Congratulations to the class of 2019! Take a moment to celebrate how far you’ve come. Reflect on the things you’ve achieved, the people who supported you, 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.
Searching for the Right Employment Opportunity
Don’t forget interviews go both ways
Research the company you are interviewing for, but also ask questions. When you are meeting with a company, you are also interviewing the company to see if it is a good fit for you. Be genuinely yourself throughout the interview process. If you have a hint that you would need to be anything other than that to fit with a company, keep searching. There is a fit for everyone but some searches take longer than others.
Make sure to maintain a balance in life
Balance can be an overused word or a term that makes people only think of scheduling options. Achieving balance is about being realistic about what will be satisfying to you as a person. Too much of a good thing can be just that, too much. Broccoli is a healthy food if someone only consumes broccoli they will be missing other crucial nutrients that a balanced diet can provide. Think of your time and energy this way.
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 and helping you gain experience.
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.
Meet the Author
Partner, General Counsel and Director of Human Resources
Melissa Berndt, JD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Melissa Berndt is the keeper of Aldrich’s culture. She oversees all functions related to human capital for our offices in Alaska, California and Oregon. Melissa also consults in the areas of transition planning, staffing, employee resources and compensation design. She has worked with professional services firms creating employee policy and procedure manuals and other consulting…
- Human capital consulting
- Juris Doctor degree
- Transition planning, staffing, employee resources and compensation design
- Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional
- Senior Professional in Human Resources