3 things I wish someone had asked me at the start of my career

So you’re fresh out of university, you’ve just arrived back home and before you’ve even had the chance to unpack a sudden reality dawns upon you – what do I do now? Being a recent graduate isn’t easy. The last few years of your life have most likely been in a stable comfortable, social environment and now a lot is about to change as you enter the unknown world of full time employment (a scary place, you’ve heard all about the people who see work as a chore, and you don’t want to be the same as them…) BUT there’s a lot to be excited about in securing your first role and embarking on a career within your chosen field.

Before you do that however, there are a few questions to ask yourself in order to find that perfect role and take that first step in your career…

1. What’s your passion in life?

It’s vital to enjoy your work and relate it your interests and hobbies away from work. Nobody wants to work in an environment that they can’t relate to, or just have no interest in whatsoever. Take some time to think about potential industries that relate to these interests, degree related or not! Picture yourself in a similar career in 10 – 15 years’ time and really enjoying yourself (maybe a role which you can tell your friends about without boring yourself!) If you can picture this for the long term then you’re probably on to a winner.

2. Work to your strengths – it’s time for reflection

Are you a people person? Creative? Analytical? List your skills and be honest. Giving yourself praise or considering your weaknesses is often the hardest thing to do. Ask those closest to you what they think you’re good at and what you’re not so good at, you’re likely to be surprised at what friends and family believe your strengths and weaknesses are. After these are listed, relate these skills to a role in which you can see yourself showcasing your talents and really making a great impact.

3. Did you enjoy your degree, or could you not wait to finish?!

If you did then excellent, but there are many people who decide that after 3 – 4 years of being devoted to a particular subject that it is simply no longer for them. If this is the case then not to worry – skills and knowledge gained during a degree are transferable and can be built upon in another career. It’s never too late to change direction. If our career paths were all a straight line, then, well…where’s the fun in that? Don’t be afraid to say something is not for you; it’s more admirable and brave than anything else.

How did I know I was right for recruitment I hear you ask? One of my main objectives after university was to land a job that wasn’t dull – and the world of Information Management and Business Intelligence recruitment is extremely interesting. The reality of recruitment really intrigued and interested me – it’s finding the perfect match between client and candidate and getting to know and learn about people along the way. I’ve always enjoyed speaking to people and learning their backgrounds, this was an opportunity to do this every day.

When I was younger I enjoyed a game called Football Manager (Guilty pleasure…I still play it now!) and although the main aspect of the game was to win trophies and competitions with your chosen team, I always remember being a lot more interested in finding the right players through key attributes, skills and personality. I can relate that experience, albeit very much in a fictional world, to finding the ideal candidate for our clients’ respective teams, which may be the key reason I enjoy the job so much. It really is worthwhile putting time aside to think about what you enjoy in life and relate this back to potential careers, (nobody wants to wake up and dread the workplace.) I’m lucky enough to have found a great company who support me in all of the above. I enjoy going to work and working closely with a variety of candidates within the world of Information Management & Business Intelligence recruitment – and it makes a real difference.

The number one most important thing during this time to remember is not to be afraid and be confident. It’s likely to be one of the most turbulent times during your lifetime, with lots of change and setbacks but it’s also the most exciting and unchartered. You’re about to embark on a journey within the working world, the best thing you can do is enjoy the ride.

Extra note – remember there’s no rush! Take your time to find that perfect first step in your career. It’s only the start of the rest of your life, no big deal…

Written by Rob Pritchard

KDR Recruitment is the home of the best data, technology and analytics jobs. For more career advice follow KDR on LinkedIn.

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