Graduating from college is an exciting and transitional period in any young person’s life – the future stretches out, full of opportunity. It can, for some, be overwhelming to have to make choices about a job that could have a powerful impact on the trajectory of your life.
For most college graduates, it’s important to take a step back. Finding the right role for you is a process that can’t be rushed. Here are eight steps you can take to finding a job that’s a perfect fit.
Build a LinkedIn
If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, it’s time to get one. Now, even high school career counsellors are recommending their students create a LinkedIn profile as your college years present a great opportunity for networking on this professional social platform.
In our digital era it’s to be expected that whenever you apply for a position, the organization is going to look you up online. A social media presence is expected nowadays and a LinkedIn profile can provide a landing page for potential employers to get an insight into who you are. Think of it like a second CV, somewhere you can add further detail to past roles, extracurriculars and experience you’ve gained.
Clarify Your Interests
There are so many sectors out there and so many jobs within them, all with subtly different focuses. Before you can undertake a thorough job hunt to find a role that fits you, you should try to turn the nebulous and vague sense you probably have of your interests and bring it into sharp focus.
Utilize career tests in your college offices to help you identify these interests, you may tend towards working in roles that are face-to-face with people or, alternatively, prefer to be behind a screen. There are many ingredients to finding the right job – your personality and your interests are key.
Graduation is a thrilling time, the culmination of all your hard work. In the post-hype daze that comes after, however, there is often a vacuum that seems to be begging to be filled. As you see your college colleagues find graduate schemes, further education and jobs that suit them, the pressure can mount to launch your own career.
However, the pressure to take the next step in your working life can lead you to rushing the job hunt and making poor decisions about your future. No matter how your parents or colleagues are pushing you to find a role, it’s important that you use the post-graduation moment to take a step back and choose a career path that works for you.
Keep Your Options Open
Whilst you may have a strong sense of a preferred career – perhaps one that has been guided by career skills tests you’ve taken at college – when you hit the job market it’s important to keep your options open. In many industries, specific job openings can be rare so cast a wider net.
If you’ve identified a role you’re interested in, examine the themes that drew you to that role to discover wider opportunities that might interest you. Alternatively, broaden your selection by looking at roles adjacent to your dream job – you may be able to make a sideways move later in your career.
Identify Your Priorities
There’s more to a job than just the day to day role it entails, but in the dash to find employment many graduates overlook this fact. As well as widely varying salaries, some jobs may require you to relocate across the country or to work unsocial hours.
Before undertaking the job hunt, assess your priorities – what is the minimum salary you require? Are you prepared to move across the county, or do you need something that’s close to your established community. These variables will help you narrow the search and find a role that makes you happy in the long run.
When you approach an organization for the first time, it can be an intimidating process. When you’re applying for a job, especially in a competitive market post-graduation, it can feel as if they have all the power and you as an applicant have none. However, reframing this relationship is an important step to finding a good fit.
Willie Todd, a tutor at DraftBeyond and Researchpapersuk recommends:
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Whilst a job description tells you about the role in question, it can only do so in a static and limited way. Many new applicants are reluctant to ask questions when they begin an interview process, and for this reason they end up in roles that don’t meet their expectations.
Asking questions of your potential employers is an important way to understand if it’s a job you truly want. It also demonstrates your interest and enthusiasm for the role and can help you stand out amongst other applicants.
Question the Office Culture
Carla Moore, a career coach at Writinity and Last Minute Writing says:
One office, for example, might be all about casual Fridays, breaking off early, and a friendly office atmosphere. Whilst certain graduates will thrive in such an environment and find it fosters the growth of their career, others may be frustrated by an apparent lack of edge. Finding an office culture that fits your own approach to work is often overlooked by graduates assuming all roles are created equally.
Your first job out of college can have a huge influence on the trajectory of your life, from location to salary, and the impact of office culture on your work-life balance. Take a step back, give yourself space to think, and find the perfect fit.