As a new graduate, you may have many ideas swirling around your head and rightfully so: you just spent four years dedicated to studying, gaining experience, and setting yourself up for career success. In short, you might feel “done” with things for a while! However, it’s important you take some time to congratulate yourself on this well-earned achievement, but don’t lose sight of the big picture. This unique transition from student to professional is a crucial life milestone and you may need some support during the evolution of “backpack to briefcase.”
Here are a few quick tips to help you navigate the changes from student to professional career:
Visit your Career Center
Before you venture off campus, it’s worth checking out your college or university’s career services center. Many career centers offer services to students and alumni. It’s helpful to know what career services are available to alumni, and resources to help you plan your job or graduate school search. It’s never too late to stop by your career services office!
If you have yet to create a LinkedIn profile now is the time. While you embark upon your new career you’ll want to connect to alumni and employers through social media. Go to the “Network” tab and select “Find Alumni” to search for potential contacts to expand your network. Also, search your college or university career center to connect with their LinkedIn group as a way to remain updated on career services and networking opportunities.
Beware of Job Hunting Myths
Let’s face it – finding a job as a new graduate can be difficult in a competitive job market. Avoid the following job hunting myths:
- Wallflower Syndrome: waiting for jobs to come to you. This isn’t the school dance; you need to take a proactive approach to job searching and put yourself out there.
- The Lone Ranger: job searchers should utilize all of their people resources. Tell everyone you know that you are currently job searching; don’t rely on just yourself.
- I’ll Do Anything: at some point during your job search this thought may cross your mind, but employers are immediately turned off by this phrase. It screams you just don’t care.
- Looking Under the Light: it’s easy to look in the usual places, but don’t just look where the flashlight points (i.e. online job postings)! Utilize multiple job search methods.
After graduation, the method of learning changes from classroom lectures to a self-directed approach (i.e. professional development activities). If you are at all interested in continuing your education and advancing in your career, consider professional development opportunities in your field. There are hundreds of professional organizations which typically provide industry resources, job listings, conferences, and more. To find a professional association check on Career One Stop.