Be open minded in approach

Being open minded is key. Many people think they have a clear idea of what they want to do in their life when they come out of school, college or university; and some do.

Open Mind

Being open minded is key.  Many people think they have a clear idea of what they want to do in their life when they come out of school, college or university; and some do.  However, a large majority of people, when they get into the world of work, find that their first job is not quite how they expected it to be.  The best way to manage this is to approach all new experiences with an open mind in a constructive manner.  If you approach any new situation in this way, you will always find something positive to take from it, even when it does not lead you directly to where you want to be!

Bias often contradicts being open minded, and is a self-limiting belief, whether during your time at university, with the continuing development of your career or generally in life.  You may think that being objective is simply a matter of removing your conscious bias, of which you should be aware.  However, just as much of an issue can be ‘unconscious bias’, where your implicit preferences, formed by your experiences, cause you to pre-judge people and situations without fully investigating all the facts. We all naturally have preferences and make assumptions, however the key to being open minded, and making the most of all your opportunities, is to be able to objectively look at what you are thinking and doing, to help identify and remove both conscious and unconscious bias as much as possible.

“Unconscious bias” is currently a key theme in businesses, with companies such as BP, Barclays, BAE Systems, PwC, Google and many more are training on the subject.  This has valuable benefits for recruitment, training and development, by encouraging staff to be more self-aware and to make more pragmatic, informed and objective decisions.

Many graduates assume that the only way to obtain a job is through graduate schemes at large companies in the UK.  The downside with a limited view like this is that it means you are significantly narrowing down your opportunities by definition.  In reality, according to the University of Kent (2014), only 14% of graduates join graduate training schemes at large companies, and many smaller employers throughout the UK offer graduates opportunities.  Thus, by being open minded and actively seeking out opportunities from companies of all sizes, both within the UK and overseas, you are widening your horizons and giving yourself the best possible chance of success.

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