Why Being Nice in College Pays Off

20 Feb

Many college students have trouble deciding on a major, so when it comes to choosing a career, a lot of uncertainty exists. However, the way you behave around your classmates at school can actually get rid of a lot of the uncertainty. When the time comes to find a job after graduating or an internship for the summer, one of the surest paths to success is through networking. People are more likely to hire or interview someone based on a recommendation from a trusted source than any other method because we prefer a sure-thing to an unknown entity. So how does this relate to being nice around strangers?

While many people believe you need a strong connection with someone in your network in order to receive help in finding a job, in reality, most job recommendations or offers come from people who you may only have passing interactions with. Someone doesn’t need to know you well to impact your job search; all they need is an impression of who you are. You need to be aware of how you are perceived by others, especially in college.

First Impressions are Important

We all know how important first impressions are when meeting a recruiter or an interviewer, but how much attention do you pay to the first impression you make when meeting a fellow classmate? As a college student, you can’t know where all your fellow classmates will be 10 years down the road. Someone who you were only passingly acquainted with in college could very likely be in a position to help or hinder your career ten years later. At this point, a first impression has already been made and how that person remembers you could impact his/her willingness to help you.

How Do I Use This Information to My Benefit?

Make an effort to behave in a positive manner when interacting with your fellow classmates; these changes can be as simple as being attentive to what someone has to say or being willing to help someone if he/she asks for it. Even if you don’t think you’ll ever see him/her again, know one can say what the future will bring and whether someone remembers you as being nice and helpful or as being arrogant and disinterested can make a big difference in how they approach future interactions. Make an effort to create positive impressions among those around you and they can end up paying large dividends in the future.

by Nick Sundberg

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