Feb 23

Always Stay Ready

One of our keynote speakers at the National Career Development Day campus conference was Gabrielle Edwards from The Infinity, LLC. Gabrielle has over 18 years of experience in human resources and employee relations. In addition to offering comments and relevant advice on career development from her professional career and experience, she passed along some wisdom from her family.

“Always stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.”

This is not about getting dressed and brushing your teeth in the morning. It is a state of mind related to career readiness and preparation so you can take advantage of opportunities that come your way. It allows you to stay nimble in your career and avoid delays when unforeseen events occur (both positive and negative).

Here are some things you can do to stay ready:

  • Keep your resume and CV updated. If you have a great conversation with someone who wants to forward your resume to a colleague who is seeking someone with your area of specialty, you want the ability to send it right away without having to spend hours creating or updating it.
  • Build your network on LinkedIn. The standard recommendation for number of contacts on LinkedIn is to start with ten times your age. Having a robust network on LinkedIn can grow your opportunities exponentially, and there are plenty of success stories for the power of LinkedIn. In addition to my own personal success story, an ND graduate student was recently recruited by Amazon through LinkedIn due to her foreign language proficiencies listed on her profile.
  • Have a mentor. No one needs to pursue career success on their own. In addition to the assistance provided by your advisor and Graduate Career Services, seek out a mentor, confidant, sounding board, or supporter who will tell you the truth about your skills and value, help you learn from your past experiences, and use insights from their past experiences to help you navigate future situations.
  • Continually develop new skills. You have many skills. Anyone pursuing a graduate degree will develop and apply skills that are both related to their specific field and also transferable to any position. By continually adding to your skillset you will be ready to take on new opportunities and grow your career over time. Want to find a competitive advantage on the job market? Find experiences that will give you these increasingly important skillsets.
  • Attend Professional Development workshops. The graduate school offers professional development workshops throughout the school year to help you develop competencies related to research, teaching, your career, and ethics. Find one that fits your needs here.

A DGS recently identified a secret to success: students should have options “in mind and in motion.” It takes time to build your network, develop strong application documents, learn about interesting career pathways, and launch a career. Graduate Career Services helps you be #IrishReady for success. What are some of the ways you “always stay ready”?