Even the best and famous among us would never be without others who either taught them or cheered them on — think of the Beatles or one of your favourite heroes.
That’s why practicing and having supportive friends is important. It’s more than skill alone (though you’ll need lots of it), it’s about who knows you and who talks about YOU. And sometimes it’s blind luck and most times it’s about looking ahead and putting in the effort to be there at the right time and place.
In Part 1 and Part 2 you learned how important it is to know and improve yourself and get out into the real world — fast and hard. In this part, you learn why practiced expertise, asking for help and guessing ahead (like really ahead) is super useful even before you graduate.
So read on…
Part 3 of 3
I missed out on my teenage years. I led a sheltered life. I was practicing scales instead of playing football.
Being the best means being a trained athlete of whatever you’re doing. In Outliers: The Story of Success it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master. After you do the math, that’s about 10 years of time at 4 hours per day (see what I meant about patience and initiative?).
Often schools only train you in writing papers (and maybe drinking a lot of beer). Maybe it’s time to make better use of your waking hours and reclaim some practice time?
Some useful articles:
8. Reaching Out for Help
Network selectively. Nothing says “business newbie” like shotgun networking. “You never know when someone might say yes” is marketing for dummies. Take the time to build a profile of your ideal customers, and target your networking activities to reach them. Speak to those who are already predisposed to want what you offer. Almost any profile is better than “anyone with a pulse.”
Building a network of supportive friends, family and contacts will help you a lot in finding a job after graduation. Building a contact network focused on reaching your goals is even better (and more likely to work). Your success (just like anyone else’s) depends on other people — about who they know and who knows you.
It’s easy to turn into a hermit monk in university, college or even in high school. Try your hardest to stay in the public eye — online or offline (especially offline, real world, in person). As they say, “No man is an island.”
Just remember the principle of Givers Gain: you get back as much as you give. So help others too.
Resources to consider:
9. Managing Your Influence – NOW
”The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.”
- Japanese Proverb
If you aren’t online you don’t exist some might say. The reality is that recruiters and employers may be looking for someone right now online and if you aren’t already in their sights then you’re at a disadvantage.
Sure university, college and high school students already know about social networks like Facebook. Except the difference between just being on a social network and using a social network for a specific goal (your career and passion related goals) is huge.
Now’s the time to show what you know — start a blog, master your writing and communication skills and build up a presence. Get on LinkedIn and finish off your profile. At the same time keep your Facebook profile clear of parties gone too wild (or adjust your privacy settings).
And of course get out and network and act in the real world (outside of academic paper writing and shuffling).
(More later on that in How to Find a Job in 3 Powerful Ways: A Shinobi Guide to Job Search)
10. Looking Ahead
Everyone of us is still a student and the future is always uncertain with its latest “lessons”. You have to keep looking around you and trying your best to guess what will happen next. This is made all the more harder if you fail to set goals or fail to know where you’re going because you won’t be looking or won’t know what you’re looking for.
If you’re in university, college or high school you should appreciate Wall Street’s mess up of the economy in 2008. Jobs will still be hard to find in the next 3-5 years (if not more) especially for young students and student loans continues to be a major problem.
Yet in a challenging time like this is the best time to force yourself to learn and become better (call it your trial by fire) especially before you hit the real blaze (the work force). There are new chances to stand out (and I pray, do good for the community) because of the environmental and social issues we face in this century.
Watch the job trends for the industry or areas you’re interested in working in that might be doing well or hiring over the next few years even with the job troubles overall.
Always have an eye towards the opportunities. And be willing to change gears as needed. Just remember your friends and surprise them when they least expect it.
Things to read:
These 10 mistakes are easily fixed if you are serious about challenging yourself to become better than you were yesterday. It is never too late to learn the needed skills before graduation — the earlier you do it the better (take it from personal experience). So get out there, know what you want, know the landscape and take the initiative to act!
PS. Even if you’ve just left higher education, it’s never too late to fix your mistakes.
PPS. You’ll get over 369 tips, tricks and tactics in the upcoming ebook How to Find Your Job in 3 Powerful Ways: A Shinobi Guide to Job Search. Join the email list for the book to get your hands on the free version of the guide when it comes out and additional updates.
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