Graduating from high school marks the end of one of the most beautiful chapters in any young adult’s life. At once, it opens up a new, much-anticipated chapter into adulthood, representing the beginning of a successful career in the field of your choice.
Regardless of whether you decide to go to college, become an entrepreneur and start your own online or brick-and-mortar business, or just take any other route to follow your dream, the road to your future career is paved with lots of opportunities.
For all of you high school grads out there, here are 5 tried-and-true, actionable and rapid tips to make the most out of these opportunities in the real world and start making money fast.
1. Joining LinkedIn Goes a Long Way
If you’re a recent high school grad, joining LinkedIn early on can prove to be one of the smartest career moves you can make. As the world’s premier and most respected business-oriented social network, LinkedIn is the place to be for any professional who wants to establish their professional presence online and grow in their career.
Once you create your LinkedIn profile, you will have unlimited access to the business arena. You can immediately start to network with professionals that can help you expand your horizons. If you’re serious about your professional career, having a LinkedIn account will open a lot of doors for you and help you put your best foot forward professionally. Whether you’re attending college or not, focus primarily on joining groups on this platform that are the most relevant to your specific interests.
2. Consider Volunteering to Gain Hands-On Experience
One of the best ways you can compensate for the lack of professional experience is to do some kind of volunteer work. For instance, you can volunteer at your local trade association or Chamber of Commerce. This way, you can gain a good amount of experience which you can then add to your Linkedin profile.
In case business/commerce is not among your interests, then you can choose to volunteer at various conferences or even artistic events in your city or surrounding areas. Volunteering is a great way to learn and develop new skills in the field of your choice. Even though you will not get paid for the work you do, as a volunteer, the experience you gain will pay off in the long run.
3. Build Your Personal Brand through Social Media
In addition to LinkedIn, you can use other social media channels to your professional advantage. If you’re keen on moving up the corporate ladder, then it’s crucial to invest in building your personal brand. Best thing about it, it doesn’t cost you any money. All you have to do is take some time to refine your social media presence in order to make sure it properly mirrors your personal brand.
You should advisedly remove the somewhat embarrassing content you posted in the past, and add new content that’s relevant to your interests on a professional level. For instance, you may consider vlogging on YouTube if video production is among your interests, or blogging on Medium or Linkedin if you’re into writing.
4. Connect with Influencers and Brands In Your Field
Establishing a set of solid connections with the reputable businesses and influencers you’d love to work with will give you a competitive edge a lot sooner. Be sure to make a list of several brands and then reach out to each of them via email, on their social media channels or even by talking with one of their reps in person.
The most important thing to remember is to be persistent in your endeavors. Don’t give up trying to reach out to them if you don’t hear back from them immediately. Be sure to state what you are willing to help them with for free, so you can gain valuable experience in your field.
5. Start Making Money While You Gain Experience
Volunteering is just one way you can improve your skills and gain professional experience in the real world. If you’re interested in earning some extra money, you can do so by reaching out to local brands. As a college student, you can offer to work for up to $15 per hour by creating user-generated content that appeals to your age group. Another reliable way you can make money fast is to drive for Uber or Lyft, which also allows you to reap the benefits of meeting and networking with all sorts of professionals.
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