Stay hungry, follow your passion, and do something that makes you smile when you get out of bed in the morning.
One magnificent trait about aging is that you become wiser each day and are able to pass on that wisdom and as a member of Generation Z, I feel it is my duty to share some advice I picked up over the years to ensure that we remain the most awesome generation. Life experience paired with never giving up makes for one splendid cocktail that will ensure we will pave the way to a better tomorrow. So, without further ado, these are the most valuable nuggets I want to pass on:
1.Don’t settle for a career that you aren’t passionate about.
Some parents and teachers have always wanted us to get a job that pays the bills because that was the only way we were going to survive life. Believe me when I say this, if that’s how you chose your jobs, you’re going to have a lot of them. You won’t last long at that kind of job and the smart companies will send you on your way in favor of someone who wants to be there and work hard. When you choose a career you’re passionate about, you work longer hours willingly, you are excited to go to work and you will accomplish a lot more. Life is too short to settle for a paycheck if you choose passion over a paycheck and I promise you won’t regret it.
2.Don’t play it safe, take risks.
There’s something that everyone we idolize has in common. They took chances, probably failed and instead of giving up, they got back up and tried again. When you take risks, you will most likely fail, but you will also be giving yourself the opportunity to learn. I have always had the best learning experiences when I failed. After the first time you fail, you are no longer afraid of failure.
3.Find a Mentor.
Want to know exactly what you must do to get your dream job? Find someone with that exact position and follow in their footsteps. The advice and guidance they give you will be some of the most valuable information that you will ever receive. Having a living example of someone who has gone through every step to get your dream job is the best thing you could ever ask for because you could learn from all the mistakes they made and avoid them.
Nowadays you could be the most qualified person for the job, but, let’s say that it comes down to you and the other person. The other person is a little less qualified compared to you, however, they know someone at the company. The question is who does the company hire? I’m sorry to tell you, they will hire the person with the connection. Whenever you have the chance to go to an event with people in the same field as you, don’t think, just go. Connections are key to getting the job you desire because people would rather hire someone they know over someone they just met. LinkedIn is a nice way to stay connected, but making those connections in person is way more valuable and will become the key to achieving the career of your dreams.
5.Travel as much as you can.
Familiarizing yourself with other cultures and even picking up another language could do wonders for your career. Understanding global markets and the mindsets of other cultures gives you an edge on everyone who has never traveled anywhere outside of their comfort zone. One great way to demonstrate this to future employers is to intern abroad. This also shows that you are willing to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation and figure out how to navigate it and survive it. If you can work in a foreign country. Not only does it show that you’re adaptable, but it also gives you newly acquired knowledge most people don’t have and you can leverage that to get yourself a great job because most companies will be dying to know what foreign company cultures are like and adapt their company accordingly.
6.Create a website/portfolio to showcase your work and making it available to future employers 24/7.
If you’re the creative type or have participated in projects and made a difference, future employers should know about this and can access that information 24/7. This will give future employers the opportunity to see your impact on projects you have been able to work on, or started yourself. Anyone can list off a bunch of different tasks they were responsible for, but failing to prove that they had any significant impact makes each task lose its gravitas.
7.Knowledge is power. The more you learn the more of an asset you become.
Before you shoot for the stars concerning your career, it’s always better to start on the bottom and really learn all the moving parts of the industry you desire to work in. The ones who achieved success in this world always did a lot of grunt work before they took on the job that changed their lives forever. The reason for this is because once you familiarize yourself with every moving part of the career you hope to do for the rest of our life, not only will you become the master of your craft, but you will succeed at your goals with flying colors. When you consider some of the most successful people we look up to today, they all started somewhere. Consider this, imagine being the head of a major company, but not knowing the most basic functions. The second anyone catches wind of that, you leave yourself vulnerable to being replaced and forgotten. Learn all you can and make sure to stay progressive.
8.For every project you work on, explain how your contributions made an impact.
Whether it’s on your resume, or during an interview when discussing the past roles and responsibilities that you took on, always make sure to mention the everlasting impact you had on the places you worked. Every company that potentially wants to hire you wants to know that if they hire you, how could you somehow make them better and take them to the next level. Every business shares a similar desire, thrive for as long as possible, but to do that, they must stay relevant and adaptable. If you can make this happen for them, consider yourself hired.
9.Remember to take time for you. Life isn’t about work, live as much as you possibly can.
You don’t know it now, but once you begin your career, it’s easy to become consumed by work. The minute that happens, you may find yourself turning down spending time with your family and friends. You might not even vacation for a few years just because you wanted that promotion. Let me tell you something, there is more to life than work. That vacation time you get every year, use it, go somewhere you’ve never been before if you’re exhausted, head to an island or have a staycation where you catch up with the ones you love most and take some time for you. I promise that by doing this, your work will improve substantially and you will still be on track to achieve all your goals.
10.Have a support system for those hard days.
The real world is hard and scary. Stress will be something that follows you everywhere, you will feel overwhelmed at times and life itself will be unlike anything you expected. You will wonder how your parents keep their calm and make it all work. This is where you will break down in tears begging your loved ones for help and just seek comfort in their arms. There is no shame in that, I was this person. After I had a great cry and got some valuable advice from my family and friends, I learned to take it one day at a time, making sure to handle everything with baby steps. If we expect things to happen too quickly, we will be disappointed.
11.Teach yourself to obtain a glass half full mentality.
I completely understand those you currently that is easier said than done. Also, everyone’s story is different. However, having a glass half empty view will actually make you dismiss opportunities that could help you achieve personal growth both professionally and personally. Keeping an open mind, while also maintaining an excellent level of awareness will impact your life in a profound way that you will look back on fondly with a smile.
This, along with a few life lessons that you have learned throughout your personal life could be exactly what you need to meet every goal and aspiration that you have for yourself. Another miraculous thing about growing up is that we never stop learning. Continuing to learn and chasing those dreams is what makes life so spontaneous and exhilarating. It’s an honor and privilege to be a part of Generation Z because we have the opportunity to inflict change on this world for the better, leaving our mark in a way that continues to inspire change for the better.
Author Bio: Alex DiMeglio is an admissions counselor and writer/editor for the CareerUp Intern Abroad Program. His public relations/communications background, along with his urge to help, has him discovering new ways where we can properly communicate and achieve the impossible. His passions include films, novels, and creative writing.