Whether you’re just out of high school or you’ve had a few years in the world of work, it’s likely that you’re keen to get started on the path towards your dream career. You may have a clear job title in mind, or you might just have a general idea of the field or discipline in which you’re interested – but either way, it can be difficult to see the precise steps you’ll need to take in order to get there. In this article, we look at a few great ways in which you can make a start.
Look into Higher or Further Education
While relatively few jobs require a college or university education as a rule, having that qualification may set you apart from other candidates. What’s more, your time in higher or further education will present you with loads of opportunities to get to know exciting people, build your specialist knowledge and have formative experiences. Look for additional specialist qualifications too, including project management or leadership skills certificates. Like many, you may need to take out a student loan from a private lender in order to pay for your education. This will make the expenses more manageable and will enable you to pursue your studies without too much financial pressure.
Make Connections and Ask Questions
As regularly as possible, try to put yourself in a position where you’ll be surrounded by the right people. Depending on your ideal career, you may decide to attend trade shows, conventions, networking events or courses dedicated to your chosen field. The more relevant connections you can make while there, the greater the number of valuable resources you’ll have. If any of these new contacts are happy to provide you with advice or assistance, don’t hesitate to take them up on it. Their support could prove extremely helpful. Don’t be afraid to ask around among your friends and social media connections too – someone may have a family member in your dream industry who may be able to assist you.
You don’t have to spend every waking hour focusing on your goal, but it’s a good idea to regularly check in and make sure you’re on the right track. You can do this by considering the relevance of both your academic and extracurricular activities, then trying to follow the right pursuits.
Learn to Present Yourself Well
Always be yourself, but in a confident, friendly and articulate manner. Honesty, politeness and eloquence will get you a long way. It’s also a good idea to take care of your appearance. This doesn’t mean wearing suits all the time – just stay on top of your personal hygiene and wear clean, well-maintained clothes. Presentation isn’t just about in-person impressions – you also need to be aware of how you look online. Ill-judged social media posts and questionable pictures may be accessible by employers, so avoid sharing them where possible.
It’s highly unlikely that your future employer is going to discover you walking down the street. To give yourself the best possible chance, you need to keep looking out for opportunities. Enter competitions, apply for openings, attend courses and keep actively building your portfolio of skills and achievements. In doing this, you’re far more likely to catch the right professional’s eye.