By Donna St. Jean Conti, President, St. Conti Communications
You’re graduating? Bravo! Congratulations, and good luck to you!
In the spirit of helping you and your fellow graduates (or those about to graduate in June), the St. Conti Communications team has put together some of its favorite business tips with supporting information that we’ve culled from a variety of business-oriented articles. These are our top tips for business (and life) success based on our experiences. With each tip, we included links to related articles or books for more information and your reading pleasure. (Yes, the homework never ends.) So, enjoy your graduation celebrations, because then it’s time to get to work!
Communicate well and often, and do so using the format that your intended recipient prefers. This is how you’ll be heard. Quoting business author Brian Tracy, billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson says, “Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.”
An important skill is the ability to network. Meeting strangers can be difficult at first, but, with practice, it gets easier, especially as people see the confidence and polish in your approach and demeanor.
Here are some basics:
- Follow online leaders in your field and engage with them when you can add to the conversation. LinkedIn is an excellent forum for doing just that. Be sure to spend the necessary time to flesh out your profile so others can see who you are and what you do.
- Join in-person local associations – Chambers of Commerce, industry associations, etc. – and go to events. Before you go, print up some business cards with all your pertinent contact information, including social media handles, to share with new contacts. Check out this Huffington Post article for additional tips: “The Art of Schmoozing: How Networking Really Works!”
- Volunteer with organizations that match your interests and where you can showcase your abilities. Volunteering helps the person or group with which you are volunteering, and it can help you land a job or make valuable long-term contacts. Here’s a helpful article from U.S. News & World Report: “How Volunteering Can Help You Get a Job.”
- Politeness Matters.
Always say please and thank you. Writer, editor and motivational speaker, Joe Kita, is quoted as saying, “When you want to get your way, simply try being mannerly. It’s become so rare nowadays that it disarms people. It throws them off balance….” Maintaining your manners is a form of offering mutual respect and is foundational to success in business interactions. For more on this, check out the book: The Power of Respect: Benefit from the Most Forgotten Element of Success, by Deborah Norville.
- Strive to Achieve Balance.
You’ve worked hard to achieve your education. Expect to work hard to succeed in your career field, too, but, as you work hard to succeed, be sure to leave time for family, friends, and pleasurable pursuits. While it may be impossible to achieve absolute balance as events require us to skew our time in one direction or another, it is important to mindfully strive to achieve it by keeping all that is important to you in perspective. It is important to your overall health and well-being as well as your relationships (both at work and in your personal life). This article from the Huffington Post explains further: 5 Easy Ways to Balance Your Business and Personal Life.
- Character Counts.
Sometimes we’re so concerned with our outward behavior that we forget about our inward attitude. Former University of California, Los Angeles, basketball player and head coach, John Wooden, said it best, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” In other words, be true to your values and fair with others. Beyond this, be reliable and confident, yet easy to work with. Read this Entrepreneur article for more on this topic and to understand what employers need: “7 Character Traits That the Best Employees Share.”
The change from student to employee can be dramatic, especially if you haven’t worked in your field before. You will do well if you make every effort to learn your new role while allowing yourself time to adapt. Here’s to your success!
St. Conti Communications is a public relations and marketing communications agency based in Southern California and specializing in supporting high technology, green technology and similar companies. For more information about our agency and how we can help you, contact Donna St. Jean Conti, APR, at dconti (at) stconticommunications.com. St. Conti staff have compiled a list of, “Best in Business,” books for purchase at: http://stconticommunicator.papertrell.com/. #Graduation #Business #Volunteer