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Get Busy on Your Future Today

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Too many people wait until the last minute (or when it is too late) to try and improve their career prospects. If you want a prosperous future, you had better get busy today.

Young adults should start developing necessary lifelong skills and experiences before they enter the workforce. That means taking courses, developing direct and indirect skills and experiences, and beginning to build networks.

If you want to succeed in the future, you need to plan now. Then strengthen your resume over a 3-5 year period to make yourself an attractive job candidate. 

Some of This I Have Already Covered

You do not have to be the best student in your speciality or have the best background to get the job. I believe that you can really improve the odds of getting hired and promoted by planning ahead and developing complementary skills. However, you do need to plan ahead and build over time. It is not a one week process.

I have previously written about how to enhance your marketability. Education, extracurricular activities, and networking are effective ways to strengthen your resume.

You can easily optimize your time in school [4]. If you are taking a non-business major, learn some basic business skills [5]. If you are a business major, learn about the industries [6] in which you may work or deal with.

General skills [7] are crucial. Especially as you strive to climb the corporate ladder. Courses and experiences that teach leadership, effective communication, project management, and strategic planning are key to advancement.

The business world is a global one. Foreign language skills [8] are important.

Extracurricular activities [9] can also develop important skills. When thinking of things to do outside the classroom or work, see if you can use your time to add value to your resume [10].

Finally, networking [11] can be an important resource to help you grow your career.

It Is Not Just Me Preaching

The Wall Street Journal offers similar advice in “Dear Class of 2016: Get Moving on Your Future” [12]. If you are a young adult, it is well worth a read.

There is specific advice for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Highlights for freshmen include:

You’ll likely be required to take certain basic courses or prerequisites for your major. But this also is the time to sharpen basic—but essential—communication skills … sign up for writing and public-speaking classes. They will help you do better on written and oral assignments in other classes. And you’ll be able to carry the skills over into your job search and professional life.

Multinational corporations often prefer job candidates who can speak multiple languages.

… start fostering relationships with professors or alumni who will later help with career advice and internship and job leads.

Many career-services offices offer personality tests to help students figure out their passions and interests

… can gain valuable skills from a summer job. Try to tailor the job to your field of study in some way.

… consider asking about volunteer opportunities at a company or organization in your field of interest

Some of the advice for older students is below, but the article fleshes things out. Much is similar to my view of how young adults should properly improve their marketability.

If you can pick up even one tip that strengthens your resume, it is well worth your time to try.