During the 2018 graduation season, we’ve seen numerous articles offering advice to recent graduates who are starting new jobs or working with a staffing and search firm to land that first post-graduation position. The articles contained valuable tips for both college and high school graduates starting out in a new career or position, but much of the advice could also be shared with an experienced, long-time employee.
Periodic career advice can serve as a reminder for experienced workers of the things they may have let slide over time as they gained comfort in their positions. It also can be the catalyst for a career assessment, asking “is this still the job for me?”
Here are five critical pieces of career advice from The Lee Group – applicable to anyone, whether you’re a new graduate, an experienced worker or someone rejoining the workforce after time off.
Never stop learning.
If you don’t continue to learn and pursue new skills, knowledge or lessons, you risk becoming obsolete in your position or bored with the job. Take advantage of additional training offered either by your employer or by professional associations. Be willing to cross-train and learn a bit about the jobs your co-workers have so you can help in case of emergency. And don’t forget about learning from mistakes. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; they’re often the best teacher for lasting education. Be an LLL (life-long learner)!
Know what you want.
This can be a hard question to answer for people. Sometimes it’s easier to pinpoint what you want by stating first what you don’t want. Then the picture of exactly what you want in a career or job will crystalize. However, there are those who know exactly what they want and are prepared to convey their goals with conviction. Whether you’re just forming what you want in your professional life or have known what you want since you were a child, you need to communicate that end-state with confidence.
Show your employer you have ambition and are committed to the company.
Become the most engaged employee at the company. Find new things to motivate you and your co-workers and add value to the business either from within your job or by volunteering for activities the company is involved in such as a community campaign.
Your professional network is an important tool in your career-building toolbox. It can help you find a job or place others in positions; it can help you keep your skills updated and professional education ongoing; and it gives you a ready group of peers and mentors that you can turn to for professional advice and information.
Build your brand.
Your brand is how people know, see and perceive you. It’s what makes you … you. It’s your personality, skills, values and beliefs – your authentic self. A strong personal brand will help you stand out when compared to other candidates for positions and help build your professional network.
No matter where you are in your career, don’t forget to nurture your professional life with care and consideration.