You’re already off to a great career start just by researching about the topic. The truth is, a great career start depends first and foremost on how prepared you are–which mostly refers to how well-informed you are. You need to know everything about your intended industry to get off to a great career start.
Why does your career’s start matter?
Most graduates who get a job unrelated to their degree are likelier to stay in that position or a related position for the next five years. That’s understandable because most people find it hard to find a new job once they’ve made progress in an existing industry. So, choosing a good first job is important because you’ll have limited career flexibility later.
Your first job doesn’t need to be perfect, but it needs to get you on the right track in your industry. Fighting the right job after college might feel stressful, but you can take charge of your career. Just follow the advice we’ve listed below, and you’ll be on your way to a great career start after graduating.
1. Learn about your desired industry
Learn everything you can about your intended industry so that you can narrow down the options and choose the right career path for you. Specifically, you should learn what skills, experiences, and qualifications are valued in your industry.
Researching will also help you develop an accurate overall understanding of the industry. The better you learn about your industry, the better you’ll navigate throughout your career.
The best way to learn about your industry would be to read about your industry online through books, following industry experts, taking industry-related courses, and following industry-leaders.
You should learn about the strategies, philosophies, and histories of all the major players in your industry. The best way to learn about them would be through their company websites, press releases, and social media accounts.
2. Dive Even Deeper Into Understanding Your Desired Industry
Once you’ve learned about the industry overall, it’s time to dive deeper into individual companies. Learn about the major players in your industry and build familiarity with them. Ideally, you should know everything about the leading companies in your industry.
Learning about the major players in your industry will help improve your overall understanding of the industry. It’ll also help you better understand which companies you might want to consider working for and what qualifications and experiences they want from potential employees.
3. Explore different career paths
There are always multiple possible career paths in any industry. For example, if you want to go into medicine, you could become an anesthetist, a surgeon, or a dentist. There are lots of different ways to become a part of the medical industry.
Similarly, you should also explore different career paths in your own industry to figure out which ones might be better for you. Ideally, you want to be familiar with the major career paths in your industry, especially which qualifications and experiences are needed.
The best way to explore career paths is to learn about the credentials and scope for each career path by looking through job boards. You could also talk to your contacts in your industry to learn from their experience about different career paths.
The best way to build a network would be to first talk to friends and family in your industry. You could also learn from industry-relevant people through social media and industry-specific conferences and events. The more people from your industry that you interact with, the better.
4. Network with people in your industry
Your network is your net worth, so get in touch with relevant people in your industry and build relationships with them. The benefit of networking is easier access to inside information and better employment opportunities.
Your network will also help you gain industry insights and keep up with the latest trends. Your industry contacts can provide you with information that isn’t easily publicly available.
5. Have the right mindset
No matter what career path you choose, you need to have the right mindset. The modern workplace is a dynamic and fast-paced environment where anything can change at anytime. So, you need to have a flexible mindset.
New technologies could disrupt how your industry works. The industry could experience new trends that change which skills are important. Or, maybe your entire career path becomes obsolete because of automation, and now you have to change careers.
In short, the best way to get a great career start after college is to learn everything you can about your industry, develop contacts, and have the right mindset for today’s work environment.