"You don’t need big wings in order to fly." (Lorenzo Jovanotti Cherubini)
Searching for your first job, even a simple internship, is a highly delicate task because you are taking your first steps in a complex world which is becoming increasingly uncertain and difficult to decipher.
This is why you need massive doses of enthusiasm, courage and, above all method, perseverance and determination.
Starting out is tricky, but not impossible, and if you find the right allies you won’t feel that you are out there on your own.
Yet the early stages of a career teem with opportunities. Everything and anything is possible and making the most of what such a new and creative period can bring to your life will be inspiring. You will meet new people and learn something new about yourself. You will come into contact with new and unfamiliar environments, learn new terms, new actions and behaviours and discover new ways of seeing things.
Don’t be daunted by the long road stretching out ahead of you, rather accept that there will be times of enthusiasm and others of demotivation, times when you will feel everything is clear and under control and other times in which you will feel bewildered and confused.
Your ability to face these challenges will determine the outcome of your job search.
These are our first five tips as you set off along this journey:
Choose a mentor
One factor which will affect the success of your job search is given by your ability to activate and manage strategic alliances, the first being with a mentor.
A mentor is someone with longstanding experience in the sort of work you are looking for, who can give you advice and suggestions from their professional background on the career you are attempting to break into.
This is the person who will answer your questions on the specific type of work you are looking for and who can help you organise your job search. This is the person you will inform from time to time of your progress and consult before taking decisions that will impact your future. It could be a family friend, an acquaintance, a teacher or professional, anyone whose experience is relevant to your career objectives and is willing to offer his/her time and support.
Ask the right questions
We are all erroneously tempted to believe that when we embark upon a search, such as one to find a new job, it is imperative to have clear, prompt and exhaustive answers. Yet clear answers stem from good questions.
Good questions are those that call for reflection because there is no one quick answer for all cases. Good questions open your mind and force you to make new considerations. So, in this initial phase of your job search, ask yourself how to find the right questions and accept that it nothing will happen overnight: finding the answers will take time. One good question to start with could be:
Which three characteristics, in terms of your personality, temperament and skills will be most useful to you in finding the job you desire?
Imagine and visualise
Imagination is not an illusion but a powerful ally when it comes to creating the right first job for you. Scientific studies have demonstrated that as soon as our brain imagines and visualises a situation, the neuronal connections are activated as if we are actually experiencing that situation. This can come in useful at several levels. First of all, it gives you the opportunity to “rehearse” beforehand so you are more confident when the actual time comes. For example, imagine attending a job interview, then imagine how you’re dressed, how you introduce yourself, how you smile at the interviewer. Try to imagine your feelings and what you can do to reinforce them if they are positive or manage them if they are negative. Imagine yourself sitting at a desk, or on a construction site or on your first business trip. Imagine meeting your coworkers for the first time. Without realising it, by simply making the effort to imagine and visualise things, you will be boosting your confidence and this is vital for building a successful career.
All too often, first-time job seekers are convinced that, without work experience, they have no skills and competences to include in their CV or talk about during a job interview. In actual fact, everybody builds up an infinite number of experiences and skills during their academic career and private life which can be developed starting from your first job. Everything you do, from the way you help a friend, to the way you take part in sports competitions or your approach to unforeseen circumstances whilst travelling, are opportunities to hone your skills and can be described during an interview. Hence, it is important to be aware that everything you do in your private life can be useful training for your future career.
Be generous with your ideas
The most important act of generosity is with your ideas. Even if you are only looking for an internship or full-time employment, try to build up an image of the sort of place you would like to work in, the type of work you would like and the sort of direct contributions you could make. For instance, try to glean information on the company you would like to work for or which gives you your first interview. On the basis of this information, try to understand what contribution you could make and offer your new employer any ideas you have with generosity and enthusiasm.
#theartofworking is the art of choosing good mentors and maintaining a long-lasting relationship with them