Dear fresh graduate, I write these career tips to ensure you avoid the mistakes professionals who have gone ahead of you have made. Congratulations on making it this far, now the real work begins, and I hope you are ready? Well, regardless of your answer, you must know that information is power and would make a difference as you kick-start your career.
While mentoring fresh graduates, one of the mistakes I have observed they make often is lacking the understanding the of the present job market demands. This mistake has cost many job opportunities and ensured they wouldn’t maximise such opportunities available to them. Let us take a look at some career tips for fresh graduates that would help you become successful.
Unlearn Irrelevant Knowledge
You must ensure as a fresh graduate to unlearn every irrelevant knowledge from your University degree. If you live in Nigeria and want to be a globally competitive professional; you must unlearn irrelevant knowledge, and in some cases, old ways of doing things that would not help you hit success. Unlearning irrelevant knowledge should also be accompanied by learning new skills that would help you succeed in your career and the workplace. These skills should include both soft and hard skills, which I can guarantee you would set you apart as a choice candidate for prospective employers. Depending on your course of choice, industry, and trends, how you can acquire this knowledge would differ, many of such are available for free and some paid. Do your research to learn more, be very mindful about your self-development.
Mentorship and Networking
It is not often whom you know alone, but who knows you. Find relevant mentors who would help you navigate your career path. One of the things I have learnt in my career is that as humans, we all need people. The value of mentorship cannot be overemphasized for fast-tracking your career and knowledge. My rule for finding mentors is that they have to be people passionate about mentoring, have relevant knowledge/experience, and not necessarily with decades of experience.
Networking helps you build your network. With networking, you can learn from the experience of other professionals, and also gain opportunities from them as well as build meaningful career relationships that would impact positively on you in the future. LinkedIn, career or job fairs, other social media, colleagues at work, or internship are all channels for networking. There are so many opportunities out there, keep an open mind.
Internships and Job Search
Finding your professional path as a fresh graduate can be confusing and depressing. Job search is long, and when it is not, it takes a whole of adjusting to get used to the cycle. Internships are a great opportunity for you to find yourself and to kickstart your career. I always advise undergraduates to take as many intern roles as possible as this helps prepare you for the job place. If you are still finding yourself, find a mentor, do your research, and find 2-3 internships opportunities you can use to build your knowledge, interest, and career.
Every job search should be unique, making sure you are selling your most valuable and valid skills that are relatable to the job advertisement. Be patient with the process but consistent, learn about interviews and how to perform your best at them, and when you do get the job, give your all and never stop learning.
In closing my thoughts, I want you to know that your career path can be different from what you studied at the University. Studying Accounting does not mean you must become an Accountant, with the relevant internship experience, drive, self-development, and industry certification you can become an HR manager, Sales specialist, and more.
As a fresh graduate, the world understands your vulnerability and would want to play against you. Be wary of scam jobs, because the internet is awash with them. If you are looking for tips to navigate scam jobs and job interviews, you’ll find them here. If you need a CV and other career resources for your job search, I write about them here.
Hope you found these career tips for fresh graduates helpful? If you have comments or questions, let me know in the comment section. Cheers, and I wish you a successful career, see you at the top.