Graduating right before the start of a new year can feel like the perfect time for a fresh start and a new job. Now that you have your degree in-hand, it is time to join the ranks of the job-seekers in your chosen field. If this is your first time looking for a “real” job, the process can feel intimidating. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can dive into the talent pool to make the most of the next chapter of your life.
To help you get started in your new professional field, here are some tips to get you started on your search for a new job.
First Jobs versus Forever Jobs
Now that you have your degree, it’s time to find your dream job, right? Well, yes and no. You may have the credentials to start working in your field, but the position you find today is unlikely to be the final stop on your career journey. And, when you jump into the job market, it is important to keep that in mind.
You want to find a position that gets you moving in the right direction, one that will help you build real-world skills and experience. When looking for jobs, consider the entirety of what they have to offer instead of being blinded by a job title or a preconceived notion of what you should be doing. Seek out opportunities to learn, grow, and build connections. In the long-run, those may be more valuable than anything else, especially when it comes time to move forward in your career.
Give All You Have
Whether you are searching for your first post-college job or are getting ready to start working, you need to give everything you have to the process. Until you find your new place of employment, seeking out opportunities is effectively your job. Treat it as such by scheduling time to look for positions, meet with recruiters, consult with any post-graduation services available through your school, and activating your network.
Once you secure a position, greet the opportunity with enthusiasm. This is your first big step in the working world that will help you get to your career goals. No matter your job duties, aim to perform them to the best of your ability. This will help you build your professional reputation and may increase your odds of finding promotional opportunities down the road.
Speak Up (Properly)
Don’t be afraid to express your ideas in your new workplace, but do so with tact and grace. Many new graduates are either fearful when it comes to providing input, or they are overzealous. It is important to strike a balance where you can speak about your ideas without appearing as though you are trying to change every standard process currently in use.
If you have an idea of value, do your due diligence before presenting it to your colleagues or manager. Treat it like a proposal by doing some research. That way you can speak to specifics instead of assumptions.
It is also vital to recognize that those you work with have been active in the workplace for longer than you. While it is often tempting to reinvent the wheel in your new place of employment, not every process needs a revamp because of something you learned while pursuing your degree. Instead, find out how things work today before making recommendations. Then, you have a full understanding of why these choices were carried out before trying to make changes. It is simply a more polite approach.