How commercially aware are you?

The better you understand the business world, the greater your value to a potential employer – and, crucially, to your employer’s clients.

Employers won’t expect you to know everything. But if you show you’ve made an effort, and can look at situations from a commercial perspective, they’ll respect that.

What can you do to boost your awareness? Here are a few tips:

Do your research                         

Start with the industry you’re interested in.  What do you find interesting about it? Get stuck into the specialist publications. Read up on the companies, the trends and the leading figures.

Follow the news and social media, and use your knowledge to develop opinions. (This can help conversation flow in a job interview.) A smart way to do this is to buy a copy of the FT, pick three FTSE-100 companies and follow their progress for a year.

Draw on your personal experience

Perhaps you’ve had a part-time or vacation job while you’re studying. It could teach you a lot. For example, what business challenges does your employer face?

You can also learn from joining a society. They’re like mini-businesses, where you can grasp the basics of financial responsibility and planning.

Whatever career you follow, business skills are essential, even for jobs that aren’t obviously ‘business’, like journalism or charity work. Many employers prize them highly. Now it’s over to you…


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