Graduation season is upon us, with leagues of eager, wide-eyed twenty-one year olds ready to start their careers. This time of year always reminds me of the best career advice I got in my first job. After two years as a management consultant, I realized I was hitting a glass ceiling where the next step was to go back for an MBA. Taking a step back, I realized I needed to have more clarity about what I wanted to do post-MBA before dropping the cash and time on an MBA. This also meant it was time to look for a job that would help me gain said clarity.
I had one issue though — I didn’t know know my market value. I second guessed myself — I had a great paying job for my age, what am I thinking to enter the mid-2008 layoff-heavy job market!?! Thankfully, my mentor helped me identify this issue. It was a tough dose of reality, but he was right to point out that
“no one was going to care more about my career than I would
and it was my responsibility to make sure I always had options.”
I needed to build relationships with recruiters and be in regular contact.
I needed to keep my resume up-to-date at all times, to have a pulse on potential job opportunities.”
If I didn’t take control, I could be caught off guard by a layoff, restructure, or merger, be unprepared for a salary negotiation or not be able to walk away when my current role/company was no longer the right fit.
This advice greatly shaped my approach to my career and, I believe, enabled me to be open and proactive about my next career move. But I’m curious — what advice has shaped your career? How do you as a recruiter open the minds of potential candidates to the world of opportunities at their fingertips?
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