4 Necessary Mindset a Graduate Should Have for Future Career

Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it” – Steve Maraboli

As the world of work is undergoing a constant revolution, it is important for individuals to consistently change and be flexible with the change. Jeremy Wade, founding director of Jindal Centre for Social Innovation + Entrepreneurship, said that degree and skills will not be enough for graduates to face everyday reality of workforce. Instead, it is the mindset that profoundly shapes your decisions and ability that will help you adapt to change over time. That being said, everyone needs to adopt these four mindsets to prepare for what’s coming.

A growth mindset

George thinks that ability is fixed or integrated. We are born with it and we cannot change our ability even through hard work. This is what we call fixed mindset.

Meanwhile, Andrea thinks that ability can be developed through hard work and effort. This is how growth mindset people think.

Which one is you?

According to Skills You Need, mindset is how we see and achieve our goals. Having different mindset (either fixed of growth) can affect how we react to information. For example, the brain of fixed mindset is most active when they are given information about how well they have done. As a result, they will feel discouraged by setbacks because setback dents their belief in their ability. Then, they tend to be uninterested and finally giving up when facing a failure.

On the other hand, growth mindset brain is most active when they are being told what they could do to improve. As consequences, they will view setback as an opportunity to learn. They tend to try harder to overcome problems they face. Thus, it is important to have a growth mindset rather than fixed mindset as growth mindset can help you achieve “impossible” things in life.

A digital mindset

Technology is no longer a foreign thing. Wade argues that digital will significantly impact and change future jobs and workplace. Hence, if you are looking at future jobs, you should also view in digital way.

“The core to having a digital mindset is to understand data and use it to make better and faster decisions,” said Wade. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman at Alphabet Inc., commented, “I think a basic understanding of data analytics is incredibly important for this next generation of young people. That’s the world you are going into. By data analytics, I mean a basic knowledge of how statistics works, a basic knowledge of how people make conclusions over big data.”

However, digital mindset is not only about data analytics, but also about working effectively in the digital economy. It includes embracing more organised decision making and practising more rapid ways of doing things.

An entrepreneurial mindset

Quantumrun forecasts for 2030 showed that industries will change and adapt rapidly to the new workforce. New industries are also constantly being born that are obsolete the olds. Jonathan Grudin, principal researcher at Microsoft, stated that “people will create jobs of the future, not simply train for them, and technology is already central. It will undoubtedly play a greater role in years ahead.”

Thus, individuals should challenge themselves to take more initiatives. Employers are seeking out those who consistently look for new opportunities, ideas, and strategies to improve. The entrepreneurial mindset is drawn to new opportunities and challenges, risk-taking, and seeing bigger picture. It is foundation of innovation.

A collaborative mindset

A collaborative mindset is about having a self-awareness to work effectively across cultures, said Wade. Complex projects might require continuous communication and consensus building in face of occasional conflict or disagreement. Moreover, many startups are allowing its employee to work remotely. It means you should be able to work collaboratively with people outside geographical boundaries. You might need to establish, build, and maintain trust over time without meeting them in person. While technology might ease your job, working collaboratively requires higher levels of empathy and strategies to find shared understanding.

Read also: 5 Good Reasons Why You Should Let Your Mind Wander at Work

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Do you know that blogging can be your next strategy to develop your small business?

There are many benefits of blogging for business. Blogging is important as it helps develop and maintain relationship with potential and current customers, establish your business brand, boost search engine optimisation, create opportunities for sharing in an easy way, as well as connect people to your personal brand while generating more money from your Adsense altogether. According to Hubspot, there are 57 percent of companies that acquire customers from their blog.  Great majority of business owners (81 percent) also said that blog is useful to generate more revenue to their business.

Nonetheless, creating business blog is not a piece of cake. There are things you need to pay attention to such as the design, layout, content, and many more. Here are easy blogging checklist for you to create a successful business blog taken from The Whole Brain Group.  

01   Know your business goals

Before you start blogging, even before starting your own business, you should already know your objectives and goals. After that, you can put your goals in your blog description. Goal description can inform your reader about your business mission and values. It can also educate consumers about your product and service, as well as establish yourself as an expert in your industry.

02    Know your audience

After deciding your business goals, time to decide your audience. Blogging is like a book but electronic. Sometimes, a book is not made for everyone, so is your blog. Therefore, having specific audience can likely make your blog attract more visitors. You should have this audience list in your note: age range, gender, occupation, income level, education level, type of industry, number of employees, type of business, revenue, and location. If possible, you can list some top problems your audiences might face. And your job is providing solutions to their problem.

Having those list can help you gain information, especially about your audience. As best as possible, use the information to develop an ideal audience persona and to tailor the content of your posts.

03    Plan your content strategy

One of the most important part of creating a successful blog is content. Interesting content means more revenues and visitors. In that case, you should have and choose content that serve both your business goals and audience. If you are new to writing content for your own blog, you can first pick 5 categories to focus your blog posts. Then, you can post your original content, guest writing content, or repurposed content. NOTE: you should schedule for every post you want to add to your blog. For example 3 times a week/month for original post, and so on. So, your post traffic will not overlap. Also, at least you should post 1 per day to your blog.

04    Design & Usability

For the design, make sure that your blog is both user- and mobile-friendly. It is meant to make people subscribe to your blog easily. Users can also navigate to previous blog, access from homepage, and share your post on social media sites easily. Don’t forget to add “search function” on top of the site/post.

05    Content & Readability

Usually people search for concise and informative content. So, writing in 500 words or less can be the best choice. Your posts should be introduced with catchy titles and tagged with the right keywords. The meta description of your posts should include detailed or expressing text that encourage clicks. If you use headings and subheadings, make sure they appear to your blog posts with feature keywords.

06    Encourage engagement

There are times you need to refer for another statistic or articles in your posts. Therefore you should include links within the post to other relevant pages of blog posts on your website. Also, you should add a Call to Action at the end of your post so the reader can contact you easily. If your post is completely new, you can seek participants to comment, question, or give feedbacks. It can be your colleagues, friends, family, or whoever you wish.

Additionally, after posting your posts, you should remember these three points:

  • You should ask other bloggers to mention your post.
  • Post is shared on social media sites that have million active users such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest.
  • You should submit your posts to social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon, Digg, and Delicious.

Read also: A to D Tips to be a Productive Freelancer

Scared Graduate

It’s your final year of school, and soon you’ll have a full-fledged degree on your hands. In the next few months (or even shorter, hopefully), you’ll be a working adult, and be counted amongst the 3.4 million people in Singapore’s labour force.

But wait! Before throwing that mortar board in the air and framing up your degree, don’t forget to make the most out of everything your university or polytechnic has to offer you. Once you graduate, chances are, you won’t be able to enjoy the benefits (some of which you might not even have realised) of being in an educational institute.

Here are some of the things that should be in your checklist:

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1) Start Applying for Jobs 6 Months Before You Graduate 

apply for jobs
Photo Credit: Cartoon Stock

 

This may sound like common sense, but it’s important to get a head start on job applications. It usually takes a month before employers get back to you on your applications, so starting early means you’ll have job offers before you graduate. A month is a long time to be doing nothing, so why not start early while you’re still studying?

Also, practice makes perfect. Your first few job applications will be spent fine-tuning your CV, rewriting your cover letters, and honing your interview skills. You probably aren’t going to ace any salary negotiations right off the bat, and having a few job interview experiences in the belt will give you the confidence you need to be able to negotiate better terms and benefits for what will likely be your first full time job.

 

 

Read also: 3 Steps to Discerning Your Career – A Fresh Grad’s Reflection

 

2) Ask Your Teachers and Professors For Testimonials and Referrals

While you’re still fresh in your tutors’ minds, ask for a testimonial from them. This will help your future employers get a better idea (and impression) of you before they hire you. Remember that your teachers also have other commitments as well, so offer to write the testimonial for them if they like – this also means that you get to put what you think are your best qualities in the testimonial.

In addition, most job applications require that you list down two or more character referees. Rather than asking friends and family, have your former professors be included as character referees. It looks more credible and impartial.

 

3) Get a Certified Copy of Your CCA Record

Most tertiary institutions will provide a certified copy of your CCA (co-curricular activity) record upon request, but it’s usually not automatically given to graduating students. Check with your institution’s CCA department to see how you can obtain a copy.

It might not seem that useful at first, but there are two benefits to having a school certified copy of your CCA record. First, it provides validation for all the CCAs listed in your CV. Second, it might remind you of some ECA that you took part in but forgot, and thus help boost your resume as well.

 

 4) Get Your Resume Vetted

resume
Photo Credit: Ari Agency

Every university and polytechnic has a career guidance department, which is a good place to start if you want someone more experienced to vet your CV. No amount of Internet advice and resume help books can boost your portfolio better than a person who’s seen and improved hundreds of resumes.

Sometimes it’s the choice of words or the way you present your educational and work experiences that makes all the difference between a cookie cutter CV or an outstanding resume. A well-trained eye will be able to spot these differences, and don’t forget, that’s what the career guidance department is for. So walk on in and ask a career guidance counsellor to check out your curriculum vitae!

Read also: 4 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Resume

 5) Attend Career Guidance Workshops

career guidance
Photo Credit: TASI Online

Towards the end of your final semester, your inbox will start getting bombarded with emails for resume workshops, job interview seminars, personal grooming talks, and many other sessions that offer free advice and training for prospective job applicants.

Sign up for them, especially if they’re free. They might not seem important while you’re rushing out your final year project or mugging for that one last paper, but you’ll be thankful for the extra skills and knowledge they bring when it comes down to your future employment opportunities. Also, they tend to make you think more about your upcoming career paths and how to present yourself, which is always a good thing.

 

 

6) Sign Up With All Your Alumni Clubs/Networks

Again, this is especially so if membership is free. These networks tend to provide freebies, possible job openings, and other opportunities (provided you read their emails). It’s likely that you’re going to be automatically subscribed to them anyway, but always take the chance to maximise your networks.

This will prove especially useful in future, if your job requires you to tap on your networks to access a broader base of potential clients, consumers, or even employees. These alumni clubs are usually very helpful if you need to broadcast (relevant) information to like-minded people, and are often your foundation for future networking.

 

7) Maximise Your School’s Print Facilities

printing
Photo Credit: Laser Age

 

Many tertiary institutions have discounted printing prices (as compared to printers outside of school). You’re going to need to have at least ten copies of your resume on hand, as well as copies of all your relevant certificates and transcripts for job interviews. This adds up, especially when you’re an unemployed student. So appreciate the low printing prices while you still can.

Just watch out for those printer jams!

 

 

 

 

8) Research Potential Employers and Industries

Remember how I mentioned you should start applying for jobs six months before you graduate? This is an excellent reason why. When you get called in for a job interview, use your free access to your school’s subscribed databases to read up about your future company as much as possible.

If you’ve never used these databases before (how did you do any research papers?), start with your school’s library website. You probably won’t get a chance to have unlimited access to JSTOR, Lexis Nexis, and Factiva after you graduate (and your account is shut down), so use it as much as you can now.

Going into a job interview having thoroughly researched the company will give you the additional confidence and knowledge to answer any potential questions the interview might ask, and also prompt you to ask the right questions as well. Google is useful, but paid databases will give you the edge.

 

9) Make More Friends and Invest in Them

enjoy the friendships

This may sound slightly mercenary, but this will be the last time you can make friends as easily and quickly. Firstly, you won’t have the chance to be exposed to as many strangers as you would be in your classes. Secondly, the people you meet will be more wary and guarded, since it’s difficult to be friends with your colleagues at the workplace. 

Treasure the friends you have. Get to know more people, even if it’s your final semester. Just like signing up with your alumni clubs, this will help your broaden your network. And you never know when you might meet your soul mate, or best friend, along the way.

 

10) Enjoy the Last Semester of School

Most importantly, enjoy your last few months as a student. Don’t be so caught up in maximising every last minute of your academic life that you forget to stop and smell the roses. You may not know it now, but this will be the “good old days” that you talk about in the future.

Sign up for that mountaineering trip that you have been procrastinating to all these years. Accept every invitation for a meal with your schoolmates. Ask your professors out for coffee. Form a team and take part in your varsity’s sports day. Support your friends at school performances. Organize cook-outs at your place for your classmates. Perform in a school play.

A time like this will never come by again. You’ll have a lifetime to work after you graduate, and the older you get, the less your education matters (although it’s still important) in your resume. But you’ll never be able to access as much free stuff, get to know as many different people, or have as much freedom as being a student.

Have fun as your education draws to a close. And always, always keep your student pass/ID – the amount of discounts you can get with it is staggering (provided you still look like a student).