5 Things They Never Told You in School

Career advice for young professionals

“Enjoy college it’s the best time of your life”.  If you ever hear this quote we recommend slapping the person who said it to you.  College is one of the primary steps in building the foundation of your success and a desired lifestyle for your family.  Chances are you’ve probably receive bad advice from family members or bitter members of the older generations stemming from unfulfilled dreams and potential.  Before you take action, let’s consider what wasn’t said in those conversations.  Here’s 5 things that nobody is telling you about:

  1. Network – Profile Yourself

Once you’ve started your career, you will realize how important networking is.  For some, it might not be too late but you’re going to get a head start.  Your reputation is everything.  By this point you should’ve developed interests, hobbies, and talents.  Master a couple of them and be known for your mastery.  When your name is brought up make sure that the next few words after are what you want to be known for (control the controllable).  You need to be reaching out to individuals in the industries of that you’re looking to get into.  The best part about networking is that they don’t even NEED to be in the industries that you’re looking at because you are simply meeting people and building connections.  You’ll quickly find out that if you have potential and aren’t wasting anyone’s time, they will be eager to help you.

  1. Front load the hard work

Taking backpacking trips after graduations seems like a good idea… It’s not like you’re fighting an uphill battle and grinding to get out of the gate ahead of your peers or anything.  Front load the hard work.  If you can start additional courses and designations while you’re still in school you should do it.  It makes a difference.  Your pain tolerance towards work will never be higher in your career and you should take advantage of this.  Your older colleagues will notice and the hard work will help profile yourself and set you apart.

  1. Your current friends will drop like flies

You will always keep a core group of friends.  As your “normal” begins to change, your experiences will expose you to different types of people. As you change you’ll notice the people around you become more similar to yourself.  The worst thing you can do is let your old acquaintances and peers hinder the healthy growth and evolution in the early stages of your career.

  1. If you haven’t worked at your current employer by 4th year you’re behind

You have to realize that the conventional way of post-secondary > career is now through internships at your future employers.  By your 3rd or 4th year you should have received a verbal offer to come back after you graduate from one of the companies that you have worked for.  We realize this may not be a reality for all.  We also realize that this puts you behind the ball and it’s now more important than ever to network, put yourself out there, and pro-actively reach out to companies in your desired industry.  Accept the fact that you have nothing to lose and the only way out of this position is hard work and relentless networking.

5. A lack of social skills can be worse than not having the best grades

We’ve all seen the incredibly smart kid that you would never want to have a beer with.  Don’t be this person.  In the age of machines and Artificial Intelligence, you have to have a personality, which is one thing that humans will always have over computers.  Especially in professions like sales, or equity research when you are constantly interacting with individuals and voicing an opinion, these skills remain paramount.  We would happily hire the B student with high Emotional Intelligence and Social Skill over the A+ student with a lack of Emotional Intelligence and Social Skills.

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