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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 July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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