Five things you should focus on in 2015

Some simple, straightforward tips from gradireland on how you can start the year on the right foot, whether you’re still considering your career path or are seeking a job.


Take control of what you can control

The graduate jobs market is demonstrably improving, but it’s still tough out there. There’s no point in stressing or complaining about things you can’t influence, so channel that energy positively into things you can control, such as planning your career path, focussing your mindset, building your network and seeking to boost employability skills. Oh yeah, what are they again?

Focus on employability skills

As we said in this blog, quoting a Manchester Director of Student Life, employability=qualifications + experience + skills x contacts . You need to view yourself as a portfolio of skills, in need of constant development. Focus on what value you can bring to potential employers. You can brainstorm your career options by assessing how your skills can meet the need of the employers you wish to work for and, of course, how you can fill in the gaps. In the current competitive economic environment, companies need their staff to deliver results quickly, so you need to demonstrate an ability to be dynamic, results driven and commercially aware.

Never stop learning and informing yourself

Even after you graduate, you need to look at how you can continue to develop yourself and your career. Someone who is constantly seeking to learn a new skill, boost an existing one or simply taking the time to listen and network with those who they can learn from makes for a well-rounded candidate. It’s not all about burying your head in study books either; online tutorials, YouTube videos and blogs all have a wealth of information which can be of assistance.

Stay positive

It’s important to keep a sense of perspective. You will lose as well as win, so don’t take every setback as a mortal blow. If things aren’t going well in your final year or if your job-hunt has stalled, get support, seek advice, show initiative and prove that you’re a problem solver. As Einstein said, it’s insanity to do the same thing over and over and expect different results.

Don’t waste your time (or an employer’s)

Don’t apply for a job in which you don’t think you will be happy, a recruiter will see right through this at interview (even if your application ticks all the necessary boxes). There are no sectors that are bulletproof in an economic recovery, and there are plenty where opportunities exist (contrary to popular opinion). Stick to what you believe and know you are good at, if you invest the time, application and dedication to obtaining the skills and putting together a good application, you will get noticed.

Check out gradireland’s careers advice section for more tips.

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