Find out from the perspective of our graduate digital marketer Ricardo on how you can successfully integrate graduates into your organization.
– 7 mins read –
Life After Graduation
Finishing university can be a very scary moment for many graduates. The pressure of needing to find work is stressful. The prospect of leaving a familiar and structured learning environment is daunting. And it can be exhausting and time consuming searching for a graduate- or entry-level role related to your studies.
I remember how it was for me. I was in the final year of my marketing degree when COVID was still in its early days. National lockdowns had begun and many organizations were making people redundant – people who I was now competing against in the job market. Faced with this additional competition and the uncertainty of the pandemic, I really believed there was no hope of me landing a graduate role.
After many rejections, I started to be more proactive and resourceful. I looked within my connections for any roles that may give me the platform I needed to get into the marketing industry. And this is where my story with Performance Consultants started. They gave me a role within their Digital Product team, with the promise that I could also work on some marketing projects.
My time with the Digital Product team was very valuable. I learnt many skills and acquired many attributes that I did not know I had. Most importantly, although working remotely, I started to integrate into the company culture, understand what an interdependent team was all about and what it meant to believe in people’s potential. I felt I was part of something special and unique which could make a positive impact on the world.
I wanted to make an even bigger impact from a marketing perspective. Performance Consultants believed in my ability, my willingness to learn and the potential I had to succeed in marketing. By the time I achieved my goal of a full-time marketing role, I was already immersed in the coaching culture, values and unique ways of working. In the relatively new world of remote work, being integrated in the organization’s culture was a massive benefit to me and to the Marketing team who I joined.
What Working Culture Best Supports the Integration of Graduates?
So, what do organizations need in place to integrate graduates in their working cultures?
Here is what I had that allowed me to thrive as a graduate at Performance Consultants.
Adopt a Performance, Learning & Enjoyment Culture
What’s important for any graduate is the guarantee that there will opportunity to keep learning. I voiced this to my line manager and over time we acknowledged that when we were learning we were both enjoying our jobs as well as performing to the highest level.
Performance Consultants introduced me to the Performance, Learning & Enjoyment created by Tim Gallwey, founder of the Inner Game. Gallwey says that “If individuals aren’t learning, their performance will decline over time; if their predominant experience of work is boredom or stress, both learning and performance will suffer”. These three results can be represented in a mutually supportive Work Triangle, with performance at the apex, and enjoyment and learning at the base angles. In my working relationship with my line manager, it was established that learning is what fuels me to enjoy my job as well as perform and deliver results.
An organization’s definition of performance needs to include the employee’s enjoyment and their learning, not just what they are achieving. In this way, we involve and see everyone as an individual and the organization becomes a place for growth, learning and enjoyment. This is exactly what organizations need to do with graduates so they can thrive like I did.
Interdependency within the team and organization is what allowed me to thrive and perform at my very best. In this culture I felt that we were working to a common goal and purpose, not just in the Marketing team but also the wider team.
Furthermore, I felt empowered by the team as I was given a platform to grow and fulfil my potential. Not having experience in marketing, the organization were patient in my development as a marketing professional. What was amazing is, even though I did not possess all the answers and nor did they, they trusted me to try and find them and supported me to do so through my peers coaching me. This was a key pivot and realization that a coaching culture is the perfect culture for graduates to grow, learn and develop. They took me out of my “comfort zone” and allowed me to tap into my full potential.
By raising my awareness to what I wanted to achieve, it enabled me to generate responsibility. To get the best of your people, you must really believe the best is there. All graduates really want is to prove themselves to you and your workforce and fulfil their potential.
Tips For Graduates
DON’T GIVE UP! Show the willingness to learn and keep up to date in your field. Be proactive in finding opportunities by exploring connections you may know. Even if it means you don’t start where you wanted to be. If you work hard and show all the attributes of a great team member, you will get to where you want to!
Tips for Leaders and Organizations
Give graduates a chance, they won’t let you down. If a leader does not believe that people possess more capability than they are currently expressing, they will not be able to help them. Leaders and organizations must think of people in terms of their potential, not their past performance or, in the case of graduates, their lack of job experience.
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