Early classes: stayed (mostly) awake for. Basics: completed. Major: declared. Man hours: logged. By the time you graduate college, you’ve probably already figured out what you want to do — or at least some semblance of what to do next — and now, with diploma in hand, you’re at one of life’s most important precipices: starting your career.
It’s one of the more daunting things we have to do as adults. Life offers us certain boxes to check, and this just happens to be one of the most pivotal ones. Much in the same way you stumbled as a baby into walking, you’ll take careful steps toward building your professional life, and learning how to turn your job into a career along the way. The good news? At the end of the day, you’ll still be standing!
The first 10 years are going to be about exploration, and mostly about yourself. Below, I leave you with my own formula to help you navigate the waters of starting a career — and seeing it through to success.
Find Someone to Be Your Champion
Everyone needs guidance throughout a career, and mentors can play crucial roles in your professional development. Whether they teach you better ways to do certain tasks, provide criticism that’s constructive — albeit difficult to hear — or even protect you from uncomfortable or difficult people, or situations, you’ll gain so much from the wisdom a mentor imparts. And if they’re as good as they should be, they’ll stick around to watch you grow, and make sure you’re always doing your best. You might stumble out into the workplace anyway, but with some guidance, the journey is just a little bit easier.
Don’t Just Do What You Know
Try different jobs! What are you good at? In a not-so-fun twist, you’ll often learn the answer only after learning what you’re not good at. Companies with entry-level rotational programs offer a tremendous benefit in this area. That doesn’t mean do the same job in a different area, but that you actually learn new roles and responsibilities. For example, I was working in marketing when I had an opportunity to try raw material procurement, which I had never thought of before. I was able to leverage my analytical skills as an engineer to track and predict raw material price formulas, but I learned so much about negotiating, developing legal contracts and developing supplier strategies. If I hadn’t had the role in procurement, I never would have been considered for the SVP of Procurement role at BASF almost 10 years later.
Don’t Jump Ship… Too Soon!
People in the workforce today look like they’re playing a game of Frogger. For some, it’s become a habit to jump from job to job, in search of better titles and more pay. Unfortunately, you might actually miss out on key elements of learning if you aren’t patient and willing to get the most of out of the role you’re in. What you should be focused on is making an impact, and contributing something to the role that no one else has brought to it before. Make it better, faster, cheaper, more efficient; take initiative and you’ll reap better rewards than if you’re always rushing to the next thing.
That being said, know when it’s time to move on. Eventually, there will come a time when you’ll know it’s time to leave your position. Has your learning curve flattened? Have the challenges of the role worn off? Are you bored? There’s no harm in making a change when you come to this realization. Be appreciative of what you’ve learned and use it to improve your new work environment.
Don’t Shoot for CEO (Yet)
You’re shaping who you are, in your profession and in your life, every step of the way. But if you’re too preoccupied on a long-term end goal (like becoming a Fortune 500 CEO), it can be easy to miss out on the smaller facets of your own development that are necessary to get there. True leaders never land where they are without going through “grunt work” first, because it’s not only educational, but humbling. Treasure the times that you stumble, too; you may not know it at the time, but one day, you’ll look back and realize how those mistakes led you to where you are. Getting to the C-suite doesn’t happen overnight.
Be True to Your School!
Engaging with your alumni network can be a valuable resource, both professionally and personally, whether you’re on the job hunt, looking to make business partnerships or just want to connect with fellow students who share a common bond. Additionally, these groups are often heavily engaged in their communities through volunteerism and charity work, sports teams and social activities, which can also be a comfort to those looking to give back to their communities and make new friends.
Ultimately, work to live, don’t live to work! You’ve heard this one before. Life’s short and it’s not promised, so choose work that’s fun, gives you a sense of accomplishment and enriches your life — and also empowers you to have an impact on your surroundings. When you love what you do, it’s so much easier to love everything else around you. In the end, you won’t be remembered for your sales numbers or presentations or closed deals, but the impact you made on others.
This article originally appeared on Glassdoor.com and was written by Heidi Alderman, SVP of North American Intermediates – BASF.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.49% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.48% effective April 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.49% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 6.65%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.41%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.11%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.98% – 9.72%6||Undergrad & Graduate|