Congratulations to the class of 2018! Take a moment to celebrate how far you’ve come. Reflect on the things you’ve achieved and the memories you’ve made – everything that’s brought you to where you are today.
By definition, commencement is not the end of something, but the beginning. Here’s some advice from professionals at Aldrich to help you take on the next chapter of your life.
On Searching for the Right Job
Don’t forget interviews go both ways.
Research the company you are interviewing for, but also ask questions. When you are at an interview, you are also interviewing the company to see if it is a good fit for you.
Make sure to maintain a balance in life.
Before you go through the interview process, decide what is important to you in terms of culture fit, work-life balance, travel opportunities, etc. Once you know what you’re looking for in a firm, you’ll be able to ask questions you genuinely want to know the answer to, not just ones you think will make you look more intelligent.
Think of a job interview as a conversation.
Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer questions about their career. It helps put you at ease to get them talking about themselves rather than just asking you questions.
Exhibit both confidence and humility.
Just because you might not have much technical expertise as an intern or new hire doesn’t mean you can’t still bring value to a firm. During the interview process, find out how they see you fitting into their business and how they plan on training you and helping you gain experience.
On Starting Your Career
There is no substitute for hard work.
If you have a dream, take it upon yourself to make it come true. Don’t wait for others to grant your wishes or, worse yet, to steal your dream.
Do your best to connect with people.
Listen 90 percent of the time and talk 10 percent of the time. You never know where your next opportunity, friendship or life-changing event will come from. Networking doesn’t end once you’ve found a job. Network so that you have specialists to refer clients to. Network to establish your personal brand in your community and profession.
Be insatiably and incessantly curious.
Read books. Ask questions. Never stop learning. Curious people will turn even mundane tasks into an enlightening experience simply by open up their mind to the opportunity to learn something new.
Attitude is everything.
When it comes to submerging yourself into a new environment, push yourself slightly out of your comfort zone a little more each day. This slight push and willingness to challenge yourself will provide you with opportunities in directions you may have never thought would be possible.
Focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t.
It’s much more productive and rewarding. Don’t glorify being busy just for the sake of being busy. Focus on your current goals, and identify the “busyness” in your life that is distracting you from that goal. At the same time, be willing to let go of a goal if and when life leads you in another direction.
Challenge yourself, and never be discouraged.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is still forward motion. Staying stagnant is the worst thing you can do at the start of your career. Recognize that growth, be it personal or business-related, is messy and nonlinear.