How to Find Your Power to Succeed and Become Successful

Feel like others are bagging all the job successes while you’re scraping the bottom of the graduate career barrel? Here’s something to spur you on to succeed at finding that top job and building your dream career.

There are times when your current situation or future may seem hopeless and you begin to wonder if the entire world is against you. During such periods, you may see lots of your peers and several others who are doing better and then you begin to doubt if you will ever succeed.

Cheer up!

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker.

You have whatever it takes to succeed in what you’re aiming for. Just because you haven’t achieved your goal yet, doesn’t mean you can’t or you never will.

Whether you’re a graduate who is job hunting or you already have a career and you’re wondering if you’ll ever make it to the top, don’t give up your power to succeed by assuming you don’t have any!

 “The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.” – John Scully.

See possibilities in everything you do as you experience the ups and downs of job hunting or building a successful career. How can you build a tough skin and surmount challenges if you’ve never experienced any ups and downs? Even gold has to be refined with fire to shine brighter!

“Challenges are what make life interesting, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine.

So don’t ever lose hope of finding that dream job or building a successful career. Most importantly, don’t ever lose hope of overcoming your challenges.  Go after your dreams!

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney.

Every celebrated effort you see around today started as a dream. In almost every case, it took several efforts for these dreams to become the reality you see. Look around you. The clothes you wear, shoes, cars, airplanes, ships, houses, medicine etc. They all started as someone’s dream. Someone who never gave up. Someone who failed several times and yet refused to give up.

So why should you give up?

Why should you settle for less when you have all it takes to succeed?

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison.

Keep trying. Never stop believing in yourself and in your dreams.  Failure, setbacks and rejections are mere phases and stepping stones to make you stronger. Don’t let them replace your dreams or goals.

“Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” – General George Patton.

So pick yourself up. Giving up is not the way out. Depression is not the way out. Feeling sorry for yourself is not the way out. There is only one way out; go after your dreams and goals and never stop until you achieve them. Don’t procrastinate. The future starts now!

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln.

Success is not just something that happens to other people. It can happen to you too. Successful people aren’t just lucky but they take the right action and they have a positive attitude.

And if for any reason you think it’s all over for you, don’t forget;

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”George Eliot.

See you at the top!

Getting a coach is another way to really accelerate your growth journey. Here at Graduate Coach, we offer one-to-one career coaching for students and graduates looking to kick start their careers.

How to choose a graduate career path to follow

The place most graduates begin when trying to decide on a career is with their academic qualifications, skills and talents. What can you do with these?

If your degree is in a general subject, like biology, history or English, then this may not be so obvious – which is perhaps why you’re feeling unsure. Or it may be that you did your degree with a specific career in mind but you’re now having second thoughts.

Graduates often come to me in this type of panic. After years of study, and now having graduated, they still have no idea what type of job they want to do.

It’s ok to be undecided on what graduate career path you want to follow

The first thing I tell them is, fear not. Career indecision is common for many of us. It’s normal to have second thoughts about what you’d like to do even after years of working in a job.

So, dear graduate, quit fretting. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing what you want to do. It’s early days yet. This isn’t going to make or break your career because lots of people try several jobs before finally settling for ‘the one’ – and, to be honest, rarely is there truly just one. Not nowadays. You’re a complex person, with lots of different interests, so it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that you struggle to decide which one of the many interests that make you up you want to pursue as a career.

The main thing is to make a start someplace. Don’t let career indecisiveness paralyse and make you feel miserable. Just start somewhere and trust that you’ll find the right path down the line. Here are a few suggestions to help you to do that.

Don’t think of your career path as a dead-end road

First, let me just say that if you look at choosing a career as a road that leads to other roads then you’ll be less worried about taking the wrong one. Each ‘interesting’ experience leads to another, which means your career choice is never a cul-de-sac but always through-road to somewhere else. And your direction will be determined by the experiences that interest you.

So, this is where to begin, with your strengths and interests. These will hold a clue to the kind of work you might enjoy doing, so start here. What do you enjoy doing and what are you good at?

To help you decide, seek the views of the people know you best. What do they think you’re really good at?

Aside from your strengths and weaknesses, get to know your values, soft skills and aptitudes. If you’ve a passion for saving the planet, for example, then a career that’s concerned with similar issues might suit you nicely.

What’s the future hold? 

Also think about the trends and key developments happening around you. What industry or type of jobs are there where demand is rapidly growing? Or look likely to grow in the near future? This can open up new opportunities for you.

Know what makes you tick. To do this you must engage in some serious self-reflection and analysis, and it takes time. Think about what inspires you. This will usually involve an activity where time seems to fly. Make a note of these activities, then ask yourself what it is about each item on your list that you enjoy.

Personality tests can help you work out what you might be good at. Choosing a job type will be easier if you know how you’re likely to behave in different scenarios, like working with a team, working alone or working in a pressured environment. You may be surprised by the new things you discover about yourself.

Choosing where to start

Okay, now take a look job adverts that interest you, and the skills you’ll need to do them. Note those that match the skills and interests you have. Don’t worry if you don’t have all that’s required to do those jobs as you can easily develop those later.

You’ll probably need to do a bit more probing before making a decision. To find out more information about the careers that spark your interest try to speak to people who are already working in those roles. If you don’t know anyone personally, try to join a couple of the social media groups set up to serve people in these jobs.

You should now at least have a better idea of where to start on your graduate career path.

And remember:

It’s never too late to be whatever you might have been.

George Eliot


A degree is no longer enough – Aspect County

Young people graduate into a different world from that of twenty or thirty years ago when their parents went to university. The student population has doubled since 1992 and last year UCAS reported that a record number, almost half, were accepted into university. The problem is what happens when they leave. With 78% of students now achieving a 1st or 2:1, competition for graduate level employment is rife. Which is why, according to official data by the Office of National Statistics, almost half (47%) of graduates were in non-graduate jobs two years later.
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How we help

One-to-One Coaching: Stage 1 and Stage 2

If you’re a student or graduate our one-to-one coaching can help. Stage one: Learning about yourself – Find your ideal career will help you learn about yourself, give you a better understanding of your preferences, strengths and skills and help you find your ideal career. Stage two: Career plan develops your career plan to reach your goals, what skills do you have and what do you need, establishes your current level on the 9 employability skills, discussions around what career options will suit you, what industries are growing / failing, Internships and work experience needed.

The Student Book & The Graduate Book: Get (& Thrive In) The Job You Really Want

Chris Davies is the author of The Student Book, All you need to know to get the job you really want and The Graduate Book, All you need to know to do really well at work. The Student book introduces the 9 Employability Skills, how and where to acquire them, ways to develop them, how to prove you have these skills, how to create a CV that highlights your achievements and things to consider before and during an interview.

Nail That Interview Course with Chris Davies

Nail That Interview Online Course will teach you everything you need for interview success. Module 1 – I CAN do the job – contains the Graduate Coach Skills Audit and the 9 Employability Skills.


The full career coaching programme with Chris Davies | Interview training

Creating a career action plan | Developing career goals

Help to get a graduate job | Graduate interview coaching

Tell me about yourself | Self introductions

Interview advice for people who hate interviews

We all love a good interview, don’t we? Actually, no. Some people positively hate them. Whether you’re sat before one or a panel, interviews can be stressful.

A dry mouth, sudden amnesia and sweaty palms are all emotions you can experience as interview nerves get the better of you. Despite the advice, you may find out there, there is no panacea for interview jitters but practice. Going to the interview is the only way to the job you want, and the only way to get better at them. So, roll up your sleeves, and let’s face and conquer your hatred of interviews with these handy tips.

No. 1 Practice interviewing

Why are you feeling nervous ahead of your interview? It’s likely because you really want the job. What if you perform badly? What if you don’t get the job? The stakes are high so you’re feeling nervous. But interviews really are one of those things that you get better at, and more comfortable with, the more you do it.

So, tackling your nerves by arranging interviews for jobs that you don’t feel so strongly about can be a good idea. You get the interview practice without feeling panicked over the outcome.

No. 2 Breathe before and during your interview

Using relaxation techniques can help you to overcome nervousness, beat stress and perform better at your job interview. Controlling the way you breathe can be extremely effective. You’ll feel the benefits quickly, too. Try this: breathe in to a count of four and out to a count three. Do this before and during the interview. Be warned. Breathing too quickly can have the opposite effect, so remember: sl-ow-ly.

No. 3 Prepare before your interview

If you’re unprepared or late for your interview this will only add to your nervousness. So, plan well ahead. Research train and bus timetables and factor in extra travel time in case of delays. Decide what you’re going to wear no later than the night before. Make sure your clothing is clean and ironed and shoes polished. Keep to hand anything you need to take along with you, such as a copy of your CV, certificates, letters of recommendations, or portfolio of work you want to show.

If you hate interviews and hate preparing from them, you’ll benefit from some interview coaching. Whether you have a video interview, group interview or face-to-face interview, we can help you.

Key takeaway: If you hate interviews, allocate extra time for your preparation. The more confident you are in your interview technique the less daunting the experience will be.

No. 4 Fake interview confidence until you become interview confident

Acting confident can actually help you feel more confident. Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk shows that when people feel powerful and confident they adopt positions that take up more space.

A bit like the winning athlete shoots his or her arms up in the air upon crossing the finishing line. People who lack confidence do the opposite: they make themselves small. In Amy’s research, interview candidates who adopted postures that mimic positions of power actually changed the way they felt inside.

These candidates then came across more positively during their interviews. Of course, you can’t adopt the same posture as Usain Bolt during an interview, but you can do the following: First, before the interview, find a private space (like in the gents or ladies) and adopt your winning position there. Yes, you may feel silly but just do it.

Raise your hands high in the air above your heads and smile. Next, while waiting to be called into the interview room, don’t slouch. Sit upright. And finally, during the interview, smile, hold your head high and uncross your arms. 

Read: 13 things you can do to restore your confidence after a failed interview.

No. 5 Anticipate and practice common interview questions

Common interview questions include: ‘Tell me about yourself’, ‘Why do you want this job?’, ‘What can you bring to the position?’, and ‘What are your strengths and weaknesses?’ There are others (which you can easily find by searching online) but this is a good place to begin. Familiarise yourself with them and then try writing out your answers over and over until you retain them in your mind. You can also try recording your answers and listening back to them.

No. 6 Imagine yourself doing great at the interview

People who hate interviews often feel so because they’re not comfortable being the centre of attention with one or more people asking them questions. Several things are going through their minds while they’re trying hard to focus. It can feel like you’re being interrogated or judged. You can help yourself by imagining yourself in the interview room. See yourself smiling, sitting in your power posture, and replying to the interview questions with confidence. Imagine yourself feeling calm. The more vivid the better. Your brain will retain this memory and help you to perform in a similar way during the real interview.

12 Super practical steps you can take to stop stress from stalling your graduate career

Every workplace has its fair share of stress. So too does every job position, in varying degrees, of course. Since you can’t avoid stress, you must learn how to manage it, particularly if you want to get ahead in your graduate career.

Why is this important? Because if handled badly, stress will limit your ability to develop the key competencies employers look for and that you need to get ahead – for example, your problem-solving skills, resilience, can-do attitude, communication skills, self-management and organisation skills will all be compromised.

Not only can stress adversely affect your career chances but it can also play havoc with your health, which is far worse. So here are 12 super practical steps you can take to stop stress from stalling your graduate career: 

  1. Surround yourself with positive thinkers.

People who complain and moan continually sap your energy and can influence you to become just like them if you start to agree with their views. Remember, we build empathy with one another by mirroring what’s going on inside their heads. So, when someone retells a story about some stressful event, we experience the same anticipation, anxieties, and fear as if it happened to us. Steer clear of people who regularly offload their own stress on top of yours.

  1. Create a routine that helps you get the most important work done first.

One of the things that can make you feel like you’re losing control is having too many undone tasks piling up, that’s why you need to prioritise your work. if you don’t, you’ll be active for sure, but you’ll not accomplish the right things. instead, do the most important and urgent things first and then tackle everything else. There’s a difference between being efficient and being effective.

  1. Be honest about how much time a task will take. 

Time management is a big topic in itself, but one practice that will make a difference to your stress levels is to manage how much time you allocate to getting stuff done. Don’t write lengthy to-do lists when you know deep down that you aren’t going to complete everything on that list in an hour, a day, or a week. You’ll feel ten times better if you aim to do 3 things and complete them than ten and complete only 3. Biting off more than you can chew will only choke you.

  1. Be organised.

Use a diary to make a note of things you need to remember. You can also use the scheduling reminders on software like Outlook to help stay abreast of dates, meetings and other important events you don’t want to miss. Missed appointments or always running late will only add to your sense of being out of control and therefore feeling stressed.

  1. Set small goals.

When I say this I don’t mean that you shouldn’t have big goals. I mean you should also have short-term and daily goals to accomplish the things you want to do. You can accomplish this by breaking down big goals into small steps or milestones. As you complete each goal you’ll create a better sense of accomplishment for yourself, rather than trying to tackle long-term or big goals that forever seem to be far off into the future.

  1. Take breaks at the right time.

The average duration of time our brains can concentrate on taxing tasks such as looking at spreadsheets, doing calculations or reading complex information is about 20 minutes. Willpower will eventually run out if you run yourself tired. Instead, schedule breaks – and they don’t all have to involve you sitting there humming and meditating: even a change from an arduous to a less taxing task can help. You’ll focus a lot better and work more efficiently if you take regular breaks to recharge your batteries.

  1. Leave the last hour or so of the work day for less weighty work.

This will help you to prepare to wind down for the day and to relax. Doing something creative or planning for the next day are perfect examples. You’ll then find it easier to switch off and to rest later on, which both your mind and body need to do to repair. Besides, how nice to look forward to doing the stuff you like best at the end of the day after you’ve done the hard graft? It’s like rewarding yourself.

  1. Be kind to others.

How can being kind to others help you to feel less stressed? Because kindness is contagious and the seed of happiness. People will remember how you made them feel long after they’ve forgotten what you did, and they will want to reciprocate. This cycle of generosity and happiness will keep making you feel good simply because the people you are nice to feel happy.

  1. Watch the words you speak to yourself.

‘I’m such an idiot’, ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I’m going to fail’, and other words and phrases that beat you down won’t help you. Instead, treat yourself like a friend you like and are advising. If you do this you’ll likely use words that make your friend feel energised, encouraged and valued. These words create positive emotions that will then guide your behaviour and actions in equally positive ways. 

  1. Understand your emotions.

What sort of patterns of emotions do you find yourself feeling? How do they influence your thoughts and behaviour? If you get to know your triggers before they begin to dampen your mood and cause you to feel like the world is falling apart then you can act to stop things escalating. You cannot prevent tough events from coming your way but you can control how you respond to them and, therefore, the way they affect you.

  1. Don’t play the martyr.

Forget trying to be self-reliant. You don’t have all the answers or skills to do everything by yourself, and knowing this is the first step to admitting it. Seeking help from others isn’t the only way you’re going to grow but it sure is the fastest and smartest. Build up useful networks and contacts with people that can help you. Pick the brains of your colleagues and managers. People generally like to be asked for their help.

  1. Take a deep breath.

Whenever you find yourself losing your cool and feeling hot under the collar, breathe in deeply and exhale slowly. This will have the effect of calming your nerves by reducing heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. Besides, it helps you to avoid reacting to things before you’ve given yourself time to think.

And there you have it – 12 Super practical steps you can take to stop stress from stalling your graduate career. Unfortunately, stress can make you less competent and, needless to say (but I shall say it anyway), you need the competence to succeed in your career. Since no workplace exists in the world where there is no stress, you must learn how to manage it. You’ll then be able to think more clearly, act more wisely and to grow in ways that help you fulfil your graduate career goals.