In a tough job market, new graduates should consider unglamorous fieldwork that is miles away from the cushy confines of the office.
Beth Ford writes in Fortune that fieldwork can broaden a fresh graduate’s horizons and show them what the business is about, from ground-level. In her first job as a night warehouse manager, she learned first-hand the intricacies and complexities of the logistics sector and rubbed elbows with the workers who made movement and transport possible.
For Ford, fieldwork can help them develop the skills they’ll need in a higher leadership role.
Another advice from Ford is to be open work that may be outside their immediate field of study. Getting a job that may not be related to the graduate’s degree or expertise is not just survival tactics in a competitive job market. It can also open up exciting opportunities they wouldn’t have encountered or considered previously. In her personal experience, Ford was able to experience this through lateral career transfers which allowed her to work in diverse industries such as agriculture, energy, food, and publishing.
Ford also talks about building a network. As a professional, it is important for new graduates to connect and not just compete. To have a collaborative and positive relationship with their colleagues will be helpful not just in advancing their career but in securing it for the future.
Finally, she also advises job seekers fresh off the university to be patient and to see the challenges they encounter as part of the learning experience. She says, “Don’t decide to step off the career path you’re on just because you feel like you’re not good enough. Embrace whatever position you’re in and don’t get too worried that you’ll be stuck in one place forever.”
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