Driving your career forward

Have you ever been told by a lecturer at university that when you leave you will get a job in your desired field of study, 50-70 grand a year and a manager who takes the time to mentor you into a young professional? I was.

I was with the bulk majority who leave university with piling debt and no real direction as to what next. I was one in the thousands every year who leave with hope that a rewarding job finds them.

I applied for twenty jobs and did not hear back from any. I tried again a couple of months later and failed. I would get an interview and fail once again. Eventually I just gave up. It did not matter if I had awesome grades and a friendly, outgoing personality – its more than that in this fast paced, competitive economy. Employers want to know what you can bring to their organisation they do not currently have. Of course you google what it is they do, come up with some great idea/s around what it is you could bring to the table but if you do not have a plan from start to end with contingencies in mind you are no match for them.

“You can’t get a job because you don’t have experience” is a phrase you will hear all to often. “I can’t get experience because I can’t get a job” is what you will replay in your head.

Lets take it back to university… how important is the effort you put in to getting experience whilst at university? SO important! You observe and learn from others who have experience in a particular field. You learn what worked and what did not, question why, how and why not? This will separate you from the bulk majority. Developing networks is another key piece of advice I give to you because people know people who know of opportunities. This will separate you from the majority. Put yourself in the drivers seat of your own success. If you want that job, go for it. If you are not successful, ask the recruiting manager what it would take to be successful. This will separate you from some. Get involved in what you are passionate about- community events, fundraising events, culture, arts, music, business and innovation competitions. This will separate you from a few. Take a chance! This may mean moving cities, changing lifestyles, changing…you. Ensure you align your mindset with determination to create your own success and… accept that it may take you time to step up the ladder but you will get there. Stick it out!

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When I left university I created my first job in communications and events. I was using my degree, yes, but bound to a fixed term contract on $17 a hour. I was left to be autonomous and while I was more than capable at this, I failed. I forgot to ask for help and learn the ‘right from the wrong’ and as a result many of my outputs were only half achieved. I left this job in June 2015 and moved into my second job from university as a personal assistant/ recruitment coordinator. I am using my degree, bound to a permanent contract and  on $27 a hour. I have a manager who spends time listening to my questions and works with me to find the answer. I am autonomous and more than capable to deliver achievable outputs. How did I get here? I kept driving in the right direction.

If you ask the right questions, put in the effort, ask for more, learn and develop your skills in more than just your field of work I can guarantee your peers and leaders will respect you. Over time you will develop a well established brand and a reputation. If you go with what you think is right, stick with what you know and do not find the opportunities to grow yourself you become stuck.

Keep asking for more. Keep trying. Keep driving forward.

Bridget x

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4 thoughts on “Driving your career forward

  1. This is sooooo true…. Hearing ‘you don’t have enough experience as a rookie’…. I mean how am I supposed to get any experience if these guys don’t give us a chance? Why would an experienced person apply for a beginner level job? Think, you HR idiots! This is a wonderful post and good advice. Thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had the same experience when I graduated college. I graduated at the top of my class, so I was filled with pride; borderline know-it-all, somewhat neurotic, etc. However, I was soon humbled by the rising debt from college loans and no income to pay for them. I experienced fierce competition when I would send in a resume; leaving me in a doubtful disposition moving forward.

    Sometimes, I would send a resume to a company, and I would get an email saying they already received more submissions than they anticipated, therefore my resume was not even going to make it to the pile, let alone be considered for hire!!! For a person filled with pride and arrogance- this was a very humbling experience that not only brought me down from cloud 9, but the consistent failure I experienced (even paying a service to “blast” my resume to 100’s of companies; ending in failure as well) eventually led me to become an entrepreneur. Not everyone chooses to work for themselves, but that is what I did….

    What I discovered is- If you want to work someone else, i.e “get a job/career”, It is not WHAT you know as much as it is WHO you know, pertaining to your chosen field of study, of course.

    Simply speaking, a person will hire their friend or family member before hiring you (or anyone else) no matter how great you are at what you do. Of course, this is not 100% true, but at least 75% true given the experiences of many people who graduate college with no “post” direction.

    My point is- anyone can have anything in life, you just have to find, and begin “walking” the path that leads to that person/place/thing in life, and with given time your aspiration will become your reality. I enjoyed reading the post, Bridget. Thank you. 🙂

    Like

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