If you just finished college but you aren’t sure what you want to do or how to enter the business world, then you’re not alone. If you want a successful career, there are two things that you need to understand.
First of all, you need to be aware of the latest demographic trends and how they will affect your career. Baby boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 people a day. There simply aren’t enough experienced people to replace the baby boomers, which creates an opportunity for up and comers.
Secondly, I recommend that you read “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. This is a great book and its fundamental thesis is that it takes 10,000 hours for you to become really good at any skill set. From athletics to music to software programming, you need 10,000 hours of experience to fully understand the skills needed for the job.
As a recent college graduate, you need to figure out how you can combine the demographic trends with the 10,000-hour rule.
Rather than following what appears to be the millennial career path of having 16 different jobs with 20 different companies in three years, find something that you can develop a passion for over time. The problem with frequently changing jobs is that you are never in one place long enough to get really good at one particular job. If you spend 10,000 hours—which roughly equals five years—in one career, then you will be extremely knowledgeable about that particular area.
It takes awhile to understand the common knowledge of the domain, and it takes even longer to know the uncommon knowledge that gives the top 1% their competitive edge. That uncommon knowledge is not a secret; you just don’t have enough knowledge to really execute the job properly until you have been there long enough to know the common knowledge.
So, you need to go into an area where you can develop some passion for the job and learn all about it. Since baby boomers are retiring in droves, there will be plenty of opportunities for you down the line. By spending all your time on one career path, you will have a leg up on other millennials who have had a few different jobs and aren’t especially good at any one thing.
Companies are dying to hire people who know their space and can bring value to the table. To be successful in your career, you need to become that person.
If you have any other questions about entering the real world of business, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!