It’s your first year and you are nervous, but also excited, the journey to your future career has just begun and you want to get right in and start working towards your future. Where do you start? The possibilities are endless and the opportunity is right there in front of you. You may ask yourself how can I maximise my career prospects from this day forward. This is a great question as without questions one may never find answers that will enable them to reach out and navigate their way in the right direction and increase their chances of success.
The competition is high as many graduates are applying for the same jobs, this is why ensuring that you start early in university will maximise your chances of getting ahead and on the right path. This guide will give you a head start and get you ready from day one:
1. Know your purpose
Dig deep and find out what you really want out of university and why you are there, be realistic with yourself and expectations. What are your careers goals? Know what you want from the get go and begin working towards it. Manage your time and work with intention, be organised and set time aside to complete assignments on time. This frees you to focus on other task. Believe in your goals and understand the commitments required to achieve it.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”- Eleanor Roosevelt
2. Research everything
You will forever be researching so why not start now! From day one make researching part of your studies. Assignments and your career require that you do some research and find the relevant information. Pay attention and keep up, university life, as exciting and fun as it can be doesn’t last forever. Diligent attention is required to keep up and be up to date and on time for deadlines. Keep focused and remember the end goal.
Whether you plan to be self-employed or work for a company. Networking will expose you to the right people and the right opportunities. In everything people will be involved in any services you choose at the end of your studies. Prioritise networking and make consistent effort to engage and meet new people. Surrounding yourself with hard-working people who share your goals will ensure your experience in university is pleasant. We all need support so associating with those who share similar goals will keep you motivated and support your journey right from day one.
You may dread the idea of volunteering, but this could be the best decision to increase your career prospects. Volunteering exposes you to employers; on the job training that can increase your value and improve your CV. There is always room for improvements so having experience and training gives you the experience and makes you the ideal candidate for the job you may be interested in when you complete your studies. A work experience is always advantageous and increases your chances of getting into paid employment. You may even be offered paid employment if you are well liked by the employer you volunteered with.
5. Build rapport with your tutors
Build a good relationship with your lecturers, yes this involves getting to know them and interacting with them. Some can be your referees and give references to employers.
In conclusion remember that your time in university is short, start from day one and ensure that you know your purpose and your reasons for being in university. Engage in diligent research, network and get into groups that support your career. Manage your time wisely and volunteer to get some work experience and increase your employability. Lastly get to know your lecturers and secure solid and reliable references for your future employer.
Written By Shereena Badu