You’ve recently completed your degree and taken your first shaky steps into the “real” world. Like an optimistic baby bird, you’re setting your sights on the sky and hoping for the best. Which, in your case, will be a stable, fulfilling entry level position that you can eventually leverage into a lasting and meaningful career. At this stage in your life, you won’t be able to throw a stone without hitting someone who’s eager to give you advice. Friends, mentors, employers, recruiters, and total strangers will tell you exactly what you need to do to find “success”. So instead of adding to the chorus, we’ll just offer three simple tips drawn from our experience in the staffing field…These are the three that we’ve found to be the most useful for new graduates like you.
There is only one definition of “success”: yours.
Success does not mean tons of money. It also doesn’t mean a wall full of degrees, a dozen children, or non-profit foundation launched in your name. Success can be defined in only one way: Imagine your life five years from now if everything works out the way you’d like it to. That’s what success means to you, and that’s the only vision that matters. Ironically, this vision will probably change before the five years are over. When that happens, you’ll need to restart the clock. And then you’ll need to do this again, and then again, and then again, for the rest of your working life. If you enjoy this exercise at any given moment, congratulations! You’ve succeeded.
Take praise and criticism with a grain of salt.
You won’t get where you’re going if you hang your happiness on the approval of others. Your boss will criticize you on some days and praise you on others, and these moments of criticism and praise have much more to do with her and with the circumstances of the moment than with your actual value as an employee and as a person. The same rule applies to job offers and rejections. Don’t be confused or deterred by the responses and evaluations you receive from strangers. Just do the best you can.
Stay in motion.
Most of the time, when you ask happy middle-aged people how they got where they are in their lives and careers, they can’t precisely tell you. Many of their greatest moments and amazing opportunities came their way by chance, and they happened to be standing in the right place at the right time when the moment occurred. But here’s something on which most of them will agree: when the moment came, they weren’t sitting on the couch watching TV. They were doing something. Working, studying, trying, failing, playing, reading, meeting new people, exploring, doing chores, or even just digging a big hole in the ground for no apparent reason. But they were doing something. If you stay in motion, you help opportunity find you, and vice versa. Slow down, make wrong turns, and reverse when you need to…but don’t stop moving.
For help and guidance as you shape your career path, contact the staffing experts at PSU.