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The Most Powerful Career Advice That Every College Student Needs To Know

The Most Powerful Career Advice That Every College Student Needs To Know

Everyone turns into a Yes-man to get a job after college. That is why many people go through their careers hating their job or jumping off from one company to another. People go to college to get a degree and to pursue their passion and interest. Unfortunately, once they step outside the university they make choices different from the things that they want to be. They seem to become oblivious of their own goals.

College doesn’t only prepare you for a job rather it’s a preparation for life. A college diploma will open doors of opportunities. It will show you how to get there. But remember, your destination — your future success — are yours to choose.

Whether you’ve tailored a long-term plan or you see new possibilities for your future career, these powerful pieces of career advice will empower you as you encounter difficulties in facing reality.

“Enter every activity without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strengths, instead of your weaknesses… on your powers, instead of your problems.”- Paul J. Meyer

Life in the real world is different from being a student. Challenges are inevitable as well as failures. However, if you focus on your strengths and use your weaknesses to improve yourself, nothing is impossible to a determined person.

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“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”- Winston Churchill

You are young. It’s okay to make mistakes. If you get into a wrong career path, or you meet a bad boss, or you’re dissatisfied with your job, it’s okay that’s normal. In the span of your career journey, you will surely make mistakes and fail many times. You’re still inexperienced so enjoy exploring life. Fix your mistakes and learn from them, then move forward- That’s the joy of learning.

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”- Albert Einstein

Everyone wants to be successful in life. But instead of running behind success, aim for excellence. Strive for it and eventually you’ll become successful.

“Think big and don’t listen to people who tell you it can’t be done. Life’s too short to think small.”- Timothy Ferriss

Dream big and act on it to make it happen. Do what you’re passionate about and embrace it. Whatever you enjoy doing make it your profession. Satisfy your inner interest before others. It’s you who can make your dream come true and not them. Take a chance and trust yourself.

“In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed.”- Sid Caesar

You can concentrate on your goals but do not forget to have life. Study effectively and work hard but don’t forget to relax and enjoy a bit. Go out with friends and have quality time with your family. Pursue your goals while living a balanced life.

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“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”- Eleanor Roosevelt

Envision yourself living to your dream and figure out how you can achieve it. If you dream to become a business person, teacher, doctor, nurse, engineer, etc. then plan how you’re going to reach it. No matter what life throws at you, keep going and live to your purpose.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”- Confucius

Do something that you have talent for and you love doing. Using your interest as your basis in finding your career path will help you determine the right direction towards your goals. If you love your profession, you will have a great time doing the job and less likely to experience stress.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”- Les Brown

There will be moments when you doubt your own ability to succeed. You lose enthusiasm and drive to keep going. But instead of letting yourself defeat by your own fears, why not give yourself a fair chance to do everything that you can. You never know where your courage will take you.

“Desire! That’s the one secret of every man’s career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire.”- Bobby Unser

Having a strong desire or will is what keeps you from achieving your goals. If you desire to succeed in life, you can do everything to make your goal a reality. This gives you hope, inspiration, and driving force to move forward and accomplish something.

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“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.”- Anatole France

A dream without action is dead. Having dreams without believing on it is useless. If you dream make sure it’s big, plan on how to get it and be confident that you can reach it. If you desire to get a particular job, even if it seems impossible to achieve, never stop believing and do your best to get it. You can start from taking small steps until you reach goal.

“We become what we think about.”- Earl Nightingale

While you’re young, have a clear vision of your future. Even though you’re still clueless with your destination just think of what you wanted to become. Fill your mind with positive thoughts, dreams, and beliefs so that it would manifest into your life. Stop worrying, stop complaining. Do not let the idea of “what if’s” corrupt your dreams. You might not control everything that may happen to you but you have a choice to take it or leave it behind.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”- Ernest Hemingway

It’s good to have a goal so you know where you’re heading at. However, aside from focusing on your destination, it’s the long journey that will matter in the end. The goal of most college students probably is to have a good career. You study hard to complete your education and acquire the skills needed for your job application. Of course, you can set your eyes towards your goal but do not forget everything you’ve learned and experienced while you’re on your way there.

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.”- Chris Grosser

Successful people didn’t wait for opportunities to knock on their doors. They created it that’s why they’re reaping what they have sown. Apply this truth to your life and you’ll definitely accomplish everything on your own.

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“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”- Jim Ryun

Staying consistently motivated in reaching your goals will eventually become your habit. If you continuously do things properly then you’ll keep going until you get to your destination. When you’re motivated, you have a reason to do what you love.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”- Thomas A. Edison

Failures happen to anyone and yes, it happens all the time. Don’t feel hopeless after failing many times. You just have to understand perfectly the purpose of failure in your life in order to realize that it is something you need to succeed. Giving up will stop you from achieving greatness and making a difference. So instead of thinking about quitting, why not take it as an opportunity to make things way better?

Featured photo credit: Graduate via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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