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A Student’s Guide to Career Success

Group of studentsOpportunities abound in the workplace if you have the proper skills and mindset. Even in a down economy you can advance and shine in your career if you allow yourself to be flexible, have a good attitude and are willing to learn from your experiences.

First you should start your networking while in school. Your fellow students of today will be tomorrow’s executives. Keep in touch with them and build up your contacts. You never know who might be the one to help you to achieve your goals and dreams in the workforce.

While in school you also want to take a variety of classes that will make you marketable in the workplace. Develop knowledge of business, politics, finance, literature and history. You will also need to excel at both verbal and written communication. Those skills are a must in just about every career. Decision-making skills are another area that will be required to rise to the top in any field. You must be able to think on your feet in a fast and efficient manner. School is the perfect place to develop these talents.

Do not think you have to get that dream job directly out of school. Most people wind up taking a number of jobs before finding the perfect fit. You are still young and should be open to experiences of every nature. The career you believe to be the perfect fit right out of school may not be so in the future. The most menial low wage jobs can offer much in the way of experience and knowledge. The object is to avoid being afraid to try different areas in your chosen field. Eventually you will figure out who you are and where you want to be.

Every employer you come in contact with will have a wealth of knowledge to teach you, so take advantage of that. Ask questions of everyone you meet on the job and learn from what you are told. Do not be afraid to take on tasks that may sound beneath you. All tasks can offer a learning experience if you look at them in the correct way. Always complete every task with your best performance. After you have proven you are worthy, those assignments that you want the most may be offered to you. If not, go after them. Show them that you have what it takes to perform those tasks. Make sure you keep a good attitude no matter what comes your way. Employers like to see employees who are not afraid to arrive early, stay late and always be willing to take on tasks of any nature with a smile. This attitude is good for the morale of everyone else in the company.

If you can live simply and unencumbered, you will leave yourself open to more possibilities. The best companies for you may not be in the same area you grew up in or went to school in. If you are unencumbered you will be able to pick up and move when the right job offer arises. This is easiest when you are fresh out of college. Stay single, rent instead of own or live with your parents if that is an option, and keep debt to a minimum. You have plenty of time left to build a family and own a home. Wait until you believe you have found the career you want before taking on those responsibilities. Do not turn 45 and look back wondering if you settled too quickly in the wrong position.

Anyone who has the right mindset and takes the time can acquire the perfect fit for a career choice. You do not have to feel rushed after graduating to get into the perfect company with the perfect career. Take the time to get the feel of the job market. Network and absorb every bit of business knowledge you can get from everyone you meet. In time you will find yourself heading in the right career path for you.