With about 50 percent of recent college graduates under age 25 either jobless or underemployed, many have had to accept “survival jobs” — jobs not in their preferred profession or at a level below their training. Ÿ But all is not lost, says Vickie Milazzo, since grads can use this time to develop portable skills that will bring them success as their career develops. Among the tips from the author of “Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman”:
>> Study up on your industry. Read industry magazines and attend events, if you can. Being able to talk intelligently about the state of the industry will be a selling point, and knowing where your industry is going will help you decide what other areas are important to focus on.
>> Let your creative flag fly. Often, this could be taking ideas from other industries and companies and adapting them to fit your own. Showing your leaders that you have the ability to think creatively about their business and know what’s important and what’s not is a great way to earn more responsibility.
>> Be your own problem solver. Great employees don’t passively wait for the boss to tell them what to do. They figure out solutions on their own. One key is taking swift action. Learn to trust your initial feelings and thoughts about an issue.
>> Go big or go home. We tend to want to check the small, easy things off our list and avoid the tough stuff. Remember, where you engage and focus is where you get results. Accomplishing bigger goals will help you stay focused, boost productivity and give you more satisfaction.
>> Build relationships (not just resumes). Relationships are where opportunities will come from. In most industries, it really is about who you know. Think about exchanging your understanding of social media for a mature worker’s skills or insights. Positive relationships present you with opportunities organically and vice versa.
>> Go offline to work on communication. With many recent college graduates, face-to-face and written communication aren’t their strengths. Work on those. Watch more experienced pros to pick up on their techniques. Reread emails to check grammar and shorthand.