What Makes You Stand Out As a Grad.

What Makes You Stand Out As a Grad.

In my line of work, I get to meet with some phenomenal, high-calibre individuals who have taken their passion for IT and technology to high levels and are well ahead in their areas of expertise. 

I recently asked a few of them a very simple question…

“What career advice would you give to your 18-year-old-self if you had a chance to go back in time?

I learnt alot from these individuals and I am keen to share their insights with the next gen, Matriculants, Grads etc..

Here are just some of their responses that really resonated…

  • A degree is there to empower you to be an out of the box thinker, ..having a degree is a step to the job market and you can always learn a new skill which may not necessarily be in line without your qualification.
  • Study…study…. study!!!!!! …the more you know the more relevant you become.
  • Be persistent – It doesn’t matter what career field you pursue, just make sure you study it wholeheartedly, give it your all and achieve excellent grades.
  • Practice everything you learn that you want to remember and be good at it. Don’t just read it and think you know it!
  • Read more about the field you want to enter. Seek out successful figures in your chosen field and get to know their strengths.
  • Most importantly don’t be afraid of hard work.
  • Have a curious mind, ask questions, make sure you research thoroughly…
  • See yourself as a future leader, as opposed to being led, train yourself to be a leader from the get-go, own up the leadership role everywhere you go….
  • Be proactive and Take initiative where you can…
  • Work as hard as you can, any spare time you have make sure to create or build a project that you can showcase to companies when you are called for interviews.
  • Aim to learn new things every day, keep up to date with new technologies that are released especially in the software development space.
  • Hard work pays off, of course there will not be a pay off if you are not committed and motivated at the same time to work hard to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
  • Something to consider… would be to Do a career assessment with a career psychologist. They are able to match your personality and strengths to the ideal job.
  • Study job boards – don’t just take our word for it.. See what’s in demand ..Speak to people in the position and find out how they got there..
  • After your degree… specialize and certify eg CCNA, Cloud Computing, CISA, MCSE, Programming, ISTQB etc.. . Most people have some knowledge. To stand out you need to specialize and have most of the knowledge.
  • Decide on what you want to do and learn it on your own. DONT WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO TEACH YOU. Take things into your own hands. People skills. You need support along the way. No-one knows everything. Be flexible. Be prepared to relocate.
  • Choose your career wisely as it stays with you for the rest of your life!
  • Take more time to think and decide.