​Following a trending blog topic, this week Wylde are discussing how to kick start your career – the things we wish we knew when leaving education and the things we’ve learnt through years of workplace consultancy! With lots of ‘end of year’ shows beginning and University courses finishing; we’re offering the lessons we wanted to have under our belt when we first started!

Embarking on a career journey straight out of school or university can be a daunting experience. The transition from the structured environment of education to the dynamic and often unpredictable world of work is challenging for many. However, with the right guidance, this transition can be smoother and more rewarding. Drawing from years of workplace consultancy and reflecting on what many of us wish we knew when starting out, here are some key insights to help you kickstart your career effectively.

One of the most significant realisations that comes with experience is that learning doesn’t stop once you leave the classroom. The workplace is an ever-evolving environment, and continuous learning is crucial for staying relevant. Whether it’s taking online courses, attending workshops, or simply staying updated with industry trends, committing to lifelong learning can set you apart from your peers. Invest time in both hard and soft skills. Technical skills are essential, but so are communication, leadership, and problem-solving abilities.

Networking is more than just a buzzword; it’s a vital part of career development. Building relationships within your industry can open doors to opportunities that you might not find otherwise. Attend industry events, join professional organisations, and don’t be afraid to reach out to people on LinkedIn too! Networking is a two-way street. Offer help and value to others, and they will be more likely to assist you in return.

In today’s digital age, personal branding is more important than ever. How you present yourself online and offline can significantly impact your career trajectory. Develop a strong and professional online presence, and ensure that your personal brand reflects your career goals and values. Use platforms like LinkedIn to showcase your expertise by sharing relevant articles, engaging in discussions, and posting about your professional achievements.

Feedback is a crucial part of growth, yet many people find it difficult to handle criticism. Learning to accept feedback positively and using it to improve your performance can accelerate your career development. View feedback as an opportunity for growth rather than a personal attack. Ask for specific examples and suggestions for improvement.

A growth mindset – the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed with effort and persistence – is a key driver of success. Embrace challenges, learn from failures, and persist in the face of setbacks. Regularly reflect on your experiences and identify lessons learned. This mindset will help you adapt and thrive in a constantly changing work environment.

While it’s important to be ambitious and set high goals, patience is equally vital. Career progression takes time, and it’s essential to build a solid foundation in the early stages of your career. Set short-term and long-term career goals. Celebrate small victories along the way and understand that significant achievements are the result of consistent effort over time.

Starting your career can be overwhelming, but with the right mindset and strategies, you can set yourself up for success. Embrace continuous learning, build a strong network, and take proactive steps to develop your skills and personal brand. Remember, the journey is as important as the destination, and each experience is a stepping stone towards your long-term goals. By applying these lessons, you can navigate the challenges of the workplace and create a fulfilling and successful career!