One common problem that young professionals encounter after they’ve sacrificed and worked hard in college is they’re constantly told they lack real-world experience. Considering the fact that a four-year college degree can easily cost you more than $100,000 these days, it’s very unfortunate that graduates have a difficult time attaining a desired position in their prospective fields.
To gain some advice on how recent graduates can overcome this obstacle, I turned to a very successful business mogul, John C. Maxwell. Recently a distinguished listing was published that identified the world’s top 25 leaders. Some of the popular names featured on this prestigious list are authors Stephen Covey, Tony Robbins, Jim Collins, and Jack Welch. As the highly regarded author who has sold more than 13 million books, Maxwell was ranked at No. 1.
During my conversation with Maxwell, I explained to him that many young professionals aren’t succeeding at breaking into their career fields because they’re being perceived as young “beginners.” Here are the top three things Maxwell says millennials should do to be successful at their next career move.
Maxwell Maxim #1: You must spark your creativity.
In his books, Maxwell strongly urges readers to ignite their creativity to produce new content, strategies, and products. To be creative, you don’t have to develop breakthrough ideas that will solve all of the world’s problems. Instead, simply draw on your skills and experiences to bring something fresh to the table as a young careerist. You must show exceptional proof that your creativity and ability to innovate can contribute in achieving the company’s current and future goals.
Maxwell Maxim #2: You must become proactive and take initiative.
In the words of Maxwell, “Talent without initiative never reaches its full potential.” This is why it’s important for you to actively seek opportunities outside the classroom to demonstrate your talent. Consequently, you will be able to provide concrete examples that highlight your ability to take strong action on assignments and projects without the need for a supervisor to always hold your hand.
Maxwell Maxim #3: You must become a great leader.
If you want to be a good driver, you have to follow city traffic laws. And the same principle applies to leadership! If you want to be recognized as a great leader, you have to consistently follow the laws of leadership. Check out resources such as Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, which includes practical exercises that will empower you to become a great leader. It’s absolutely essential that you emphasize and give powerful examples that will show your aptitude as a young leader when speaking with employers. Companies aren’t seeking to hire “students” or “recent graduates.” They want to hire leaders!
Now go ahead and start brushing up on these skills so you can plan your next major boss move!
Antoine Moss, Ph.D., (@2PositiveTweets) is a nationally recognized resource on internships, early career achievement, leadership and motivation. CEO and founder of CEO Style Consulting L.L.C., Moss empowers professionals and organizations to reach their full potential, and serves as speaker, workshop instructor and consultant. The author of Learn to Intern CEO Style, Moss has been a featured expert on outlets including Fox 8 TV News and George Fraser’s 2011 Power Networking Conference.