Grades are not enough: How to really get ahead in your career
Almost everywhere in the world, the number of jobs in every career path requiring more education, experience, and training have more than doubled jobs requiring less preparation.
According to a report from NoGre, there’s an 83% increase in jobs needing strong interpersonal management, or communication skills and also, there’s a 77% increase in jobs needing strong analytical skills, like critical thinking and computer skills.
But people in developed countries like America are still skeptical that college is the way to prepare for the working world. What’s the trend in African countries in Nigeria?
Is that the same in Nigeria?
First, let’s see what people think about bachelor’s degrees?
16% of Americans think bachelor’s degree prepare students “well” for the working world, 21% think a degree prepare students “not too well”, while 8% think degrees prepare students “not well at all”.
72% of people believe that individuals bear most of the responsibility for acquiring the skills to succeed in the job market.
The latter is true when we bring it down to the Nigerian tertiary institutions and the degrees attained, there’s a big similarity. For example, did you know things employers look for have almost nothing to do with your degree? It is rare that you will be thought in school things an employer looks for.
Another instance is skills we learn in higher institutions; strong social skills, communication skills, critical thinking and analytical skills are out of the syllabus, you have to develop yourself in these areas.
- Are you a team player?
- Have you got leadership skills?
- Have you developed good communication skills (written and verbal)?
- Are you a problem solver?
- Have you got great creative thinking skills?
These skills are soft skills that are in high demand which are not taught in school.
True, some companies are known for snatching the brightest minds from “best” colleges. Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are known for this.
But pay attention, they snatch “brightest minds” and not students with best grade points.
How do you really get ahead in your career?
In other words, how do you show employers that you have the “IT” Factor?
It’s not only about saying what you can and cannot do when answering why are you the best fit for this job interview questions, it also about using your interpersonal skills to show them what you’ve got.
(33% of interviewers know within 90 seconds if they would hire the applicant due to non-verbal cues), so learn about the top ways to impress your interviewers to create a strong first impression within this first crucial 90 seconds.
Before you get the job
Do your homework on the company culture (47% of interviewers say applicants have little to no knowledge about the company)
Make a killer CV that can’t be ignored, and demonstrate your personality by asking relevant interview questions).
While on the job
Whistle while you work, I mean be known for something specific. After all, meeting standards isn’t enough. Go beyond expectations and invest in personal development.
- Make your own side project
Excelling at a personal endeavor helps your company see that you’re an innovator. Building a unique selling proposition will make you indispensable your workplace.
- Work harder than everyone else
Many few people work as hard as they possibly can. Working harder than everyone else may be the easiest way to get ahead in your career.
There’s a huge gap between what’s being taught in school and the realities of the outside world. Being educated and not just schooled will help you prepare and get ahead of life situations (including life in the job market).
Being on the learning curve to know what’s really needed out there is the best way to really get ahead in your career.
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