Career Tips for New (and Old) Graduates

contributed by Dr. Stephen Bangert

In the June 29th 2009 edition of BusinessWeek Jack and Suzy Welch shared some advice with recent graduates that I believe is appropriate for anyone managing their career.  I have digested their comments and added a few of my own.


As Jack and Suzy Welch prepared for a commencement speech, they outlined some ideas worth reviewing.  Their overriding advice is to over-deliver.  This positions you for other opportunities, be it special projects, advanced training, shadowing more senior associates, and of course, promotions.

Develop Relationships

Equally important is the development of relationships throughout the organization.  It is this network of relationships that will gain you mentoring, introductions, leverage and support in your efforts.  Developing such relationships takes face to face meetings where the other person can shake your hand and see your smile.  In contrast, they are not developed via memos, email, Facebook or tweeting although these can be helpful means of maintaining relationships.  Also advised is avoidance of traps such as: labeling others, aligning with cliques or becoming political.

Continually Learn

Be open and learn from everyone and everything.  Regardless of your knowledge and expertise, others both up and down the corporate ladder have something they can teach you.  Listen, ask questions and support their comments.  To quote from the article: “…shed your cynicism and listen to every voice.  It will make you smarter and more humble.  And if smartness and humility end up being the two main traits people see in you, you’re going to be a winner…”

Prove Your Value

Balance a sense of urgency with patience.  And even though you may have graduated magna cum laude, most organizations expect you to earn your stripes first before giving perks and privileges.  Prove your value to the organization.  That will afford you the leverage to promote your ideas and your career.

Capitalize on Opportunities

Opportunities abound.  Yet you need to also have a sense of direction so that your efforts support your goals rather than distract and drain energy.   In short, you need to manage your career and to consider the value of a coach who has the knowledge, experience and objectivity to serve as a sounding board and fellow strategist.

Executive Coaching & Consulting can provide such support.  There is no fee to explore the services, and the website testimonials attest to the value delivered.  Use the contact information below to take the next step in your career.

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