Why do you need to think beyond your grades and make the biggest impact?

Your grades are only one small measurement of your many abilities. And once you start on the path to your new career, they’ll be a distant memory. If you’re ready to take your future seriously, you’ve got to think beyond grades and start preparing for your career. Here’s how:

Develop a plan. Whether you want to work in business, healthcare, or information technology, it won’t materialize without a plan. If you love computers and have a knack for solving problems, consider if a career in information technology is right for you. Or maybe you’ve always wanted a career where you could help others, just like you could in healthcare. Whatever goal you seek, chart out a path to get there.

Put your best foot forward–always. Whether you’re in class or on the internet, you need to present the very best version of yourself that you can. You never know who might be noticing you and you always want to make a good impression. Pay particular attention to what you say and do on social media. You don’t put forward an impulsive picture, post, or tweet to cross the path of the person who’s hiring on your next job interview. It is imperative to mind your manners on social media.

Identify your role models. One of the best ways to learn about a new career is by talking to those people who already perform the job you’re considering. Talk with family and friends, and if need be, reach out to friends of friends who could answer your questions and might even be willing to serve as a mentor.

Explore your career at the earliest. An externship is a great way to learn all about your new career. You’ll have an opportunity to try out skills you’ve learned in classrooms and labs and to observe professionals in action. If your career training program doesn’t offer a chance to get some real world experience, then do so on your own! Volunteer or find a part time job in the setting of your new career.

Build your portfolio. Keep track of all your accomplishments in your work and personal life. Note the roles you’ve played and the responsibilities you’ve had. Create a professional resume that you can add to as your career experiences grow. If you’re not already on LinkedIn, it’s time to join the 364 million members who count on the site for digital networking.

Put off procrastination. If you’re prone to procrastination, that is because you get an impulsive tendency to do what feels easier, rather than the thing you know you should be doing. A number of relaxed priorities will help make a positive difference. A bunch of urgent priorities is far less forgiving. Keep all your priorities in check. Focus on both your present and future priorities. The importance of grades will become less rigid. And you may find that less pressure leads to a happier run on those grades anyway.

If you’re prone to either procrastination or perfectionism, it’s time to bring your other priorities into the mix. Don’t let those priorities sit at the side and become urgent. Instead, relax through all that you do. It can make a huge impact on your life, your grades, and your health.

Whatever your situation, you need to think beyond your grades.




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