When you graduate with your degree, you’re bombarded with advice. “Go on a trip,” “find yourself,” “get experience first, don’t worry about salary,” “don’t settle for a job you don’t like because of the salary.” While a lot of this career advice is solid, it can be difficult to organize it into “useful now” and “useful later” piles. And if you try to do everything your advisors, friends, and family members tell you to do, you’re bound to shoot yourself in the foot.
So take it from people who have been there. Listen carefully to the career advices of those who tried and failed, or better yet, tried and succeeded. We show you these 10 pieces of career advice you need right now to better your working world today.
1. Find a Mentor to… Give you Career Advice!
Who is doing what you want to be doing in ten years? Are they within your company? Out of your company? No matter who they are, invite that person out for coffee. Ask to pick their brain. What kind of advice might they have for someone who wants to pursue what they are doing? What were they doing when they were at your level? Once you’ve done that, apply what they said.
2. Let Yourself Discover Your Passion
You might think you know what you want to be when you grow up. You don’t. Give yourself a chance to explore the things you enjoy, and see if any opportunities open up in that direction. There’s nothing that says you have to work at one company for 30 years and then retire. Let yourself explore.
3. Don’t Undervalue Your Experiences
When you’re working on your resume, whether you’re writing one for the first time or updating yours, it’s always prudent career advice to tailor your words to the job you want. However, don’t cut something out because it feels like it doesn’t “count.” If you did something relevant, even if you did it for fun, put it on there.
4. Dress for the Job You Want – No Seriously
First impressions are integral to climbing the ladder in the business world, and that involves putting your best face forward. Some of the best career advice you’ll ever receive is to dress for the job you want. You never know when a chance opportunity might arise.
5. Learn EVERYTHING
In today’s world, information is everything, and it permeates our existence. Technology is advancing at an incomprehensible pace. Who do you think goes farther in the workforce? Those who stick with older systems, or those who jump on top of the newest innovations? Don’t lag behind. Learn everything you can about your field and about where you want to go.
6. Take Care of Yourself
Get enough sleep. Eat healthy foods. Exercise. How is this career advice? You’ll have more energy and work better without feeling like you’re dragging through a mire of total lack of motivation. Taking care of your body is one of the best things you can do to boost your confidence level as well. When you feel good about you, your work will see the benefits.
7. Learn Something About People
There’s something to be said for social graces. While the current working climate encourages workers to be themselves and there’s less of a standard of conformity, learning how to talk to and be interested in people can go miles in your climb to your ideal career. Embrace the personalities of your coworkers and learn how to speak to them in a way that they respond to well. Bosses hear about who others respect – make sure you are that person.
8. Embrace the Value of Free Time
When you’re trying to get to a new place in your career, it can be easy to think that working more = working harder. That’s not always the case. If your quality suffers because you’re spending too much time at work, you’re not doing yourself any favors. It’s much more important career advice to work smarter instead of harder, and to make sure you’re making time for yourself outside of work.
9. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Writing and Public Speaking
If you cannot communicate well, you will grow frustrated with the lack of opportunity that comes your way. So many people hear this career advice and get a sinking feeling because they aren’t “good writers” or “good public speakers.” Good news! These two things are skills, which means they can be developed over time. You can learn to do them! Check out your local library or city hall to see if there are offerings for skills like these. Who knows? You might even have fun.
10. Start Right Now
Don’t imagine you have to be older before you can start implementing some of this career advice. Even worse, don’t kill your motivation by wishing you had started when you were younger. Seize the day!
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