As an IT Consultant with over 20years experience, when I look back, there are some things that may have enhanced my career and opportunities that I know now but wish I knew before I graduated from university.

I believe sharing some points here may assist those still in college/university, or new graduates to prepare themselves for life outside the academic environment.

Interview Techniques

Before I left uni, I did not know anything about interview techniques such as body language, communication skills, how to answer interview questions, what I need to know about the company I’ve applied to and many other things.

As I was not interviewed for my first job, I didn’t need to go through the rigor of applying for jobs, it was after I wanted to change jobs, that I realised that my interview techniques needed improving.
After many failed interviews I was able to learn some techniques and figure out what interviewers are looking for in soft and technical skills. If you would like to know more, my wife delivered a seminar through “The Ladderbackdown” titled Interview skills for five job offers in five days’ , you can view this on the ladderbackdown youtube channel. INTERVIEW SKILLS FOR FIVE JOB OFFERS IN FIVE DAYS


When I was in uni, I was not involved in any networking activities, just going from my room to lectures, to the library and fellowship.
There were no other social engagements or networking with only departmental meetings with the same people we attended lectures with. During my time we had very few networking and professional apps besides Yahoo and Instant messenger.

Today, there are many professional bodies for various disciplines; you just need to find out about them, get connected and start networking; someone might give you info to get into theur company, department or another team.

One example of a professional networking app is LinkedIn. Visit LinkedIn to create an account and start networking, by contributing and sharing relevant posts.

Learn Additional Language(s)

I applied to one of the big oil companies back then, scaled through various stages but at the end I was asked what other language I can speak apart from English, I replied to the interviewer, my native language. There are many global languages such as French, Spanish, etc that you can learn to give yourself an edge.

Get Professional Qualification(s)/Certification(s)

By the time I finished Uni, I did not have any professional qualifications or belong to any professional bodies. No professional qualifications can automatically get you a job, but it can help one to stand out and get an interview.

Time Management

When I was in uni, I gave more time to some courses and not enough time to others. This meant having to spend extra time or sleepless nights to catch up with those courses which would not have been the case if I had planned my time well. Time management is the ability to plan and control the amount of time spent on a specific task.


During my time, there were no activities such as putting people into a group for a project, you were assigned your project to deal with it alone. In a workplace today, you will have colleagues in a team or be drafted into a project team, and therefore should be able to communicate and listen in the most effective way to ensure teamwork.

Workplace Ethics or Culture

Workplace ethics or culture were non-existent considerations when I graduated.
Things like how to treat co-workers of differing faiths, religions, people with disabilities, etc. weren’t thought of.

In conclusion, the world is changing fast and to remain relevant we need to keep adding value to ourselves and keep networking to make a headway in our careers and businesses.