This blog post was contributed by CFE instructor Amy Cell.

The University of Michigan recently celebrated graduation and sent forth thousands of talented people into the world.

I can heartily say to anyone graduating that the time has never been better to launch your career. And, the world has never needed you more. There are major challenges to be solved, fresh innovative ideas that are needed and the entrepreneurial spirit and values of TRY FAIL RISK DO that the Center for Entrepreneurship provides have never been more critical. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you launch your career.

Be open

If you haven’t landed the “perfect job” yet, don’t worry! You will learn something new, and gain many valuable experiences, in any position. I recently had a panel discussion for my class which featured many seasoned professionals, and the students were in awe of the many twists and turns that happen over 20-40 years in the world after leaving U-M. People go from corporate positions to academia to non-profits. They change industries. They change functions.  A career path has many twists and turns – enjoy the ride!  If your first position doesn’t suit you, lean into your new relationships and skills and take them onto your next adventure.

Keep learning

There are new technologies and methodologies being developed. Invest in continual learning and skill-building. This will build up your resume and skills which will position you for many opportunities in the future. If you aren’t learning new things, then it might be time to start looking for a position that can provide you with growth.

Invest in your network

Link into everyone that you know!  Stay in touch. Help people out. Some of my best connections have been made from my alumni network. Pay it forward, too. Help inspire and support future U-M students who will be looking to you for career advice and guidance.

Give back

It is never too early to start helping and mentoring others. Give back and help others succeed. It will be one of the most rewarding things that you do. There are many people that are not as connected as you – let others join the club.

Build your brand

At your first job, don’t assume that you know everything. And even if you do know everything, the people that have been there a while won’t be thrilled to have you let them know about it. Thus, work hard and help other people shine. Develop a reputation, your brand, that will attract people to want to work with you. Leadership is paying attention to these things and will reward you with excellent projects, growth opportunities, and promotions.

Amy Cell is an instructor for the CFE, a two-time U-M alum, and leads her own talent consulting and recruiting firm (Amy Cell Talent) to help employers and communities solve their talent challenges through innovative programs and approaches.

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