One day you are attending an orientation to begin your college career and before you know it you realize it’s time to prepare for graduation and start thinking about your future. What does the future mean to you? Beginning a career that allows you to build a foundation to prepare for later in life? Starting a job that allows you to pay your bills and survive in this new Millennium? My advice is start a journey that encompasses endless learning to drive constant self-improvement, creativity, passion for what you believe in, and rapid career growth.
My “One Thing” I would advise a college graduate on as a hiring manager is to KNOW YOURSELF – know what you’re good at, embrace what you’re bad at, and fight to improve yourself daily.
More often than not I conduct interviews with soon-to-be college graduates and listen to the uncertainty of where they want to be in 5-10 years. Identifying your career aspirations early allows you to take the applicable steps in a timely manner instead of looking back on your past wishing you had done things differently. This can be a scary question for a college student – take the time to evaluate what you are passionate about and you will be able to control your own destiny by taking the appropriate steps to sharpen the skills and techniques necessary to get you to your desired outcome. Do you enjoy being a part of an ever changing, fast paced, forward thinking, work hard play hard environment? Or do you prefer a more defined environment where the risks of change often outweigh the benefits? There are pros and cons to both – the key is knowing yourself and the environment that will pour fuel on your internal fire. How do you find yourself? Take time, be true to yourself and compile a list of what makes you happy, what you enjoy doing, what motivates you and what type of environment you will thrive in. Also make a list of what makes you nervous, stressed, and miserable. Be sure to avoid these traits at all costs. Once you have established this list, be proactive and reach out to professionals that currently hold the positions your list of attributes have described. Ask thoughtful questions about how they got started, what steps they took to get to where they are today, what they like best about their job, what the most important skill is to become successful in that career. Read blogs, publications and subscribe to relevant news outlets. Truly understanding the space you are passionate about will pave a road to success.
One last hint as you prepare for the next step in your career: when interviewing, make sure to pronounce the company’s name correctly! If you’re coming to see us, here’s a helpful video: Acquia!