What do I know already?
Have you ever had a part–time job, volunteered to help an organization or been a member of a club or society inside or outside of university? If so then you will have a useful starting point from which you can reflect on your experience(s) so far.
Think of an organization/company/club/society you have been involved with in a paid or voluntary capacity and ask yourself the following questions.
· What products or services does this organization provide?
· Who are these products/services targeted at?
· How does this range of products, or level of service, compare with that provided by other similar organisations?
· How is this organization structured?
· How does this organisation see itself? What is its ethos/culture? (eg industry leader; work hard/ play hard approach; democratic style, family friendly policies.)
· What are they key issues facing this organisation and other organizations in this sector?
· How is this organisation affected by external factors (eg the state of the economy and the current political context?)
· What have you discovered about the career opportunities offered by this organisation?
If you can answer these questions, you already have some business awareness. Finding answers to questions like these helps you to develop your business awareness.
Assessing your general level of business awareness
Below are some questions to think about which will help you to decide if you need to develop your general business awareness:
· What is a business?
· What is the difference between a sole trader, partnership, private limited company, franchise & public limited company?
· What factors impact on business cash flow? And how can you define profit?
· What are the main differences between public and private sector organisations?
· How does a business attract and keep customers?
· How can a business differentiate itself from its competitors and gain a competitive advantage?
· How can a business build and maintain its reputation?
· How can good relationships be maintained with customers, employees and suppliers?
· How has business responded to globalisation?
· Why are businesses concerned about their social responsibility image?
· What impact is the state of the economy likely to have on business decisions?
· What impact might the political environment have on businesses?
Consider checking out various company websites to see what the similarities and differences are.
To your job search success.
P.S. If you would like help with your resume, cover letter or interview tips, contact me.
P.P.S. Check out this article from Careerrealism