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5 Rules for a Successful Career Headstart

5 Rules for a Successful Career Headstart

August 22, 2023

Get a headstart on your career by following these five rules as a roadmap to professional success.

They have been shared by four ICMS graduates who knew what they needed to do to get to where they wanted to go. They are already on their way to career and industry success, and so can you!

Rule #1: Value your network.

Your network – your future employers or colleagues – will play a crucial role in your career development. You never know who may provide the key to unlocking future doors.

Strengthen your network by building strong and authentic relationships and connections with those who cross your path. You may not immediately see results, but investing in these relationships in the industry in which you would like to build a career can lead to valuable insights, referrals, or even job offers.

“When I was doing my ICMS internship, I was with a company called Travelzoo, and I was there for nine months during my placement.

“A year later, my former manager reached out to me asking if I wanted a job. She got me through the door for a graduate role but at the time I got another offer and am currently in that position.

“If you get to a point where people are reaching out to you for work, that’s when I think you know that your network is truly successful.”

Chris Imhoff
Studied: Bachelor of Event Management
Graduated: 2021
Current role: Account and Event Manager at Helping Hand Group – an Australasian organisation who specialise in helping to raise funds for charities, schools and other groups by providing auction services at major events.

Rule #2: Find what you love to do. Then do that for a living.

If you are passionate about your work, you are more likely to experience greater job satisfaction and be successful in your chosen industry.

What you do for a living is more fulfilling when it aligns with your talents and interests. You will be more motivated and dedicated, which leads to a higher chance of personal and professional success.

“You’re not going to be successful unless you actually do what you love.

“Try absolutely everything you can until you find what you love, not what you like, what you love. At the end of the day, once you find what you love, that’s when you’re going to be successful.”

Alana Williams
Studied: Bachelor of Business (Accounting)
Graduated: 2023
Current role: Intermediate Accountant at Peer Wealth. Alana is currently studying her Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting through Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) while working at Peer Wealth as an Intermediate Accountant.

Rule #3: If in doubt… Pivot!

“When I started studying I had no idea what I wanted to do. I’ve learned that what you think you’re going to do is going to be the complete opposite to what you actually end up doing.

“We’re in our 20s, and I am a massive advocate to go for your dreams. Just go for it.”

Calum McKnight
Studied: Bachelor of Business (Marketing)
Graduated: 2021
Current role: Founder of his own start up – Flex Media, a full-service media production company.

Rule #4: “Everything is ‘figureoutable’”

With determination and a ‘growth mindset’, you can recognise obstacles and challenges as opportunities for learning and growth.

“My advice to my younger self is to not be afraid to take risks. Everything in life that is good is challenging and its hard work.

“When I told a few of my friends and my mentors that I was going to start full-time work while I was still studying, I think everyone was a little bit worried, but I think it was a risk that I knew I had to take.

“Things don’t just fall into your lap all the time. Sometimes you have to work it. Sometimes you have to put a little bit of drive and put a little bit of yourself into it.

“’Everything is figureoutable’ is one of my sayings at the moment.”

Michaela Mayes
Studied: Bachelor of Business (Marketing)
Graduated: 2022
Current role: Senior Client Implementation Executive for NOVA Entertainment. Michaela worked fulltime in the ICMS Marketing team while still a student.

Rule #5: Get a headstart on your career while still a student

Invest time and energy into your career goals before you graduate to become an alumni on track to achieve your ambitions.

ICMS is all about helping students be successful in their personal and professional lives. From enrolment through to graduation, you will be given the tools to go from student to employed graduate.

The higher education institute, located in Northern Beaches, Sydney, NSW, and in the city of Sydney, offers a wide range of postgraduate and undergraduate degrees designed to ensure you are industry ready.

Every degree includes industry training internships (Work Integrated Learning) so you get valuable work experience on your resumé before you graduate.

Check out the ICMS Professional Development Lab, a curated spot with everything you need to make a headstart on your career, from information on WIL to jobs you can start while still a student, how to make the most of ICMS as The Professional Mentor and more.

Follow ICMS WeMentor on TikTok, your go-to platform for business tips, networking, mentorship and more.

For more information about ICMS, click here.

  • Pictured here are, from left to right, ICMS alumni Chris Imhoff, Calumn McKnight, Alana Williams and Michaela Mayes.


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