After years of grueling study sessions, homework and exams, you finally graduated. While this no doubt is a great feat, don’t get too relaxed. The habits you learned in school are about to become the practical tools that prepare you for a successful career. As a new grad, the world is your oyster—but if you want the pearls, you have to learn how to crack that oyster wide open. Here are some familiar habits that will keep you on course after graduation, and many years to come:
Identify your major passion. Remember freshman year when you were challenged to choose a major? Your job search needs to be just as thought out. What type of career fits your personality? Where do your interests and talents lie? What interested you most about your studies in school? By assessing yourself, you will discern your passion and point yourself in the direction of a career that will bring more than just finances—it will bring fulfillment.
Get to know your subjects. Now that you know what you want to do, get to know the companies and opportunities that are out there. Research job postings for the type of skills employers are seeking. Get to know the requirements that make you an ideal candidate. Lacking in an area? Identify what you lack and proactively pursue the skills or experience you need.
Study hard and know your stuff. Got a few companies you are targeting? Do your research. Study the company website. Search for a social media profile of that company that can give you deeper insight into their culture, work style and initiatives. Look for LinkedIn contacts that know someone at that company. Do your due diligence and come to the table confidently knowing your stuff.
Prepare to ace the tests before you. The interviewing process is much like a series of tests designed to identify the top students and score them on factors critical to job success. In order to ace the interview, you’ve got to prepare like you did for your exams. Prepare to answer the obvious and not so obvious questions. And, be prepared to answer the ever-important essay question: Why should I hire you?
Maintain a student-like attitude. Once you’ve got the job, don’t forget the principles that guided you through school and your job search. Maintain a student-like attitude in your job. Seek to learn, understand and master the subjects pertinent to your career and it will surely pay off.
You’ll soon discover learning is a lifelong journey. Those who apply the disciplines that made them a great student in school will become a great success in their career as well!