Career decisions are never easy, especially when you are young and still unsure about what you ultimately want to do. You need to lay solid foundations for any career and by the end of your 20s, it’s very beneficial to have a good idea of the field you want to be working in during your later career.
You don’t need to have a set plan. Most people who are now in their 20s will be working until they are in their 70s, so there is a lot of time to change your mind! It is a good idea to have something to aim for and the build up a good job history, though. People who have done nothing related to their chosen career path could struggle in future as the competition for the best positions becomes fierce. Put together a career action plan and have some clear goals, both short term and long term.
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.