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5 Life Lessons for Fresh Graduates

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5 Life Lessons for Fresh Graduates

Well, the day has finally come. At last, you’ve managed to graduate and earned the right to enjoy in this monumental achievement. Trust me: when reality begins to settle in, you will start to remember your college years as the best time of your life.

If you are interested to see what your life will be like from this point on, the following article will give you a rough idea. Here are some useful life lessons for those who have recently graduated.

Enjoy the perks of your recent success

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    Don’t let this period of joy go to waste. You will have few more chapters in life that are this vibrant, so make sure you make the best of it. Of course, don’t grow too attached to this feeling either, because it will hold you back if you do not abandon it on time. Think of it this way: this time gap between your graduation day and the day when you need to enter the rat race is like a last meal for a convict who is a about to be executed.

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    Soon, you will get a job and start thinking about how to seriously advance in your career. The more you devote yourself to that goal, the more trapped you will feel. In order to graduate, you need to work hard, but if you want to advance in your career, you will need to make additional sacrifices.

    Finishing college is a great achievement and you deserve to treat yourself by having a good time. Devote more of your time to doing what you love. Go travel and see other countries – maybe you’ll get new ideas for where you want your life to go. Your goal now is to make sure that once this period is over, your regrets are at a minimum.

    Face your new reality

    Here’s one of the major problems that will occur when your college days are over. During your studies, you have midterms and exams. These are all imposed responsibilities and, in a way, goals that you need to achieve. As long as you have those goals, you have a clear path in front of you.

    Furthermore, you get evaluated and have a rough perception of your level of knowledge. So as long as you earn satisfactory grades, you have this idea of advancement and that your life is heading in the right direction. Once your student days are over, there are no more exams, there is no way to measure whether you are heading in the right direction, and on a subconscious level, that can be staggering.

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    The choices you make are your own, and every failure you experience is felt on a more personal level, which can undermine your confidence much more than any exam you failed. You will experience a new pressure to do something valuable and meaningful during your youth, but you may not have a clear idea of what that is or how you are going to pull it off. It’s like you start to hear this inner clock telling you how another day was wasted.

    Moreover, you realize how your theoretical knowledge is not appreciated to the same extent in the real world. The important thing now is whether you have what it takes to do your job right. In a way, you are learning again from the very beginning. So, buckle up and start acquiring new and useful skills to create something meaningful.

    If you think that your theoretical knowledge can help you become a good teacher, think again. It takes tremendous amounts of self improvement to become a good tutor. Just presenting an abundance of facts isn’t enough.

    Start looking for a job

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      Getting a job will change your life dramatically. Sure you won’t have as much free time as before, and you might not end up doing what you originally intended, but with income comes stability. In other words, it’s better to have a job and routine than to be stuck in limbo. Once you have solid ground to stand on, you’ll have a better perspective on what you should do to improve your lifestyle, plus you will advance in learning more practical skills.

      Of course, this does not mean you should accept just any job that lands in your lap. Look for something that has more benefits than just earning cash. Make sure the employer accepts you as a valuable team member, get the job offer in writing, verify pay and benefits, see if commuting to your workplace takes too much time, and if you manage to get the job you want, send a thank-you letter to your employers to show them that you appreciate the opportunity given to you.

      Another thing to remember is that you should start saving money as soon as you start earning it. It is far more satisfying to make a bigger investment than to focus the fleeting satisfaction that results from pampering every minor desire. This can be somewhat difficult, especially if you are still trying to adjust to a new lifestyle.

      Try out freelancing

      Let’s assume there are no desired jobs available in your vicinity, or that you still don’t know how to leave a good first impression. You need to work on your confidence and your portfolio, so freelancing is a great tool to solve those problems. While working as a freelancer, you will be able to earn some money while improving your skills.

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      The problem is that even people who need freelancers don’t want to hire someone who doesn’t have anything solid to back them up. Luckily, you’ll mostly converse via messages or emails, so it will be easier for you to leave a good impression. You might have to take on a few jobs at the beginning that won’t pay as much, but that will secure good references and reviews.

      Visit places like Up Work and Craigslist to find job offers. There are various sites where people outsource writing jobs, design jobs, sound, video or photo editing jobs, and more. Additionally, if you want to develop your skills as a writer, start blogging and visiting places that pay their contributors. There are even job platforms that look for freelance handymen, so if you possess any particular skills, make sure you search out those relevant platforms.

      Remember to save your money. If you work as a freelancer, you can never count on the same income each month, which is why spending too much is out of the question. The last thing you need is financial suicide, so take some time to organize your budget accordingly.

      Don’t give up on your governing passions

      Finally, never turn your back on your governing passions. They make up a big part of who you really are, and the biggest sense of achievement comes when you work in the right direction. You might not have as much time as you like, but with good organization, you’ll manage to find enough of it and do something fulfilling. If your job is completely different from what you truly love, either look for a new one or view it as a means to an end — something that can help you gather enough resources so that you can do something you are truly good at and love.

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      I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, because let’s face it, we can’t all be superstars and legends in today’s world. Let’s keep our goals realistic. If you make the effort to end up where you want to be, eventually you’ll get there. And remember: it is perfectly normal to change your aspirations and to start working toward different achievements.

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      Vladimir Zivanovic

      CMO at MyCity-Web

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      Last Updated on August 25, 2021

      Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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      Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

      As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

      Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

      According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

      “Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

      A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

      What Is Your Personal Brand?

      “Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

      Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

      Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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      I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

      A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

      Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

      Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

      Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

      In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

      According to Castrillon,[2]

      “One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

      The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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      As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

      In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

      “if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

      When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

      The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

      Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

      The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

      5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

      These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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      1. Set Your Personal Goals

      What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

      2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

      Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

      1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
      2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
      3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
      4. What makes you different from others like you?

      The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

      3. Write Your Professional Story

      Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

      4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

      Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

      5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

      A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

      The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

      Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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      As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

      Other People’s Stories

      Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

      Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

      Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

      “your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

      So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

      Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

      Reference

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