Getting a job especially as a fresh graduate is widely believed to be tied to the kind of people you know. Once you know a politician or a manager of a company, your chances of getting a job after graduation is believed to be secured, it doesn’t matter if you have the required skills for the job .

If you’re still out there looking for jobs and believing you can get employed just by knowing people, it shows you’ve not invested in yourself enough, and that mindset may delay your chances of getting the job you desire.

Investing in oneself is the first rule to success, but many undergraduates don’t seem to realize this until after their graduation. 

If you’re reading this now, believe me, it’s never too late to start start spending some of your money and time to advance your career. Here are ways you can invest in your career.

1. Become certified

Having a professional certificate can get you the job you really want. (lionessesofafrica)
Having a professional certificate can get you the job you really want. (lionessesofafrica)

If you’re a graduate of courses like project management and human resources, getting a professional certificate in this field might boost your career. Generally, certifications are less time-consuming and less expensive than degree programs. So, if you really want to give yourself a push in your career, just try your best to get certified.

2. Learn relevant skills

Never stop learning.
Never stop learning.

The university won’t teach you everything and I’m sure you know this. You’ll have to learn certain skills that’ll make you more relevant and valuable than other job seeking candidates out there. 

For instance, if you’re a journalism graduate, you’ll need more than your writing and news judgement skills to shine in the field. Journalism these days go with photography, video and photo-editing skills. If you have these skills in your CV, believe me, you’ll have an edge over other candidates looking for jobs in media houses.

3. Build your brand online

Thinking about why you are not growing in your career. (Muse)
Thinking about why you are not growing in your career. (Muse)

While getting certified and learning new skills might require money, building your brand and promoting yourself online won’t cost you a kobo. 

Your online profile can either get you or prevent you from getting a job, and this is why you have to be conscious of what you publish on your social media accounts. To sell yourself online to potential employers online, you’ll need to follow them on their social media platforms, contribute t industry discourse and express your opinions about industry issues. This might endear an employer to you if you’re consistent with it.

4. Get a mentor

Everyone needs to have a mentor to advance in their career.
Everyone needs to have a mentor to advance in their career.

One easy way to position yourself for growth in your career is to have a mentor. According to a career advisor, Dr Flo Falayi, ‘employees who were part of a mentoring relationship were found to have significantly higher engagement scores, more fulfilled than employees who were not’.

Having a mentor helps you to make important decisions in your career and also helps you develop yourself in any field of your interest.

5. Raise Your Professional Profile

Join a profession association to boost your profile. (madamenoire)
Join a profession association to boost your profile. (madamenoire)

Professional associations require you to invest both your time and money, but they are a good way to meet people in your industry. This is no doubt a good way to boost your professional profile.

If there's any professional body relevant to your field, it's important you join the association. You can learn from some of the experienced members of the association while you also grow in your career.