Do you want a career in business but aren’t sure how to get started? For many eager students and career changers, the idea of taking a job in the wide-open field of business operations is a major decision. The first step is to choose an industry that interests you. This narrowing down process is necessary to help you focus on a more specific career path.
After you have a basic plan of attack down on paper, move on to the next phase, which is deciding whether to earn a degree and figuring out how to pay for it. Whether school is in your future or not, it’s imperative to acquire basic skills for long-term success as an entrepreneur or employee. Another vital step is gaining as much experience as possible, building a professional network, developing a top-notch resume, and learning how to speak in front of small groups. Here’s a roadmap for launching your business career.
Choose an Industry
Consider the kinds of industries that appeal to you. Also, think long and hard about whether you’d prefer to work as a solo practitioner or as an employee for a corporation. There are plenty of choices, including manufacturing, financial services, general sales, professional services like consulting or IT support, e-commerce, retail, and many more. You should also think about if you prefer remote work, hybrid solutions, or in-person professions. Just the same as some people know how to make remote work fun, there are those who know up front they won’t find success in fully virtual settings.
Earning and Financing a Degree
You don’t need a four-year or graduate degree to succeed in the business world, but it helps. Not only does school teach you all the essential skills necessary for success, but you get the chance to network, gain real-world experience during internships, and earn a credential that will open doors for the rest of your life. Nearly every degree candidate needs financial help of some kind to pay for the high cost of college. The smartest, most practical way to deal with the money question is to apply for a student loan. Not only are student loans a cost-efficient solution, you can apply online and get all the information you need from those who specialize in assisting students who need to cover education-related expenses.
Learn the Five Basics
The world of modern commerce is about marketing, management, finance (which includes basic accounting), computer technology, and legal issues. Whether you attend college, grad school, or study on your own, those five topics make up the core of the skills and knowledge you need. Consider taking a few no-cost online tutorials in each of those categories. Exploring the general topics is a good way to find a career path that appeals to your interests and natural abilities.
Acquire Relevant Experience
There are dozens of excellent ways to add relevant experience to your resume. Consider taking summer jobs in the field of your choice, running a small e-commerce store while still in school, signing up for paid or non-paid internships, volunteering with local social service agencies, or working part-time for a large corporation.
Don’t Neglect Networking, Resumes, and Speaking Skills
Build a professional network even if your current list only has one or two names on it. You’ve got to start somewhere, and now is the best time. Revise your resume and bring it up to date. Consider joining a group that teaches public-speaking skills. Part of your future career will entail making presentations to small groups, so it’s best to hone those skills as early as possible.
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