Did you notice that a widely used term by the employers nowadays is ‘Commercial Awareness’? So, what do they mean by it? In very simple terms, commercial awareness is your understanding of the business environment. Being a commercially aware person means that you can understand the business from both the company’s and the customer’s perspective.
This ensures your employer that you thoroughly understand your role and have it in you to take part in the business decisions, which may directly impact the organization. Does it not sound awesome to hire a candidate who is yet to enter the business world but surprisingly, has a good amount of knowledge about the market in which the company operates? Now wondering, how to prepare yourself and get ahead of other candidates? Well, here are 8 ways you could improve your commercial awareness:
Work at A Company
The best way to understand any business is to be a part of it. You could make good use of your holidays by doing a small job or an internship at a company, to get a vision of the business culture. It helps you understand how things actually work. You need be curious enough to ask yourself lots of questions such as:
How was the marketing done?
Who are the main competitors?
What are the requirements of the clients?
How could you contribute to improve the profit?
Doing your job this way will certainly enhance your commercial awareness and increase the recruiter’s interest in you that may help you get closer to your dream job! To assist you in getting the best jobs, check out these recent graduate jobs.
Read Business News
One of the finest ways to be aware of the happenings around you is to read news. Keep yourself informed through internet or business magazines. Make ‘smart’ use of your smartphones by getting notifications from the business sites. Forbes, CNBC, Business Insider are one of the best informative sites you can visit to keep yourself updated. You can go through the list of these top 15 most popular business websites. In case, you are not comfortable reading on screen but like reading newspapers then the International Business Times and the Wall Street Journal are among the widely read business newspapers you can opt for.
3. Join Student Societies
Almost all the universities have the student societies but not everyone wants to be a part of it. If you are one of them then consider joining such societies. Joining them gives you an opportunity to organize events, and manage budgets. Basically, you learn to do the math. It gives you a platform to learn the skills of how to cut down expenses and generate profit by organizing a successful event in small budget.
This is a great way to make the employers believe that you are a graduate with commercial awareness who can relate these experiences to business, in future. By any chance, if your society is organizing a farewell party for the seniors and searching for some cool graduation gifts to give away, check out this list of some amazing graduation gift ideas.
4. Do SWOT Analysis
Do a SWOT Analysis on a company of your interest. Rush to your university library, which is likely to have some detailed company reports that can be used to analyze the business trends. This may seem like a lot of work but it’s worth it. Investing quality time in this activity will surely make you understand the market better and obviously increase your probability of getting shortlisted in the top companies.
5. Grow your network
Develop your network by connecting to people on business networking sites. Ask them about their career experiences to get a better insight of the company. Attend career fairs to get a chance to interact face-to-face with people and get an overview of what the company needs. Any such events are a great platform for you to grow your contacts, learn more about a company and get a clue if the company is suitable for you or not. In this process, you may sometimes come across people, who could fill you with lots of information, get you access to good opportunities and connect you to other people. So, do not hesitate to develop your network. It will always help you.
6. Watch TV Shows
Wait…what? Watch TV shows? Yes, that’s right! You probably like watching TV when you are off your studies. Go for the business-related TV shows. It necessarily does not have to be news shows but there are several other TV shows that can teach you the business principles in an entertaining fashion. To name a few, we have ‘The Apprentice’, ‘Undercover Boss’, ‘House of Lies’. Choose your favorite one from this list of TV shows and surprise your future boss with the business jargons you hear in these fancy shows!
7. Listen to business interviews
There are radio or TV channels that conduct interviews of the top business icons. Consider listening to such interviews. It will give you highly valuable information straight from the expert business leaders of the world. You get to know the opinions of the best business minds across the globe and detailed information on how they actually do the decision-making and run these giant businesses. These interviews can be very inspiring and raise your interest in the commercial awareness.
8. Have Your Own Point of View
Gathering information and enhancing your knowledge about the industry is important but having your own point of view is equally important. When you read a business article or hear some news, pretend that you are a business executive and analyze, whether that decision taken for the company is good or bad? If bad, what would you do to make it a success? Actively analyzing such scenarios rather than passively taking the inputs will immensely help you in the long run. Having a view of your own means you are practically dealing with the situation, which will be even tougher when you are at the actual workplace. So, keep preparing yourself to get a feel of what it is to be at that place.
What do you know about us? Why do you wish to be a part of our organization? What all do you know about the services/products we offer? If you face such questions at an interview, your commercial awareness is probably being evaluated. If you answer them confidently you fit the criteria of being commercially aware that the recruiters, nowadays, often complain lacking among students.
At university, amidst lots of semester exam preparations, developing commercial awareness might seem a tedious task but adding this to your skill set will always help your career grow. As you know, recruiters currently are hunting for the commercially aware graduates and this effort that you put in to be commercially aware would make you stand out in the crowd and could even give you a chance to land up in one of the best companies of the world!