Academically Brilliant, Business Shy – How to Bridge the Gap
So you’re on the Finals straight? Plain sailing come June? Or somewhere in amongst the revision and the late-night dates with the library instead of the Student’s Union are you starting to hear a little voice of panic? Hard work and academic results have been the order of the day for as long as you remember. But is that going to be enough once you’ve flung your mortarboard in the air and you’re no longer in the world of academia but the lifelong world of work?
It’s panic- inducing stuff. With diligence, swotting, and academic aptitude you’ve made it this far. But suddenly you’re sensing a shift of the goalposts. Someone’s changing the game. You’ve understood the rules to success so far, but what if you don’t know them for the future? And it’s a very real problem.
The UK is considered top of the world when it comes to academic excellence: we have a strong tradition of the being the best of the best when it comes to our academic certifications. However, there’s a big gap between that and our graduates’ employability readiness. Looking at the Global Employability University Ranking (link: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/should-uk-universities-be-doing-more-produce-work-ready-graduates) makes for scary reading. We’re just not faring so well on getting our graduates business-ready. University links with business and industry are strong, but nothing like strong enough.
Add in to this our natural human inclination to be a tad reluctant about change, and you’d be right in starting to have a little panic about the jump you’ve got to make later this year. How do you bridge the gap between being academically brilliant and business shy? How do you hit the ground running, with confidence, stand out, and understand a business when up until now your mainstay has been the lecture theatre? Aren’t you about to hit a culture-shock that is equivalent to rocking up in the depths of the Amazon with a battered back-pack in your gap year?
Rule #1 – Don’t Panic – You Have Transferrable Skills
You didn’t get this far by accident. You have the aptitude to make a success of your career and to be successful in business, we just might need to identify and hone those skills. In order to be ahead of the game however, you need to know how to accelerate your business mind set and skills so that you stand out from the crowd and become a valuable employee to your new employer in the shortest time possible.
You Need to Understand What You’re Lacking
Sounds simple enough, right? But you don’t know what you don’t know. How can employers expect a green graduate to understand the world of business and commerce when their exposure is going to have been limited to a work placement at best? So first off you need to know your limitations and employer’s expectations.
We’re talking learning how businesses think and behave, developing a business mind set and becoming an asset fast. We talking about getting to truly understand yourself – your values, your aptitude, your communication style – so that you can be the best business asset you can be. We’re talking understanding commercial preferences and understanding corporate expectations.
Have a look at that list again. This isn’t text book stuff. We’re talking soft skills, personality, “pizzazz!”. We’re talking the not-so-easy-to-define qualities that make or break a graduate in their first job, or worse, when you’re sat facing an interview panel.
Business leaders are forever telling us, it’s not so much about the academics as the aptitude. As a head of HR reported to the Independent (link: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/business/news/students-must-prepare-early-to-succeed-in-tough-graduate-job-market), workplace readiness is about “cultivating the right sort of attitude on top of your academic qualifications”.
You can’t study for these skills, they can’t be found in a trip to the library, or practised via Google. So how do you get them?
You’ve Identified Them, That’s the First Step
Accepting there’s a gap in your learning, or in this case your readiness for work, is the first step to plugging it. Knowing that you want to add value and accelerate your career puts you on the starting block. Next is tapping in to resources and a knowledge and skill base that can be a little elusive. That’s where investing a week in your future makes sound sense. Let’s face it, once those exams are done, you’ve easily got a week to spare. A week that will put you ahead of the graduate pile, ahead of the competition, but more importantly, give you the chance to match your academic excellence with business excellence, instead of a sense of inferiority staring down the experience guns of people thirty years your senior.
Flying Start Banishes your Business Shyness
Goodbye lectures and Hello to active, engaging, task-orientated learning . Hello to your future. By investing a week in your future you get to learn all manner of business aptitude and skills. You get to learn presentation skills (and not just those intended to stop your mates falling asleep in a seminar); you get to understand and practice verbal briefing; you get to understand how to run a meeting, business style; how to negotiate; how to run a budget; how to project manage in the world of work. Skills include pitching, interview techniques as well as taking a brief and objective setting. Real. Life. Business. Skills.
In the midst of it you get psychometric profiling so that you can fundamentally understand yourself, your style, your communication, your strengths, within the context of business values. This gives you the confidence to stand on your own two feet, knowing how you will fit in to the jigsaw puzzle that is a business workplace, rather than suddenly discovering you are a square peg in a round hole.
It Gets Better
Really, it does. Taking the first step to a Flying Start truly gives you the confidence and network to accelerate a career in business. We’ve got the collective experience to give you the edge. And, even better, if you get on the bandwagon early, you get to experience a Flying Start course at a fraction of our future cost. Saving 80%, and investing a week in your future, you can’t go wrong. Come spend a week in the thriving business heart of London in June and bridge that gap, banish the business shyness, and get business ready.