neglecting external development—developments that are critical to getting their careers off the ground once they are done with school.
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Transitioning from the tertiary level into the professional working world demands a paradigm shift, thus a shift in perspective. While there are no clearly defined pathways or unequivocal guidelines to career success, there are basic guiding principles that need to be adhered to before one even completes their education, at least at the tertiary level.
While academic institutions impart theoretical knowledge crucial for graduates, they may overlook specific skills sought by HR departments. To provide students with insights into gaining a competitive edge in their future careers, here are 15 tips.
They are key recommendations from members on crucial actions every student at the tertiary level should take to prepare for their impending careers:
- Train Your Brain To Manage Stress Triggers: Proactively managing stress triggers can help combat the challenges of “generation stress,” while cultivating real-time stress management techniques early in your career contributes to a fulfilling work life. It is why it is important for students to learn these skills while still in school,, even before entering the world of work. It makes for an easier transition. The world of work can be brutal, and as such, one must be built to handle the stress that comes along with it.
- Have Emotional Intelligence: Developing empathy by understanding others’ emotions while identifying and enhancing your strengths and weaknesses is a great way to succeed in the pursuit of a career. Additionally, an emotionally intelligent individual is one who can foster productive conversations, listen to diverse perspectives, and maintain connections with classmates and professors to further enrich their personal and professional growth—all very key points to building successful careers.
- Develop Cultural Intelligence: Cultivate sensitivity to the thoughts and feelings of others while being definitely open to diversity by understanding and appreciating your own cultural background and then extending this curiosity to observing and engaging with others. Additionally, volunteer adequately, learn new languages, and embrace travel. All these help make you a well-rounded individual who has proper insight and perspective on different cultures and perspectives.
- Start Gathering Your Work Accomplishments: As a student who wants to pursue a high-value career, it is important to document and highlight quantifiable accomplishments from school projects. This allows prospective employers to track growth in skills.
- Learn Soft Skills As Early As Possible: Has anyone ever told you about the value of soft skills? Prioritize soft skills, as they are indispensable in any career. Cultivating soft skills like effective communication, adaptability, and empathy is crucial for overall development. These skills foster collaboration, resilience, and understanding in both personal and professional settings. Additionally, a commitment to embracing diversity and continuous learning through travel and NGO projects contributes to a holistic approach to growth.
- Get An Internship: Secure working experience through internships in your industry. Very often, students may want to take school breaks to have fun, but for those who want to easily transition into the world of work, it is important to take internships within your industry to gain skills and insights into what happens. This also serves as proof of experience for potential employers.
- Talk To People In Your Field Of Interest: Schedule informational interviews to explore your interests and potential career paths with people who are within your preferred industry. Let them help you understand the skills that are needed to succeed in the stated industry.
- Learn To Sell Face-To-Face: Develop sales skills through a consultative approach.
- Join A Professional Networking Group: Boost your networking endeavors by actively participating in groups such as networking conferences, fostering connections beyond your college circle and gaining a competitive edge in the job market.
- Find A Mentor: Find an individual or groups of individuals who have succeeded in the industry you want to succeed in and learn from them constantly. Seek a mentor to guide you and offer valuable insights. Engage in shadowing experiences to understand different career environments and make informed decisions.
- Learn Workplace Etiquette:
- Familiarize yourself with business and corporate etiquette.
- Understand expectations in a professional setting, covering aspects like phone use in meetings, emotional control, and maintaining a polished appearance.
- Develop Rabid Curiosity:
- Prioritize the development of your ability to learn and adapt.
- Cultivate creativity, curiosity, and a commitment to continuous learning to thrive in an ever-changing job landscape.
- Build Your Career On Doing What You Love:
- Identify and focus on what you love to do.
- Construct your career around your passions to ensure long-term fulfillment and meaningful contributions.
- Be Intergenerationally Conscious:
- Enhance your appeal to employers by demonstrating an ability to collaborate with and learn from different generational cohorts.
- Conduct research, seek mentorship, and engage in meaningful interactions to showcase intergenerational awareness.
- Explore And Understand Artificial Intelligence:
- Embrace the importance of AI in the current job landscape.
- Acquire knowledge and skills related to AI, ensuring you can leverage technology to future-proof your career against potential obsolescence.
By following these proactive steps, students can equip themselves with a comprehensive skill set and strategic mindset for a successful transition into their professional journeys.