Jump-start your career, here and now!

Want to get a good job after college? Use these tips to jump-start your career!

Recently I was invited for a panel discussion on Careers in Management at a reputed management institute at Pune. I got an opportunity to interact with around 250 students who were very excited at the same time anxious about their careers. Through this article I intend to provide guidance to Fresh Graduates (from all disciplines) who are about to start their professional careers.

Most students go to college to get a degree and to gain the skills employers want. Getting good grades is not enough to impress most employers. Students that follow the strategies listed below will be better prepared to promote themselves to employers. 

Step 1. Self Awareness

The best place to start is by knowing yourself. It gives you a clear idea about your strengths & areas of improvement. Career assessments can help identify your skills, interests, values, or other traits. These are then matched to a broad list of careers. Assessments help you find careers that fit you best. These days there are some very effective Psychometric Tests available based on Five Factor Model (FFM) which have been found extremely reliable and useful in understanding yourself and your best career choices based your strengths and traits.

What Can an Assessment Tell You? 

An assessment is like a mirror and can tell you what may not have really noticed about your personality traits.

Take a career assessment to:

  • Understand the strengths (or weaknesses) you bring to your job.
  • Find out about specific occupations that are a good match for your unique blend of traits.
  • Learn where your skills fall short of the requirements for different jobs.
  • Decide whether you need more training or experience in an area.
  • Reflect on where you want to take your career, and where you want your career to take you.


Step 2. Prepare Yourself

Explore careers related to your degree. 

Don’t wait until you are graduating to think about the workplace. If you haven’t already, research careers related to your specialisation. Do you know what jobs you will be qualified for when you graduate? To help plan your career path, conduct several informational interviews with people who work with or hire people in your desired career. Ask them if your degree program and extra-curricular experiences have prepared you for the requirements employers expect.

Identify skills most in demand by your potential Employers 

Our market research across Employers from various industries shows that following are the Top 3 critical skills they are looking for while recruiting Fresh Graduates: 

  1. Communication skills
  2. Industry Awareness
  3. Analytical/Problem Solving skills 

It is of paramount importance for students to develop these skills before they get ready for Campus Recruitment season or searching for jobs on their own. It helps immensely if you can get guidance from Industry Experts via Mentoring programs, Career Guidance workshops and 1-on-1 Career Counselling from Professional Coaches. 

Create a network of peers, seniors and Industry Experts

In today’s world, your people network is your social power. The more active you are in your social networking, the more your chances of being visible and knowledgeable about the world around you. Today there are some excellent social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and other students specific social media platform that can be of great help to you. Join a career-related student group, professional associations, or other groups that can help you to build your network, including online career-related groups. When possible, choose college projects related to trends and topics in your desired career.

 Step 3. Think Big and Go for it!

For students of the 21st Century, there are plenty of opportunities across industries and sectors. India being a fast growing economy the college students of today can take benefit of growing industrial and economic activity across industry verticals. The Internet technology makes it possible for global opportunities to be tapped from India or from anywhere else in the world.

As an entry level employee, you’re part of the new workforce, the generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and new business owners. While your goal might not be CEO of a large corporation, you might just have the next idea for a startup or mobile application that can be become Google or Whatsapp of tomorrow. Who knows!

Find a mentor. The mentor works as a guide from within the context of the work environment. The perfect mentor is someone who works well with you and who has been there and done that. The best mentor/coach makes you aware of your unique strengths, gives you guidance, builds your self confidence, and inspires you to pursue your Big Dreams.

In summary, I recommend you, the college students, to become self aware, then start preparing yourself to develop critical skills which are highly in demand, create a powerful network of peers, seniors and industry experts, get a Mentor, think big and just go for it!

Remember, there are no limits but infinite new possibilities ahead of you.

The question is , are you ready for this thrilling ride?

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