How To Ensure Success After Graduation

Spring Break seems a distant memory, the schedule for final exams is looming, commencement is on the horizon and your mind keeps wandering to the future.

Whether you’ve landed that first big gig, you’re still searching or you’re weighing your options, there are some career growth activities you should be engaging in to make sure you’re ready for all the excitement waiting for you on the horizon. These activities also help you adopt habits that will be valuable throughout your career.

Get Connected. Your college pals are an extremely valuable part of your professional network moving forward. You just spent four amazing years with them, but you likely won't see them as often as you did when you had that regular Friday night beer pong tournament. Before your leave, make sure you have all the contact details of your friends and connect with them on LinkedIn. Sure, you can share the new email address your new company is about to give you, but you might not stay there forever – and that increases the chances of losing touch. When you connect on LinkedIn, you stay professionally connected forever (or at least for as long as LinkedIn is around!).

Get Testimonials. You know that professor who thought your team project was the best she had seen in years? Before she forgets, ask her for a recommendation – on letterhead and on LinkedIn. And ask for recs from the people you interned for too. Get all the recommendations and testimonials you can from your college years – they’ll be valuable to you. LinkedIn is a great place to request and showcase them. Get in the habit of doing this whenever you are praised for a job well done. Testimonials are the best form of proof of performance, which enhances your credibility.

Get Your Digital House In Order. Hopefully as you have been searching for a job, you have been mindful of your online ID. If not, now is the time to make sure your virtual brand is totally aligned with who you are in the real world. There are going to be lots of people curious about who the new gal or guy is – so make sure what they learn about you is consistent with how you want to be known. Scrub your online profile to remove digital dirt and put your best bits and bytes forward. And set up a google alert for your name – this will keep you on top of new content about you on the web in real-time.

Get Ready For Your New Role. There are some really valuable things you can do now to make sure you blast off in a perfect trajectory in your new position.

  1. Learn everything you can about what’s happening with the company you’re about to join and all the people you will be working with. Google is a valuable tool for getting the 4-1-1 that will make you a star when you show up. Also, check out the social media profiles of the people who will be your colleagues and managers so you can learn about them beyond their professional expertise.
  2. Define your goals. Although you may not know everything about the role you’re going to fill, your interviews likely gave you a vibe for what will be expected from you. Spend some time thinking about what you’d like to accomplish in your first three months and identify ways to measure and quantify it. Write it down.
  3. Show your loyalty. So you have a new employer – and you’re about to make your first impression. Follow your new company on LinkedIn. Set up a Google alert for your boss and other important people in your new brand community. If you’ve signed on the dotted line, update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your excitement about starting your new job. Be sure you know the company mission, vision and values. Watch or look at their advertisements. Do a crash course in the company to show you’re engaged at a level beyond your specific role.
  4. Reach out. Connect with your prospective boss and ask how you can best prepare – what you should read, etc. before showing up on day 1. This shows your boss you’re serious and will give you a feel for what’s important.

Get Your Story Straight. You’re going to meet a lot of people as you embark on your new role. You’ll be telling your story via your elevator pitch, your bio for the corporate intranet, introducing yourself to your new team, etc. Get clear about your story so you’ll be able to express it in all different forms with confidence and ease. Write your bio. Update your LinkedIn summary. Practice your elevator pitch. Get so good at telling your story that it just rolls off your tongue.

It’s exciting to be embarking on this new chapter in your career journey. Take the actions above so you can make a great first impression and have everything in place to soar.

 

By: William Arruda

Source: forbes.com