5 lessons every grad needs before starting a job, according to a LinkedIn exec

Both students and colleges are increasingly focused on employment outcomes.

Students today primarily pursue higher education as a means to getting a better job, and according to a 2017 survey, roughly 83% of provosts are focused on providing degrees that help their graduates get "good jobs."

But some of the most important lessons about the workplace don't typically come from classrooms. Writing for Jopwell, Tey Scott, senior director of global talent acquisition at LinkedIn, offers five lessons students often miss when preparing for their careers.

1: Carve your own path

Young people often get caught up comparing themselves to their friends and peers after graduation. Instead, Scott recommends that young professionals focus on their own personal goals—and not to allow other people's achievements to influence their ideas of success.

2: Find happiness outside of work

Young professionals shouldn’t allow their job title or responsibilities be the only things that give them happiness. In fact, Scott argues, the happiest people aren't those who talk about work all the time—they're the people who have found meaning in their personal lives.

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3: You have to earn that promotion

New grads may be tempted to march into their manager's office and declare that they deserve a promotion. But in the working world, Scott writes, you need to make a case for more responsibility, not just demand it. She recommends young professionals consider whether they've genuinely earned a promotion or if they just feel like someone owes it to them.  

4: Pick yourself up

It can be tempting for young professionals to blame others when their career isn't trending how they'd like it to. But learning to react productively to setbacks is one of the most important skills for career success, Scott argues. She advises young people to stay open to feedback and seek honest conversations with managers and mentors about how to get back on track.

5: Value your relationships

Professional relationships are a valuable source of career advice and opportunities. However, Scott argues, networking is most successful when you care about your contacts as people and form meaningful relationships with them. Her advice to new professionals is to "consider every encounter a real chance to get to know someone" (Scott, Fast Company, 10/16).

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