The week I joined Grant Thornton I travelled down to Windsor to attend ‘Talent 12.5’, a mini version of the ‘Talent’ induction event that is held for new trainees when they join. This event was held alongside the ‘Unleashing Your Potential’ event mentioned in Nick’s introduction.
The ‘top tip’ that most resonated with me was ‘Be Persistent and Don’t Rush’. This advice has been particularly apt for me as I have had to be patient and persistent in searching for the right career path, something I found after joining Grant Thornton back in January.
I graduated (way back) in 2009 from University of Birmingham and left University not certain of what my next step was. What I did know was that I wanted to start earning some money and wanted to go into a graduate role with an opportunity to develop a career. However…this sounded a lot easier in my mind than it was in reality. I applied for a range of graduate jobs across a variety of sectors and after a couple of months with no success I realised I needed to alter my approach and not to try and rush. I began to look at non-graduate roles in companies that would offer an opportunity to gain experience and build a range of skills that would make me more employable.
After securing a role in Customer Service at a local Housing Association I learnt how important being persistent and not rushing is. Having graduated from University I was naïve and felt that I should be taking on lots of responsibility from early on. However, I soon realised that I had lots to learn about dealing with customers both over the phone and face-to-face. Looking back these are now invaluable skills that have enabled me to develop the career I have so far and show how important it is not to rush when learning the basics.
Although I enjoyed working at the Housing Association and was learning important skills I always knew that I wanted to develop my career in a graduate role. This led to me beginning to be more focussed in my applications and ensuring that I took my time over the research and completion of applications. I noticed this paying dividends immediately with my applications getting past the first stage more regularly. This is one key piece of advice I will give, take time over your applications and don’t rush through them as employers will notice this. Being patient, doing your research and knowing why you want that role will make your application much better.
Now my applications were getting through the next step was interviews. Before getting my offer from Grant Thornton I must have had about 10 interviews/assessment centres that were ultimately unsuccessful. It was following these unsuccessful applications that I had to remain positive and continue to be persistent. I made sure that I got feedback and learnt lessons from all of these experiences. By being persistent and not rushing I was finally in a position to combine all these lessons I had learnt and successfully secure my role at Grant Thornton.
With the cost of University being as high as it is now there is no doubt that graduates will feel that they need to go straight into a graduate role in order to develop a career. My experience has shown that by being persistent and not rushing, even if you don’t get a graduate job immediately it does not mean there will not be a future opportunity for you.
As always, if you have any questions you can find me on Twitter @GT_JonathanM. Follow me and ask any questions!