Bloomberg recently surveyed economists regarding career advice for new college graduates. I highly recommend that you read this article if you’re a new graduate or someone who cares about one. Every point is well made. I want to focus on two of them.
Be willing and able to relocate: The economy is better than it was in 2009, but it’s still not great. To have the wide range of opportunities and the best chance for an optimal salary, be open to moving. Study the industry you want to work in and identify where it is strongest. I’d recommend looking at 3-5 cities. Find ones you would want to live in where there are opportunities in your field.
“Don’t be a lifer”: Loyalty is a virtue. However, it can kill a career. Staying with the same company for 10 or 20 years sounds like a good thing, but it often limits your earning potential and chances for advancement. As the article demonstrates in a graph, loyalty makes sense for people between the ages of 45-70. It is easier to change jobs and industries early in one’s career. Explore the options that work for you and be open to relocating for new career opportunities.
If you learn to manage your career early rather than just looking for a job, you will earn more money and have more control over your destiny. Again, this article in Bloomberg is a good starting point
I ran into the wife of a client today, and she had good news. Not only had her husband found a job, but he found one that paid 25% more than his previous job. Over the last 18 months, he has gotten two raises. This story is not common in the work world today, but it shows that some employers still value talent and are willing to reward it.
The challenge for most workers is to find this kind of employer. What’s the secret? Don’t stop looking for work. The only way to find something better is look for it. We all hate the time and frustration that come with the job search. However, in this salary-crunch economy, that’s the only way to get ahead.