When you finish university or college, the next step is to find yourself your first real job. This is a major transitional phase for your career, as you will be going from studying full time and maybe having a part-time job to earn some spending money, to working in a full-time role that is probably around 37-40 hours a week.
Don’t be put off by the fact that it is a major change. Many people will be looking for graduates and actually, it won’t necessarily matter what subject your degree is in. Make sure your CV is up to scratch and begin sending it to recruitment agencies to see what they can offer you.
Whilst you shouldn’t necessarily just take the first job you are offered, you also shouldn’t be put off by taking a more junior role. Many graduates think too much about the bigger picture and look for jobs that meet with all their career dreams and that they could see themselves doing forever. This is unrealistic. Find a job, get some experience and then re-evaluate your options in a year’s time if you want to.
Many of us dream about running our own business, but often the reality of it is far from the dream we had in mind. Businesses can go wrong for a number of reasons and if you are the business owner then you will most likely feel the stress and pressure more than anyone else.
If you have been self-employed or owned your own business and feel it is time to go back to employment you may find the transition period very hard.
Being employed will most likely mean that you have a boss that you report to. You will be given a job role and either a salary or commission based structure of pay and will have to work certain hours to achieve this. Working for yourself takes discipline but so does working for someone else and you not only have yourself to answer to but possibly a manager or business owner.
Starting your own business can be daunting. You may worry about how you are going to attract customers and get the work and if you are going to be able to make money. If you have to buy stock or employ staff from the offset then this will also be a concern, especially if you have had to take out a loan to get you off the ground.
When starting your own business, marketing is essential. You need to be able to promote your company in a cost effective way and ideally monitor which marketing avenue is most successful for you.
When you have a good idea of what you want your business to do and have created a business plan, then you need to start to think about company names and logos. Having a business card, flyers or even just a logo can give your customers more confidence to buy from you.
If you are looking to go self-employed then you must have a certain level of discipline to ensure that you get your work finished on time and to a high standard. Unlike an employed position, where you may have a boss to answer to or someone who is checking your work, you may only have to answer to yourself, but to really make a go of it you ned discipline.
Time management is often one of the hardest things self-employed people struggle with, especially if you are working from home. There are often a number of distractions in and around the home which can very quickly and easily encroach on our work time, leaving you behind and having to stay up late or work weekends to catch up.
Being self-employed can be very rewarding as long as you are strict and make yourself work the correct number of hours needed to succeed.
If you have the opportunity to work with a business mentor then I would grab it with both hands. Some people get offered a mentor as part of a training or back to work program they are taking part in whereas others actually pay people to mentor them. A mentor can be extremely helpful to your and the way in which you can run your business or progress up through the company you are employed by.
To get the most out of your mentoring sessions, both parties must be fully committed and actively involved. When starting out be sure to have clear, defined goals in mind. When you have goals in place, be sure to revisit them from time to time to check that you are making progress.
Be sure to discuss exactly what you want from the mentoring, should it be advice on how to build up customer relations ships, advice on industry specifics over an over of business in general.
When I was at secondary school, I got offered the opportunity to go on work experience. At the time I did not really take it seriously and just looked at it as a few weeks away from school. Since leaving school and starting work I do now realise why work experience is so important. It gives students the opportunity to experience a working day in a environment that they may want to work in when older. Ideally chose a placement that you could imagine applying for a job in once you are ready to work. Once you are on your work placement, be sure to gain as much information as you can, do not be afraid to ask questions and even to spend a bit of your lunch break or after work chatting to other members of staff to get their feedback on what they think of the job.