Entering the workforce for the first time can be daunting. What can you do to prepare? Here are seven tips that will have you heading into your new career with confidence.
1. Build your personal brand
Why does your personal brand matter? Your personal brand is simply your perception out there in the world, who you really are and what it is that you stand for. Why is this important? Because it will help differentiate you from the competition, and potential employers and recruiters will use social media to learn more about you, to establish your skills, values, and what your passions are.
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What do you want to be known for? (What drives you, what are you passionate about?)
- How do you want to show your talent to the world? (You know you are a rockstar but how are you going to show everyone else?)
- What kind of reputation do you want? (Professional, approachable, an expert in your field?)
2. Advocate for yourself
Learning to advocate for yourself takes time and practice, it means knowing what your needs are and speaking up for yourself to ensure your needs are met. By learning to advocate for yourself you are setting boundaries and expectations and helping others to understand exactly what you need and how they can best support you. (Remember, no one’s a mind reader!)
3. Ask for feedback
The best way to learn and grow in your career is by consistently and proactively asking for feedback. (Scary we know, but worth it!) This can be easier said than done as it can be hard to hear sometimes, but try to leave your emotions out of it and use the feedback to help you to learn and grow. A good place to start is to ask for feedback on your resume. Do you have any friends or family in HR? Reach out and ask them if they can review your resume and give you feedback. Going for an interview? Ask for feedback from the recruiter at the end of the interview.
4. Make connections
Reach out, make connections and expand your network. (Be genuine, people will see through you if you are not!)This may or may not come naturally to you, but pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to meet new people will help you build your interpersonal skills and confidence. Building your network can help you throughout your career in finding mentors, exchanging ideas, building your brand, and exposing you to new opportunities.
5. Run your own race
Don’t fall into the trap of comparing your life or success to others. (In the workplace and in your personal life.) We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Let your strengths shine, make these stand out from everyone else while working to improve on your weaker skills. The key is to know what these are and play to your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.
6. Find an employer who is right for you
When looking to enter the workforce, keep in mind that the employer is just as important (if not more) than the job itself. Knowing what you want from an employer is key to finding the right fit. Is it an employer that offers flexible working? Or maybe professional development opportunities are most important to you. Whatever it may be, figure out what you value most in an employer and keep that in mind during your job search.
7. Keep positive and be patient
When entering the workforce don’t be in a rush and put pressure on yourself to find the ‘perfect job’. This is a great time for you to learn your strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes. Often it will take time (and several jobs) to find the right fit for you, enjoy the journey!
WORK180 has your back when it comes to job searching. We’ve asked the hard questions for you to ensure our Endorsed Employers are proud to support diversity, inclusion, and flexibility – and most importantly, your success. To view and apply for a job through WORK180 visit work180.co.