It’s graduation season. And that means a whole bunch of students are leaving the confines of academia and, for the first time, embarking on a career. In this atmosphere, Jean Case of the Dupont-based Case Foundation has taken to the pages of Forbes to offer some career advice. Well beyond your first job? Read on — the article offers some good tips on how to think about success at every stage.
Titled “9 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My First ‘Real’ Job,” the article is just that — a list of nine tips for job hunting, negotiating offers and networking like a pro. It also offers personal anecdotes and stories from Case’s career that demonstrate how life can take a winding path (and that’s ok). In bullet point No. 5 Case cautions the young professional that people will only have as much confidence in you as you have in yourself:
“This is a universal truth—that we have to learn the skill of seeming confident at times, even when we might be filled with nervousness and self-doubt,” she writes. “For many young people early in their careers, this becomes the difference between who thrives and who gets left behind. While I wish the world was different, it isn’t. It is wise when starting out to assume you’ll need to dig deep and put your game face on in moments of pressure, especially when you are focused on climbing the corporate ladder.”
— Case Foundation (@CaseFoundation) May 8, 2017
This, incidentally, is good advice for the new entrepreneur, too. Starting a business is often an experience of walking the line between exuberant confidence (getting customers and investors and more to buy into your idea) and realism (honestly assessing what’s working and what’s not). It isn’t easy, but, Case suggests, it’s a balance we’ll all need to master.