Wednesday, September 01, 2010

"I Just Graduated. Where's My Job?"

My eldest son graduated from college last year and went right to work for a media company. My wife and I were so thankful and relieved.

Unfortunately, there are many others, graduating with four year degrees (and more) from good schools, who are moving back home with mom and dad, unable to find meaningful work in the field they had hoped to enter.

While there are many reasons for this sad state of affairs, including the terrible job market in many areas, there are things that rising seniors can be doing right now to improve their chances come graduation day.

Recently, Wake Forest University published ten tips for seniors, including such good points as “Register with the university’s career office” and “Make an appointment with a career counselor.” Makes sense to use your school’s resources.

Here are five more suggestions from a parent who has seen his son make a successful transition from school to work:

1. Start working while you are still in school. If possible, start working in your field. Find an internship that is relevant to your career goal. Or go to work part-time for a company you’d like to work for post-graduation.

2. Set up a profile on LinkedIn. Start creating your professional image now. Start building your professional network.

3. Scan craigslist for job leads. That’s how my son found his job. Put the word out that you are looking, and what you are looking for. People will look out for you.

4.Step forward. Don’t be shy. Though you don’t have a long resume, you do have your goals, your energy, and your enthusiasm. Employers are looking for people with a positive attitude, good interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, and vigor.

5. Go for it. Don’t wait for the perfect job. Take a job and start doing, start learning. And keep looking.

These are the things my eldest son did. His younger brother is now starting his senior year. I can see that he is already implementing these points and more.

Moving from school to work has always been a momentous transition in a person’s life. Today it’s more fraught with uncertainty than ever. So be sure to start thinking about it ahead of time and start taking action steps now that will position you for opportunity later.

Terry

Originally published on HR.BlogNotions.com. For more tips on careers, transitions, and success, contact Terry and invite him to speak to your organization.

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