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5 Tips for College Graduates

17 May, 2011
Graduates

Ist/blogs.seattleweekly.com

It’s that time of year again. College seniors are counting down the seconds until they hand in that final paper or complete that final exam. I was in that position only a few months ago. According to the US News and World Report, job outlook for the class of 2011 is brighter than the previous year. Some of you are heading into the work force right away and others are backpacking through Europe. However, it’s time to say goodbye to college life and hello to the “real world.” I know it is a little scary to move on from college but there is still a lot to be excited about.

Here are my 5 tips for college graduates.

  1. Enjoy Yourself – I know this one might sound like a no-brainer, but after all the graduation parties and cake you’re going to be left contemplating your next move. Regardless of your employment status, try to enjoy the transition from school to work. I wish I would’ve been less stressed about finding a job and enjoyed my time off. You have your whole life to work and if you don’t have a job right away don’t sweat it.
  2. Be Patient – Not having a job right away can be very frustrating. Even if you have a job, learning a new system can be frustrating. You’re going to be spending your days sending out resumes and cover letters. Applying for a job is a full time job itself. I probably sent out over 300 resumes to receive only 10 interviews and finally 1 full-time job. Trust the skills and abilities you learned in school. It takes time for employers to sift and sort through hundreds of applications.
  3. Start a Project – When you go on interviews employers are going to ask what you’ve been doing since graduation. Continue learning and working on the skills you learned in school. The article and website you’re reading right now is a product of post graduates. Even if you have a job, continue working on projects that interest you because sometimes first jobs can be discouraging.
  4. Set Your Schedule – Managing your time at a new job or at home will be an adjustment. Set goals each day and work to accomplish them. After graduation I set aside two hours each day to apply for jobs. After two hours I would work out or do something else. The work day can feel long just starting out so I make sure to get to bed early. Transitioning into a new lifestyle is exhausting and your sleep is crucial.
  5. Negotiate – When you get your first job offer you’re going to be really excited. Understand that you are just as valuable to them as they are to you. It will probably feel uncomfortable asking for more money. We’re new to the job world but it doesn’t mean you have anything to offer. I have never heard of a job offer that was revoked because someone tried to negotiate. When you go shopping you try to get the best value for your dollar. Companies and employers do the exact same thing. The worst they can do is say no.

I hope you enjoyed reading my tips and I hope they help. It’s important for us to understand that we are now at the bottom of the food chain in the job market. It’s similar to being freshmen in high school or college. I am fortunate to enjoy my first job but understand that it might be kind of rough starting out. We still have a lot to learn but a positive attitude can go a long way. | courtesylaughnetwork

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