If you’re reading this, it means you’ve likely graduated college recently, so congratulations! You worked through the long nights, balanced your social and student life, and managed to get passing marks. These are all fantastic achievements! Riding the wave of success can be extremely beneficial to hit the ground running in the job market. When many graduates begin looking for job opportunities, they’re unsure of where to start, and failing to be proactive right away can be a big misstep if you’re someone who is easily caught in a lazy daily routine.
Use Your Momentum
Right after graduating, you’re accustomed to sitting in class, doing homework, and generally dedicating time to completing tasks. Continuing this practice after graduation is extremely helpful. Instead of writing essays and discussion board posts, now you’ll be writing cover letters and updating your resume. The temptation to take time off is extremely powerful, and it’s not a bad idea to take a break for a week or two to celebrate. However, if you feel like you’ll lose momentum doing this, try to consistently be working, even if it’s only an hour or two a day. If you’re a late sleeper, get in the routine of waking up early and starting to look for jobs. Once you land a job, you’ll already be adapted to waking up early, and the transition won’t be as harsh when you wake up at 8 am.
Get Some Experience
If you haven’t already, try and land an internship, paid or not. If you’re someone who already has an internship under your belt from college, skip this paragraph and move on to the next. For those of you that haven’t though, consider getting an internship while you continue to look for jobs. This will allow you to get experience during a time where your search will probably be it’s slowest. If you perform very well during it, impressing your boss during an internship is a great way to get your foot in the door. While a job offer isn’t guaranteed with an internship the experience is, as long as you work hard. Finding something in your field will be rewarding when you realize you now have a year of experience, allowing you to apply for the job you’ve always wanted.
Use Your Connections
Another important tip: do not judge yourself based on the successes of others. You may see fellow classmates land jobs right out of college, or only a month or two following. While it’s easy to start criticizing yourself and wonder what skills you lack, remember every case is different, and you can’t judge your success against other graduates. There are a number of resources you can utilize in order to help your job search which you may not realize. You may have continued to hear how important networking is during your degree, and now is when it comes into play. Reaching out to other alumni who have established themselves in the workforce can be extremely valuable, even if you just ask for advice to break into the job market in the field you share.
You also may not realize just how far your network extends. This includes friends, family, and coworkers. You won’t know that your Uncle’s cousin has worked in your field for 10 years and is looking for a recent graduate to fill a position unless you ask. While this is an extreme example, you will certainly be surprised who you are connected to by only a few degrees of separation. After doing some investigation, getting the job at your ideal company may be less out of reach if you realize you have a contact there already.
The Power of Positive Thinking
Like most things in life, your success will vary depending on your attitude. Having a positive outlook on your search and continuing to be excited and motivated to land a new job will do wonders for you. Inversely, feeling like you’ll never be good enough to land a job will destroy your urge to keep searching, and will only go downhill. There is plenty more advice to be offered, and there is a (nearly) endless wealth of knowledge in the vault of our past blogs, which I encourage you to seek out if you’re looking for a little more advice. Lastly, best of luck to all of you, and we hope to see you on your way to work soon!