A lot of things have changed since our parents were in school, or starting their career. For us, we have to keep in contact and even worry about social media. Life is so hard, I know. Well, here are five ways you can jumpstart your career, because, let’s face it, it’s easier to destroy your career before it even starts nowadays (insert annoyed emoji).
1. Learn how to network.
This is very important! And when I say network, I don’t mean socialize like you do with that girl who is in your economics class. I mean network as in keeping a professional contact with someone who can help you in the future with your career. Communication is key!
2. Keep up to date with your field.
You will not believe how many people want to be CEO’s and know nothing about the business world. They don’t even know what the NYSE is. You have to make sure you are reading up on your field of interest. It makes for a great conversation when you are networking.
3. Filter your social media.
Do NOT be that person who goes in for an interview at a company that you bashed on twitter in 2008, trust me companies check all of that. Also DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT be prejudiced, sexist, or racist on social media. I know there is something called “freedom of speech” but not everyone loves when you say mean things about a group of people. Keep the comment to yourself, if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. Or create a private account.
4. DO NOT BURN YOUR BRIDGES
I know it’s a little alarming that I wrote number four in all caps, but this is the most important. You never want to leave a relationship, professional relationship that is, on bad terms. Trust me you might need John or Mary when you realize they are the VP at the company you dreamt about working for. People ALWAYS remember the bad but not the good, so minimize your bad and maximize your good.
5. Send a thank you note, it’s NOT outdated.
Here is why sending a thank you card or note via snail mail is actually an advantage. Snail mail is just that, slow, so let’s come up with a scenario. You go to a job interview Thursday, you are one of many obviously. The interview goes well and you send a thank you card/letter/note. You wait for a phone call for the rest of the week, nervous, anxious, you know the usual. They, the interviewer/employer, receive the mail on Tuesday of the next week, obviously. You either get a phone call or an email asking for another interview. BAM! worked to your advantage. Now you may not have gotten that job, or you might have, but that interviewer will forever remember YOU; because you were different and thoughtful.
So If you are thinking of jump starting your career or want to have a strong one, make sure you do ALL FIVE of these. And if you have already failed at one or more of these, do not worry it is not the end of the world. You can always start over. Failure makes for a great lesson.