New graduate? 12 tips that could help you launch your career

by The Insights

Every year, new graduates enter the labor market, each entering a different labor market from the one before them. Successfully navigating such a big change can be difficult on your own, so it’s worth taking advice from those who have walked the same path before and are achieving their goals.

Here, 12 members of the Young Entrepreneur Council reflect on their own journeys and offer their best advice to new graduates entering the workforce and looking to launch their own successful careers.

1. Know that passion will take you far

Your degree does not define your limits or dictate your success. The most important thing I’ve learned as a business owner is that you can be successful in any field you’re passionate about. With the world’s growing interconnectedness, if you have a unique idea backed by passion, it’s relatively easy to find highly qualified people to grow your business. Ideas are the new currency. – Alexis Austin, Law Law Group

2. Prioritize building your network

New graduates should prioritize building a strong professional network through industry events, alumni relations, and professional associations. A strong network can provide valuable mentorship, job leads and collaboration opportunities, helping launch their careers by providing them with new experiences and relationships. – Nic DeAngelo, Saint Investment – Real Estate Funds

3. Define what success means to you

Define what success means to you and the lifestyle you seek. It can help you set personalized goals and priorities, ensuring your career trajectory aligns with your values, passions, and aspirations. By defining your version of success, you can better evaluate job openings, career moves, and networking opportunities, leading to a more fulfilling, goal-oriented work life. – Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

4. Learn to troubleshoot

Learn to bring value to any situation by offering solutions instead of discussing problems. Anyone can learn this skill by practicing mental models such as Eisenhower’s Matrix and Occam’s Razor. For example, you can list the problems you encounter in a work environment, break down what’s urgent, and then resolve accordingly and quickly. Be the first to identify and resolve. – Libby Rothschild, Patron Dietitian

5. Wake Up Always Excited and Grateful

I would say to new grads: I was in your shoes 16 years ago when I graduated from pharmacy and started my residency. I would like to remind you all to wake up each day feeling energized and grateful for what you have. When you launch your career, make decisions based on where you want to be instead of making decisions based on where you currently are. What do you want your life to look like in 2028? – Dr. Christine Manukyan, STORRIE™ Institute

6. Stay eager to learn

College has given you a foundation for learning; the workforce will give you real practice. One of the advantages for companies that hire young graduates is that you are malleable. They can provide you with training opportunities, try to keep you from picking up “bad habits” and set you up for career growth as long as you put in the work. Keep a good attitude and stay open – your leadership opinions. – Greg Ashton, GROW

7. Think about your perfect job and go find it

Take a moment alone to sit down with a pen and paper and write down the perfect job for yourself. Be as detailed as you want. Don’t stick to your sense of what’s realistic because, as a new graduate, you don’t know all of your options. Describe your day, your pay, the impact of your work, the type of people you work with, and anything that matters to you. So go get it! – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

8. Take initiative

Don’t wait for opportunities to come your way; look for them and create them yourself. Whether it’s taking on additional responsibilities, seeking out mentors, or networking with professionals in your field, be prepared to put in the work and take calculated risks to achieve your goals. Be open to learning from your mistakes and adjusting your course if necessary. – Kelly Kercher, K3 Technology

9. Embrace the unknown

Embrace the unknown! As new graduates enter the workforce, being open to new experiences, challenges, and opportunities will help them learn, grow, and adapt in a dynamic work environment. It’s a mindset that fosters resilience, innovation and continuous learning, preparing them for a successful career launch. – Sujay Pawar, CartFlows

10. Trust your instincts

Trust your instincts on job postings that seem to have red flags. Although you sometimes have to settle for less than satisfactory positions, sometimes companies take advantage of your lack of experience to underpay or violate candidate expectations. Never hesitate to seek help from trusted mentors in your life to review contracts or terms. – Duran Inci, Optimum7

11. Prioritize self-care

One piece of advice I would give to new grads entering the workforce is to prioritize self-care. Launching a career can be stressful and overwhelming, and it’s important to take time for yourself to recharge and avoid burnout. It can mean different things to different people, whether it’s taking breaks throughout the day, practicing mindfulness, or finding a physical activity you enjoy. – Pratik Chaskar, Specter

12. Be open to all opportunities

Be open to opportunities that may not seem ideal to you. You’re not likely to land your dream job on day one. Being receptive to the different roles you will encounter will help you find the right position. You never really know what life will bring, but the more receptive you are to opportunities, the further you will go. -Jennifer A Barnes, Optima Office, Inc.

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