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College Graduates: What You Need to Know to Succeed

Dec 28, 2015

What this year’s college graduate needs to know.

You recently celebrated your college graduation with your family and friends. All of the hours and hard work in the classroom have finally paid off. As a college graduate, are you  ready to take on the world and find your first job in your career?  Some may be lucky and have secured their first “real world” job through a successful internship. If so, congratulations! If you are still looking, here are some tips to help you get started on your search and to help you succeed once you land your first career venture.

Don’t limit yourself to one field!

A recent survey conducted by suggests that many Americans never work in the field in which they received their degree. Among 2,134 workers surveyed, only 53 percent of college graduates found a first job that was related to their college major. A step further revealed that only 32 percent of American workers ever found a job in their related field. I can speak from experience that it is best to branch out. What qualities and skills did you learn from your degree and related experiences? Don’t stick to the obvious and explore your options! Part of being successful in a career is being adaptable and learning new things on a constant basis. You may miss out on a lucrative career you love.

Become an asset.

Continue to learn and expand your knowledge. Be sure to take notes as you learn new things. Use your expertise to fill in areas of your business that need more knowledge and growth. Take it upon yourself to learn more about the company for which you work. As you grow, support yourself with data, not just your opinions. Even if you start young, you still have life experiences. Support those life experience with data. As you continue learning more about your company, make sure you understand what your company does! You don’t have to be an expert in every facet of your company’s business. It is still important to show confidence in your area of expertise.

Find a true leader and a mentor.

True leaders help others succeed and don’t knock others down to show their own successes. Find someone successful within your organization willing to help you grow as a professional. While you are responsible for your own growth, this person can help answer questions and give advice along the way. Be observant of the behaviors good leadership demonstrate. Be sure to also have regular performance reviews to help you see your growth and to receive feedback from management.

Your first few years after graduating will be all about testing out different opportunities that arise. Take the time to learn along the way and push yourself forward and take big risks. Check out these top five skills employers want from college graduates.