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A former NFL player turned career expert shares advice every recent college grad needs to know once they land that first job
This isn't your dad's job market. Things have changed. From career paths to emerging industries, to the Gig economy and automation, it's all different today, says Nick Murphy, a former NFL player and now CEO of Mid-America Careers, a job site that connects the Midwest's best and brightest talent with the region's top employers. Murphy, who was a punter with the Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, provided these tips for the recent college grad on how to succeed in their career once they land a job:
1. Have a plan
Your career is just getting started, and while you may feel like you executed your plan of earning a degree and landing a job, you must have a career plan as well. Chances are your first job out of school isn’t going to be your last. Amen.
Because of that, it’s critical to understand what you’re looking to learn and experience in your first role. If your first job is a stepping stone to another job – say Business Development Manager to Enterprise Sales Executive - understand what you’ll need to be great at in your future role to be successful. How can your current role / team / company provide you with opportunities to learn and experience other aspects of the business that may not be directly in your job description?
"As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail," says Murphy. "Always think about what’s next and use the resources at your disposal to help prepare you for it."
2. Be self-aware
No one knows what they don’t know. But let me assure you that know a lot less than you think you do. The key is to quickly learn where your gaps are and look for opportunities to fill them in by observing, contributing to or learning from other employees across departments.
For example, you may know how to sell advertising, but do you understand the indirect factors that influence your pricing? The competitive landscape? The perception and needs of the prospects you sell to? How they measure your product or service’s value? Do you understand the internal components of supply chain, logistics and margin necessary to provide great products at a competitive price? If not, start learning ASAP.
3. Don't listen to your mom or dad
With rare exception, the career advice you get from mom or dad is going to be downright harmful. But don’t worry, they still love you and mean well. It’s just that the working world has changed a lot since your parents were in your shoes. “Start at the bottom and work your way up,” doesn’t work anymore. Career advancement happens on purpose through planning, awareness, opportunism and hard work. What worked for your Mom and Dad when they graduated college likely won’t work for you in 2017.
4. Find a mentor
Your greatest assets inside your new company are your coworkers, but likely not your direct supervisor. Find a mentor on Day One and make sure that that person understands that you are eager to learn. Absorb everything and be a sponge. Pay attention to how they speak, how they dress and their reputation inside the organization.
What you learn may not be exactly how you choose to do your job, but being mentored by a well-respected tenured employee can help you avoid common pitfalls related to performance, internal politics, and more.
If you are a recent college grad and landed a new job – congrats, you are on the right track. But if you don’t have a career plan in place, you will progress without any direction – and others will pass you up.
If you aren’t happy with your current role and want to start exploring new jobs and opportunities, contact Matt Krumrie to help update your resume, and start taking the next steps to a new job and new opportunity.
About Matt Krumrie
In addition to writing resumes, Krumrie has published over 2,000 career and job search articles for CollegeRecruiter,