About the Author: Jack Milgram’s has been interested in writing since he made his first acquaintance of pen and paper. While in college he studied psychology and education, and began freelance writing while still a student. He currently works for Custom-Writing.org. Follow some of Jack’s posts on Twitter.
Just as a beginning driver feels stressed when s/he approaches a crossroads, college graduates feel uncomfortable about entering their occupation for the first time. Those loud words “Your choice of a college major determines the rest of your career,” still ringing in their ears, happen to be only half true. And a new scary crossroads of a career start is waiting for them just around the corner.
Sadly (or not), it is the demand that determines the supply, not vice versa. It is the current situation in the work market that dictates the rules, not the college graduates gradually transforming the work force. So, you will need to adapt to new rules. It is high time you adopt these 5 practical hints as your survival kit for beginners:
1. Be patient. When you send your resume to tens and even thousands of potential employers and wait for their calls, you can start losing hope. Avoid this fatal pitfall. Job searches for good positions can take some time. You should not accept the first offer that comes your way. Forget about the pessimistic motto “Something is better than nothing.” You have earned a degree, and some companies would definitely consider you as a perfect match. The only thing you need is to find them.
Do not underestimate your skills and competence. If you search for jobs online, beware of the worst scams, which frequently trawl for young, inexperienced job-seekers.
2. Be realistic. Another extreme to avoid is overestimating your abilities. Let’s face the truth: you should search for entry-level jobs. Yes, the salaries here can be less attractive. Still, the employer can promise to train you. Isn’t it what you need at this starting point? Some job seekers can find a position that requires 2 -5 years of working experience and think “Why not try? I do not lose anything.” However, sending your resumes to employers who look for more or less experienced specialists, is not effective at all. You would simply waste your time, annoy recruiters and look like a spamoholic, who is not selective about the addressees and sends a resume everywhere, just to see what will happen.
3. Know yourself. Another step to being realistic is to know your abilities and personal preferences inside out. You should not neglect college and other career counseling services. By the way, you can find free online aptitude tests for career and work. The results of these tests can be rather surprising. Yet it is up to you to rely on psychometrics or not.
4. Build a long-term strategy. After choosing the right direction, you should try to craft a long-term strategy. Sure, you cannot predict the exact date when you finally become a big boss. Still, it is advisable to have a strategy and concentrate your energy on it. Otherwise, you can waste your energy jumping from one occupation to another one, only because an employer makes you an interesting offer. Every time when making certain career moves, ask yourself: “Is this helpful for my professional growth in general?” If not, you’d better reject the offer. Or, if the temptation of high salary (or creative work) is more than you can stand, you might want to revise your long-term strategy.
5. Set your priorities. Do not forget that we eat to live, not live to eat. Careerism is the plague of the new millennium. Right from the start, set your priorities and make certain you have enough time for your family and friends. Yes, finding your first job can be daunting. Still, you should not change personally, so that you will have your nearest and dearest by your side to share your happiness with, when you finally secure a job of your dreams.
No matter how intimidating, finding a good entry-level job is possible. Be prepared to spend some time on passing this important crossroads and carefully plan your every move.