9 tips on how to manage your career after graduating

Eulalia Snyman writer for the Star Workplace Report on Thursdays shares valuable information on how to best manage your career with focus on planning, priority &  passion .

I don’t know about you but I get worried when people tell me they are managing. And when they say they’re “managing just fine”, I panic. That’s it. It comes down to the fact that nowadays the word “managing” is associated with “coping”. So what are my favourite tips on ‘managing’ your career after you have graduated? Here it goes:

  1. Plan it and love it: After graduating, dream big and devise a career plan according to your dreams. Then put your career plan into action. Adapt the plan as you go along. Whatever you do, don’t just merely manage your career. You must plan it, grow it, change it, shape it and love it!
  2. Be excellent: Do everything everyday to the best of your ability. Excellence will make you successful. Claiming to be excellent on your CV, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on does not make you excellent, it just makes you good at marketing. The best thing you can do for your career is to be excellent at what you do.
  3. Keep learning: Brush up your skills and knowledge in order to remain excellent at what your do. You sharpen your pencil to keep it writing, don’t you? So sharpen your skills on a regular basis if you want to get ahead in the world of work.
  4. Give them what they want: You are not defined solely by your qualification. Be prepared to step outside your boundaries when your employer or the job market requires you to do so.
  5. Make a difference, not just money: Everyone is in it for the money, honey. But those who focus on making a difference stand out above the rest and feel more fulfilled – and they usually end up being happy and wealthy.
  6. Be flexible: there is no such thing as a career for life. Research shows that on average people change careers 5 to 7 times in the course of their lives.
  7. Know what’s trending: stay up to date with how the society is changing because this leads to changes in the economy and to the job market. Read Fasset’s Sector Skills Plans (www.fasset.org.za) regularly so you know what skills and knowledge are scarce and needed.  This way you can make informed decisions regarding further studies and career moves. Read the 2013 GetSmarter Career Guide (www.getsmarter.co.za) for more career must-know stuff.
  8. Network: Talk to people, in and outside your industry. Have mentors to guide you and help you shape your career. If you don’t know how to network, enrol for a course or seminar on how to network for success.
  9. Be kind to everyone: People are more important than your career.

Eulalia Snyman

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