Dennis Tello, Enterprise Account Manager at QuickStart | Executive Chronicles | Landing your first job isn’t easy. It’s a nerve-wracking time in your life and often has you experiencing self-doubt. With such competition, how can you market yourself and make yourself the most hireable and desirable candidate?
Slow down and take it one day at a time. Remember all the accomplishments you’ve already had and let those give you a boost of confidence during this time of unknowns. The most important aspect is that you believe in yourself and picture all the positive outcomes that are possible. See pieces of advice for anyone starting their career.
Do A Lot of Research
This is the time to be researching and investigating all your options and different paths you can take. For example, if your speciality is data science, find out how many entry level data science jobs there are going to be available in the upcoming years. Depending on the outlook, it may influence your decision to go a certain way or not in your job search. Understand what’s available and out there in your area, so you know what to expect.
Interview Multiple Places
Never put all your eggs in one basket. Submit several applications and don’t settle until you have a few different interviews lined up. You want to have some pull when it comes to who you end up taking a job with. Remember that they’re interviewing you and you’re interviewing them too. You want to get a good idea of what’s out there and the going rate before settling on a final decision. The more options you have to choose from when it comes time to take a job the better.
Never expect results immediately. You have to be patient and let the process play out. Don’t necessarily take the first job that’s offered to you. While it may be tempting, you also want it to be the right move. It’s also possible you won’t have any interest for a while. You may start to feel down, but you have to be able to pick yourself back up and keep going. Take note that landing a new job is typically not an easy or quick development. Continue to research, network and put in the effort, and you’ll land a job eventually.
Keep in Mind that it’s not Forever
Even when you do begin your career, know that it doesn’t have to be forever. You can move jobs or change your profession whenever you choose. While it may not be a fast transition, it’s possible and good to keep your options open. You never know when a better opportunity or company is going to pop up. If you start working and end up not liking it, then give it time, but always remember that you have the power and control to change your path whenever you’d like. Give it a chance, but start looking sooner rather than later if you’re unhappy.
Start Building Relationships Early
Every person you meet along the way is a chance to build your professional network. Treat everyone with respect and exchange contact information with those who you feel would be a good addition to your list. Use your new job as an opportunity to meet as many new people as possible. You never know when interests will align or you’ll need a favour or information from someone who you meet. It’s never too early to start building up your contacts and expanding your network. This is a great way to informally land a job too.
Once you sign on the dotted line, you should focus on trying your best. No matter where you end up, make sure you work hard and don’t give up. Challenge yourself and be willing to use this opportunity to learn and grow. Even if you don’t like your job or the company, never stop giving it your all. You want to leave on a good note and be known as someone who’s hardworking. If you do like your new role, then being someone who’s always going above and beyond will help you get a promotion and work your way up the ranks.
Separate your Professional & Personal Life
It’s good practice to keep your professional and personal life separate. Set boundaries and make sure you create space between the two. This way you won’t feel smothered at work or home. It’ll feel like you have a life and you won’t be stressing yourself out trying to juggle tasks from both places at once. Save your personal phone calls and email for when you leave the office. If you’re bored, ask your boss if there’s work that needs to be done. The same goes for when you return home. Make sure you’re getting enough time away from your devices and screens.
Communicate & Speak up
Always be ready to communicate your needs, ask questions and speak up. Be proactive and willing to show initiative. If you have an idea or a process isn’t working out right for you then bring it up in a team meeting. Don’t let thoughts fester in your head and have them come out at the wrong time. Be assertive in your approach and not afraid to give an opinion when the time is right. If you have an issue that’s better kept private, then set up a meeting to discuss it with your boss. Even though you’re new and starting your career, you shouldn’t be afraid to use your voice.
This is an exciting occasion in your life. Give it time, and you’ll soon land a good job you can be proud of. Keep at it no matter how long it takes you. The rewards will be worth your patience. Be ready to dive in and participate in your new career. You can always make changes if it ends up not being the right decision. These are pieces of advice for anyone starting their career.