Part 3 Post-Game: Do you work hard and play hard?

I have always enjoyed the comparison between sport and business, so in this career success series of three articles for graduates, I share my practical #IfIWere22 game time advice.   So here it goes this is what I would tell my 22 year old self; 5 Ways to Play ALL-IN, @ Game Time. [If you missed Part 1, Pre-Game: “The Critical 3 Hours Prior to Game time” and Part 2, Game-time: Become the Go To Person, you can read them at Deborah’s Blog ]

This might be better titled ‘work smart and play smarter’. I fully believe your work to live, not live to work. When getting started after graduation you need to establish a solid paying position so you can afford the lifestyle you want to live. Now is the time to establish some benchmarks for yourself. A lot of this work comes after hours (post-game).

1. Your New Grad brand: If you have accepted PT employment just to get some income going; or if you have taken on more hours with your job that got you through school … you need to use some of your post-game (after hours) continuing your search for the right career … how?

– Make sure your LinkedIn Profile is forward looking. Make sure it describes the career you are seeking. It isn’t ‘just a resume’. Test how well your profile is working for you by the types of suggested job opportunities LinkedIn is presenting you with, ‘do they represent the type of full-time career you are seeking?’ If not, you need to reconsider the keywords being used in your profile and summary.

– Make sure you have a good response to: ‘so, what are you up to now?’ If you aren’t in the position you were hoping to have after graduation, be prepared with a statement that tells person what you are looking for. Give everyone you meet the ammunition needed to become part of your employment seeking network.

– You have one year after graduation that you can take advantage of the ‘new graduate’ brand from your university or college. Take full advantage of that brand – do your alumni networking, take advantage of the career office and faculty networks.

2. Play Hard (Smart): Suddenly, every waking hour doesn’t need to be spent reading or studying. This is your life after graduation, perhaps you have moved to a new region. Start building your social network. If you have been involved in sports, you might consider coaching a young team in your new location – no better way to meet young parents, just that one step ahead of you to grow your network. These young athletic parents will have connections to sports leagues, other social activities that will help you adapt to your new region.

3. More Sleep and More Exercise: No time better than the present to get caught up on your sleep. Good sleep habits will keep you fresh and ready for your work day routine. Reconsider your exercise routines. Do whatever you can to get outside after work?

4. Eat, Drink and be Merry, in moderation: Some people say a new friend is someone you often meet at work but have inter-action with in at least three different settings. Let me explain. You meet someone you like at work. (interaction 1; work colleague); you go for an after-work drink or dinner (interaction 2; supportive colleague); you spend time at your apartment or attend a social outing of some kind (interaction 3; friend). I’m all for making friends with the people you work with, I still have close friends from my very first full time position. My caution to you is beware of social habits if they include drinking after work, especially if it becomes on a regular basis. If this is the case you need to broaden your circle of friends beyond your work buddies. My rule has always been ‘anything in moderation’.

5. Continue Investing in Yourself (Time and Money): Every time I have made a major investment in myself, it has catapult my career to the next level. What do you need to do next to move your career forward to the next level?   Here is my list of 7 Key Success Factors for Graduates:

  • Work on your success mindset (what does success look like for you?)
  • Work on your authentic mindset (make sure your work is true to who you are).
  • Work on your money mindset (grow lean, but own your worth in the marketplace).
  • Know your customer, colleagues (essential you like the types of people you spend your career with clients/colleagues).
  • Know your Product (that’s you; know your most marketable traits).
  • Build your connector mindset (get everyone you meet networking for you).
  • Learn through action (set some goals for yourself; live your plan). 


 I would be more than happy to send you my ‘infoGraphic’ of these 7 Key Success Factors for Graduates. Click here to get instant access to this new infographic.

Follow Deborah Clarke to get all three articles in this 3-part #IfIWere22 Career Success Series: 5 Ways to Play ALL-IN

e-course-graphicDeborah Clarke is a virtual career coach, and author of an online career success program that helps recent graduates find career clarity and confidence to own their worth in the marketplace. “Discover 7 Key Success Factors to Personally Kick-Start Your Life and Career After Graduation” has helped students to earn up to 10X cost of the program in increased starting salaries. (