In the late ’70s, when Lonny Strum was starting out, there was no Internet, and people could expect to be with companies for years and years at a time. Obviously, a lot has changed since then, but the longtime communications-agency manager and founder of the Strum Consulting Group has kept up with trends, and in a piece for the Philadelphia Business Journal, he offers 7 tips for new college graduates getting ready to launch their careers.
As is often the case with “advice for grads” pieces, many of Strum’s snippets of wisdom would apply to workers of all ages, but they’re especially helpful for 20-somethings getting ready to wade into the treacherous waters of full-time employment. Scroll down to read his expert advice.
1. Work Hard for the Company You’re With — This one is obvious, but it bears mentioning. As Strum says, you should put your head down and do the best you can for your current employer, even if you’re looking around for other opportunities. You want to be a “go-to person.” “Do a great job for your current employer and represent them well. Show loyalty, integrity and a positive attitude, particularly in the face of adversity,” he writes.
2. Network Like Crazy — Why does the word “networking” come up so much? Because it’s absolutely vital. Strum suggests using social-media tools like LinkedIn to grow your “circle of influence” and stay on people’s radars.
3. Never Stop Learning — “Knowledge and skill is power,” Strum writes. “Go beyond your current job function and learn everything you can.”
4. Show Some Loyalty — While it’s good to always be on the lookout for new opportunities, you shouldn’t immediately jump ship when an offer comes down the pike. Before you leave a company that’s been good to you, weigh the pros and cons and make sure it’s really worth it.
5. Learn to Smell a Sinking Ship — If your company has been downsizing, it may be time to get out. There’s no prize for being the last rat on a sinking ship.
6. Think Long-Term — While it may be tempting to take a job offering lots of money and perks, ask yourself whether the company will stick around — and whether it can offer you opportunities for growth. In business, as in life, the quick fix is rarely the smart play.
7. Be Generous — “Give selflessly to others,” Strum writes, and if you do, the good karma will eventually pay dividends.