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February 24, 2016
Three ways working with a diverse group of people will propel your career
By: Jordan Griffiths

As a graduate, joining a diverse workforce is one of the best ways to establish a successful career.

It will help set you up for working with different personality types, and for building important cross-cultural and cross-generational relationships.

So when starting your graduate job search, look for organisations that position diversity as a key part of the recruitment process. These organisations will ultimately offer more opportunities that are truly based on ‘merit’.

Below are three ways such organisations that value diversity will offer an excellent grounding for your career.

Build better relationships. Your career depends on the relationships you have with others. As such, the earlier you’re exposed to collaborating and negotiating with people of all ages, genders, cultures, and sexual orientations, the better. Learning to appreciate the different life experiences of others is also important – it will give you access to a deeper pool of knowledge, and improve your listening and conversational skills.

Access flexibility. Organisations that value diversity understand that not all employees can work the same hours, at the same pace and at the same location. So they offer excellent workplace flexibility options, and aim to support their employees during different career and life stages. You may not need flexibility at this point in your career, but you could require it in the future. You may also find you’re happier and more productive by being able to access work-from-home policies, or to comfortably leave work early one or two days a week to learn a language, attend footy training, or something else. It’s also beneficial to work with men and women who are working flexibility, to see and learn how they make the most of such arrangements.

Diversity makes you smarter. According to numerous research studies, being around more socially diverse groups makes you harder working, more creative and more diligent. The paper finds such groups are more “innovative”, and benefit from better decision-making. Regularly interacting with a range of people from different backgrounds ultimately nudges us to better anticipate different viewpoints and offer solutions accordingly. It gives us access to better information and knowledge, and helps drive a continual learning process.

So don’t gravitate towards like-minded people when you start that new job. Aim to get to know and learn from as many people as possible in your office. Your career depends on.

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