Have you ever wonder how some people just seem to be served countless of awesome opportunities without putting much effort into it? Have you found yourself thinking about what they do different? Are they just lucky?
Let us tell you a few things we’ve learned about this
First of all, that’s life! It’s not fair and never will be. You just need to remember that we all have our own stories to tell, battles to fight and victories to win. We’re all different and have different unique skills and talent (keep this last sentence in mind for a bit).
Secondly, a tipping point does exist (but is never granted). That tipping point is where you have proven yourself enough and gotten enough experience for the opportunities you want to almost automatically come your way.
As a student, that tipping point is normally pretty far away. BUT, when you’re a student it’s the best time to aim for that tipping point! The closer you get to reaching it and the sooner you do it, the better your chances are of becoming one of those people mentioned in the beginning who get heaps of offers.
How do you reach the tipping point?
We’ve decided to share the 8 steps that we take all our Upbeaters through. This will hopefully help you as a student lay the foundation to how you can successfully come closer to reaching the opportunity tipping point. It’s not rocket science, but a recipe that we’ve found successful:
Show passion, drive & curiosity
One of the major assets you have as a student is your fresh, naive, and undivided belief in your own abilities. You know o(r think you know) what works in your area of studies and what needs to be changed (probably more of the latter), and as soon as you’re done with school you’re gonna fix that. Use this passion and drive to your advantage! When you believe in something you give it 100% which is already a great start to reach success. But make sure you find a balance. You don’t want to seem arrogant. Instead, be curious and open minded. Show a curiosity to learn and to grow as a person.
You might be the smartest or most talented person in the world, but how does that help if no one knows about it? It doesn’t! Don’t just talk, start doing stuff. And when we say “stuff”, we really mean anything. Because doing something will at least give you experiences and learnings that you will never gain otherwise. It might be that you do something for yourself, an own project or similar, or that you help someone else. It really doesn’t matter. BUT, if you decide to help someone else, never see it as you’re working for FREE for them. See it as an investment in your future – now you have something real to show so that people can finally understand what you can do.
Most people are afraid of being specific about their skills and abilities because they think it’ll limit their options. While it might be true in a few cases, we guarantee that you’ll be more valuable if you’re an expert in something(s), rather than know a little about everything. You can compare it to product development where key is to focus on one thing and to do that thing extremely well. If you succeed, people who need what you’re creating will buy it.
Employers act the same way. If they need your skill(s) they will come to you. Your job here is to focus on the skill(s) you want to be hired for, and to master those skills really well. Remember that we’re all different – this way you will stand out and make it easier for the people looking for your unique talent to find you.
Tips: Your other skills will be a bonus you can impress with you’ve gotten their interest.
See how we choose 3 skills to feature for our Upbeaters.
Make it real
Academic learnings are great for building a foundation that you can rest upon when you enter the professional world. But it’s not until you activate the theoretical skills you’ve learned that they become valuable. You need to be able to show that you can use the acquired knowledge to your advantage by applying it. The best way to do this is by taking on a relevant internship or project where you’ll be able to show that you actually master the practice of the skills mentioned in your transcript. Once you can show a proof of this, people looking to work with you to will find it much easier to trust your ability to deliver.
Be prepared & always be one step ahead
Imagine that you’ve succeeded to score an interview with your dream employer. In the interview they ask you; “If we could give you the opportunity of your dreams, what would that be?”. Many people panic when this question comes up since the amount of options out there today are soo many. But time changes and the positive side of this is that you don’t need to see the answer to this question as a decision that you have to live the rest of your life with (if you don’t want to). In 2, 5, or 10 years, your answer might be different and that’s OK. And the question is really what you want NOW – and you should have an answer ready! We promise that knowing the answer to this question will also make it much easier for you to know what your next step should be.
Get someone to talk about you
This is probably our best and most unique tip: Find someone in your network who can talk for you and who has the leverage to do so! It can be a mentor, professional coach, teacher, an organization, a manager, colleague or agency… it doesn’t really matter as long as they know you well. You have to be able to be clear and honest with them (and yourself); what’s your current skill set, what skills do you want to develop, what’s your dream career, etc. And they have to have an interest in trying to help you reach your dreams.
Having someone else to vouch for you is the reason people with recommendations, a graduation from a prestige university, or working experience from Google or Apple, get the offers first. They have a trusted source to vouch for their abilities. If you can get a trusted source to talk about you, you’re half way in!
In addition to getting people to talk about you, it’s always a great idea to build and nurture a strong network. Your network should include people you think could support you to reach your next career step in some way. But don’t be too picky, you never know who can open doors to what in the future. Important to note is also that you don’t want to act demanding or desperate. When time is right, you activate your network. In the meantime, you want to try to become friends with the people you meet, or at least build a meaningful relationship. A quantitative network is much more valuable than a quantitative. How do you become friends with them? Give, don’t take!
When one door closes, look for another to open
We cannot stress this enough. If something doesn’t work out, let it go! It’s one of the toughest lesson in life to take a NO, especially when we really want something. But if what we want doesn’t want us, it’s not a match (it takes two to tango). We’re not saying that you should let go of your dream! We’re just saying that you shouldn’t take a No personally. It might not be a match (and it might never be), in that case it’s better to know as soon as possible. OR, it’s just not the right timing. Maybe you need to gain some more experience, knowledge, connections etc., or they might not be ready for you. It’s almost never personal, it’s just not a match. So remember, when one door closes another always opens. Be open to look for it.
Will this help me succeed?
While we can’t promise you anything, we’ve witnessed the success of this so many times first hand that we now dare to call it a standard at Upbeater. Time after time we get new proof how important these things are if you want to succeed. We’ve for example previously talked about Upbeaters who have succeeded to get their internships or projects, leading up to dream hires.
Now we’d love for you to give it a shot and let us know if it works for you! Aim for the Opportunity Tipping Point by follow these steps & you’re one step closer to your dream:
- Show passion, drive & curiosity
- Do stuff
- Be specific
- Make it real
- Be prepared & always be one step ahead
- Get someone to talk about you
- Make friends
- When one door closes, look for another to open
Feel free to reach out to us with any comments, questions or input!
And if you’re a talented student and want us to be your supporter to reaching the opportunity tipping point, submit your application to Become an Upbeater here.