Graduating? Three Tips to Jump-Start Your Career
By Derren Thompson, Manager, Diversity Recruitment
They say that we enter the "real world" when we graduate from college. As many students will enter this new phase of their lives in just a few short weeks, they may start to ask the question, "What is next?"
I know that if you are like me, college was the absolute best four years of my life. And, now that you're graduating, you need to figure out what to do with all of the business cards that you have received. What direction will I take my life in and how will I do that?
Well, I would like to offer you a few tips on the "What's next?" question:
- If you haven't already done so, make use of the resources that you have stored up over the past few years. For example, capitalize on contacts you've made and research the various companies you might be interested in working for. Send e-mails reminding the contacts of who you are and how you were acquainted – in other words, start networking. Then discuss with them that you would like to schedule a 10-minute conversation to simply see if they have any openings, paid internships or other opportunities at their company.
- Open your mind and push yourself to apply for positions that will lead you to your dream job. Remember, building your experience is a key step towards landing your dream job. I spoke with a student recently who shared with me that he wanted to be a Food Services Director. I responded, "When?" He said now, that is what he had been applying for. He could not understand why he was not getting calls for interviews, so I explained to him that he may want to apply for a Manager 1 position instead. As a new graduate, he should use this time to get into the company and learn as much as possible. I shared with him that making it into a Food Services Director position was within reach and that would be a great goal for him – once he gained some more experience.
- You will only have one chance to make a great first impression. When you are awarded a position, be sure to bring your whole self to work. Bring all of the book knowledge to the table and allow yourself to receive new learning from your managers, trainers and even other employees. When I accepted my first management position, I learned so much from my coworkers that had been working in the unit for 30 years. They knew far more than I could have ever learned from the training team.
If you remember these few tips, you will grow with your new organization and your college days will be a distant memory. Congratulations on completing your college studies; now onward into the new season.