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Leslie Gilmour

Deciding on Your Career after University

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Graduating from University is the end of an era for sure, but also the beginning of a journey that can (and possibly will) mark the rest of your life. No pressure, right? 

While you may feel like the world will end if you don't have it all figured out upon throwing your graduation cap into the air, it really won't. Everyone's journey is different, and there are plenty of routes you can take after graduating. But how do you actually decide what you want to do after Uni?

If you haven't been set on particular career paths or haven't found any interests that trigger your curiosity and intent, there are a few strategies you can implement in figuring out what you want in life. Sitting a year out before committing to a career is also an option, just don't tell your parents we said that, okay?

Jokes aside, here are some potentially helpful tips to get you going and paint a picture of your financial future:

#1 Be honest with yourself

Almost everyone gets to the point of confusion with who they actually are and who they've been for longer than they can remember. Parents' expectations, social pressure, emotional and/or mental struggles, interests done out of habit, etc. can all be reasons for building a path you don't actually like as much as you should. And that's fine; you wouldn't be the first nor the last person to realize they aren't as passionate about a career as they thought they'd be upon graduation. It's called growth, and it's very brave. 

So, when you realize a thing you've been focused on for a while isn't working any longer, sit down with yourself, and be honest about what truly moves you. Make a list of things you see yourself doing, things that make your heart and mind sing. Once you do, weigh in your talents, habits, objective budget conditions, and similar to see where you stand. 

#2 Pick a Job that Interests You

Once you are done with the list of your likes, try finding jobs that agree with your preferences. Are you interested in working in content marketing? Go for it! Looking to be the next An Le or Elon Musk? Why not! Have a love for retail and customer service? Contact companies with these sectors open to see if they're hiring. Hoping to conquer Hollywood with your acting skills? Yes!

Have a neck for finances and want to build a career out of it? Sure! Financial advisors are a trending occupation with so many new businesses popping around like mushrooms. Plus, people always need advice on how to improve their finances, don’t they? You'll never be out of work with this career, that's for sure!

Match your skills with job titles, and start your journey to getting hired!

#3 Connect with Recruiters on Social Media 

Social media has long gone from being an entertainment platform to an all-comprising source of information, fun, business options, global business connectivity, and everything else in between. 

These days you'll notice it is easier to find a job online than by sending millions of applications to firms directly. This is your chance to use your love for social media for something other than filtering your daily habits on Instagram and getting liked for it. Use social media to connect with recruiters and get the latest scoop on what's happening in the business world. 

Presently, LinkedIn is the best business platform, and reaching out through it may be the best way to get connected to people who can help you get a job. LinkedIn community is pretty tight, with people being very open and helpful regarding virtually all topics and issues. The easiest way to go about LinkedIn is:

  • Build your LinkedIn profile by filling it with your references, experience, goals, and expectations

  • Post things regularly that are catchy and relevant

  • Engage in other people's posts

  • Widen your network of LN friends by connecting with them

You won't benefit from LN immediately after you join, though. It'll take some time until you build your base, but you'll get there. 

Other than that, don't neglect other platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as sources of potential job applications in your field. 

#4 Go to a Career Counselor

Sometimes, going to an expert for advice is the best thing you can do for yourself – whether we're talking career or anything else relevant in your life (e.g., mental health, relationship therapy, etc.). Career counselors exist for a reason, and they'll surely be happy to help you out. 

Go to the nearest job center for some career guidance. You'll probably get tests to fill out and have questions to answer but they're all going to be shortcuts to your final destination. Embrace this journey, you'll learn more from it than you can imagine!

Final Words

Deciding on your career after University doesn't have to be as hard as it appears to be. It's important you remember that you don't have to choose right away and that your future career doesn't need to be something related to your degree. Pick a thing that makes you happy and hopefully is profitable enough to match that happiness. 

Take your time, think things through, and go for it. Even if your career doesn't happen straight away, it's okay - it all comes to us when we're ready to receive it, after all. 

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Leslie Gilmour

How to Use Events to Build Your Network (Even While You are a Student)

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Why should you build your network? It is one of the most important assets that could help you grow your business, learn new skills, meet industry experts and thought leaders, bring your company to the next level, grow your membership, find new clients, uplift fundraising potential, and so much more.

Attending events is a great starting point for everything you want to achieve, and quite possibly a single most important activity that will help you grow your network and help you sharpen your networking skills.

Networking at events is especially important for freelancers, entrepreneurs, startup founders, and small business owners, so if you identify yourself as one of them, try attending as many live events as you can.

Please note: no one expects you to be a natural-born networker.

If you are an extrovert, it will come more easily and naturally for you to mingle and start a meaningful conversation with people you haven’t met before.

But even if you are an introvert, don’t shy away from events. Every conference you attend gives you an opportunity to present your business, meet new people, and grow your network of potential clients.

So let’s see how could you use events to accomplish your goals and shape up your networking skills.

Join Online Communities to Meet People Offline

You probably spend (way too much) time on the Internet, don’t you? And you are probably active on social media, right? Instead of endless, meaningless scrolls, use that time proactively to engage with online communities and advance your networking skills online.

Join Facebook and LinkedIn Groups

Besides learning about friends’ whereabouts, thoughts, and current feelings, join groups of your interest on social media. It can be a great way of e-meeting interesting people, peers, and industry leaders.

You can be a passive observer and follower until you become more confident to ask your own questions or leave your comments and answers. Either way, you will be networking without even noticing it.

Find Local Events

For finding events that are organized in your area of residence, you can join groups of your interest on the Meetup platform. You can browse groups by categories, such as Tech, Learning, Photography, Writing, Careers & Business, Social, and others, depending on your interest.

For instance, if you reside in London and you are into the tech industry, you can join groups such as Women in Tech London, London Tech and Beer, Sales for Tech Startups, Old Street Tech Talks, Digital Transformation: London, and many others. They all regularly organize events that you can attend and start building your network.

If you want to organize your own events and grow your community, you can start a new group on Meetup and take it from there.

If You Are a Business Owner

Live events, trade shows, and industry-specific conferences are a great opportunity for promoting your company, meeting potential customers in person, and building your network.

Brand Your Presence

If you are a trade show participant, make sure to come up with an interesting stand powered by branded banners, table cloths, display stands, and graphic panels. Make sure to arrange banner printing upfront to prepare everything on time.

Also, try to bring the whole team to the event, and organize valuable presentations of your latest products or service offers.

Make sure to advertise and announce your event presence upfront, so you can also arrange meetings with potential clients and people from your target audience on the spot.

Sponsor an Event

If your company is an industry leader, it would be a great idea to become an event sponsor, or even to organize your own conference.

That way, you’ll get the chance to put up branded banners all over the venue, get your company logo on every printed material for the event, and come with outdoors promotional assets, as well.

Go Global

There are so many valuable conferences, summits, and events happening all over the world. So, besides local events, you would want to consider attending a conference in another country, or even on a different continent. Those require a bit bigger financial investment, but they are worthwhile the effort.

Global events offer a tremendous opportunity to meet world-class experts in person, get to know them better and present yourself while also promoting your business.

You can go a step further and organize a global conference yourself. It will scale up your network big time. The experience you’ll gain from it is priceless.

Let’s say that you want to create an event in the heart of Europe. You might consider Prague, Chech Republic, for instance, as a city of rich cultural heritage and excellent venues specifically designed for conference tourism. Also, you can engage with an event management company, and rest assured knowing that experts will take the burden of event organization of your shoulders. 

Final Thoughts

Remember, you don’t need to be a seasoned professional to start networking and become a part of a community of like-minded people. That’s a fact.

You can – and should, as a matter of fact – start building your network while still in your studies. It will ease your career growth and help you keep up the pace with the industry you are going to work in.

Thanks to the Internet, everyone can easily learn about interesting events happening around the world. Find your favorites and start networking right away.

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Leslie Gilmour

What Will the Future of Employment Look Like?

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The introduction and rapid rise of automation have led to the popular debate about the state of future jobs. We have seen the impact technology can have on our day-to-day work activities and the labour market, thus, it’s not difficult to understand why few people are confident about their long-term career plans. The young generation of would-be workers isn’t immune to the fear of automation either. Nearly 40% of young people in developed nations are concerned that their jobs will fall into the hands of automation by 2026.

Oxford University’s popular research article, The Future of Employment, indicates that several occupations will be exposed to automation, but this won’t necessarily lead to job loss. Luckily, the upcoming generation of workers has gained early exposure to the advanced technology set to revolutionise the labour market, and we’ll help by illustrating ways the landscape of employment will change in the future. 

  1. 1. More Skills Needed

The future of employment will bring about significant changes driven by a need to redefine how we view work rather than the elimination of jobs. Working in the age of automation would, therefore, introduce the labour market to new jobs and existing occupations that require advanced skill sets. To adapt to these future scenarios, current and future workers are likely to need extensive training in order to not fall behind the curve. 

While it’s easy for us to think that more technical skills will be needed in the future, skills such as team management, communication, and creativity will be at the forefront of human-driven skills. Outside of that, we’ll leave it to the robots to take on the tasks which are repetitive and predictable. 

Fortunately, a McKinsey Global Institute 2016 study found that it will take at least two decades before automation reaches 50% of job activities. That puts the upcoming generation of workers at a slight advantage as they will have ample time to seek out new skills in preparation for the future. 

  1. 2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Soar 

AI has been the culprit behind much of the debate surrounding the future of employment thanks to the numerous roles that are subject to automation or are automatable. Jobs such as telemarketers, cashiers, fast food cooks, and loan officers are just some of the positions that are the least safe in the coming years. However, it doesn’t mean that machines will take over and that will be the end of the job market as we know it. 

Humans, especially those in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field are still responsible for AI creation and training of these machines. Worry not, because remember that jobs such as data analysts weren’t around before the digital disruption era. Thus, we can expect the emergence of new roles as the labour market further integrates with AI

  1. 3. The Growth of Remote Work 

While societies in emerging economies are familiar with independent work for extra cash, it’s probable that down the line, more workers can benefit from this job style. Should automated jobs take precedence, people would have more time to focus on self-employment as well as remote work. 

The labour market is seeing a new occupation – digital nomads – that benefits from a borderless world during the digital age where travelling, earning a living, and freedom become the perks. Platforms such as Uber, Etsy, and Zalora have opened the gateway to self-employment in many countries, thus shifting what we typically consider a traditional job. 

Considering that the next generation of workers is increasingly inclined to ditch the conventional job structure, digitally enabled jobs may just be the most exciting trend set to happen in the years to come. 

  1. 4. Job Search Precision

Technological adoption is set to lead the way when it comes to the recruitment process where job searching will be conducted online. LinkedIn has taken the lead in this trend by tapping into the global workforce and allowing its platform to fulfil an employer’s hiring needs. Job boards are bound to become increasingly irrelevant as more social networking sites provide an interactive and attractive way of showcasing one’s professional credentials.

The use of social networking websites will essentially enable greater precision in the recruitment process for both the employer and potential candidate. The benefit of this is simple – a better match between the job skills and talent would enhance the labour market through higher productivity level and greater efficiency. 

Full-Steam Ahead

In the same way that today’s recruitment process has become dynamic, so will the future of employment. It’s nearly impossible to escape or slow down the pace at which technology is being implemented in our daily activities. We have entered an era where there is more to gain by embracing a fast-moving and ever-changing society, thus, the homework for future workers is to adapt and assimilate before the future arrives.

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