Tuesday 24 July 2012

Your Guide to Entering the Workforce

Summer is underway, and another group of “Trophy Kids” (Gen Y) is preparing to leave their jobs at your local coffee shops and retail stores to join the ranks of the professional workforce. Like many other ambitious young adults, eager to kick start their career, they are filled with huge, fantastic plans and high hopes. Alas, like a number of other young graduates can attest, a diploma or a degree does not necessarily guarantee success. Some of us, perhaps, have learned the hard way that there are things that college simply cannot prepare us for.

Muovo would like to share with you the following six tips, originally drafted by Kyle Lagunas, HR Analyst at Software Advice, on what you should do upon entering the workforce.
1. Be calm with recruiters. 
Very often, we fail to realise that recruiters have a lot on their plates and generally can’t satisfy our expectation of rapid, personalised attention during the recruitment process.

There is in fact a fine line between follow-up and harassment. A good rule of thumb is to follow up three times, every seven to ten days, and then stop. Always via email-—never ever via phone (recruiters hate getting unexpected calls from applicants).

2. Pluck up some courage at work.
Is your first job less than glamorous? Were you hoping to run the place from day one? Fact: Many recent graduates are lucky to land even an entry-level position.

Although it is often very frustrating, do not surrender a position just because you simply detest it! Instead, look for ways to do more. Talk to your supervisor about any opportunity to take on new projects, and offer to help your colleagues. You should never simply go in, do your job, and go home.

3. Engage prospective employers.
If you haven't already found a full-time job, you should be doing more than simply applying to all the jobs you see advertised.

Twitter and Linkedin offer unique platforms for building a relationship with a prospective employer. Search for industry forums or targeted Twitter chats, talk with people, ask questions.

Jump in anywhere, even if their company is not currently hiring.

4. Be agile. 
So maybe it is not, and has never really been, your life dream to be an office assistant.

Keep in mind however that you are just setting out on your career path. If you can keep things in perspective, it will add up to something, eventually.

If you can do your job well, show some humility and demonstrate just how agile you can be: you will find it easier to build valuable relationships with your coworkers and impress your supervisors.

And you will likely find your career trajectory much more to your liking.

5. Learn what it means to be professional.

This is especially true in how you interact with your supervisor. If your company has traditional values where business casual is defined as slacks and a button-down, you are not doing yourself any favors by going against the grain. You will land yourself a pink slip in no time.

6. Find a mentor. 
If you think mentorships are old school and not worth your time, think again.

Having a mentor (or several) is a great way to gain the much-needed perspective of someone who has been there, done that, and has something to show for it.

A mentor can provide guardrails for your career path, and let you know when to hit the gas or slam on the brakes.

Several leaders are not asked to be mentors anymore, and unfortunately many companies no longer have formal mentoring programs. Does this mean that you are out of luck? No! It is wholly up to you to find them. But don’t limit your search for a mentor to your company or industry. A mentor should be someone whose decisions and business ethic you respect.

Courtesy of Kyle Lagunas, Software Advice.

Any comments? Muovo would like to hear from you!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


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