Best Advice for Soon-to-be College Graduates
I have had some of these rolling around in my head for sometime. Glad to finally get these in list form @JennyJLee . I'll try to keep this from being painfully long.
- •Be confidentYou are about to join about 30% of the country that is college educated. As an advisor I am always surprised by the fact that more people don't have college degree , especially because it has become the standard for employment in most industries. You may feel like you are surrounded by college graduates but you have made a pretty big accomplishment. Be proud of it !
- •Use your resourcesMost colleges and universities offer career services, networking events and even a list of companies that give alumni discounts. USE these resources. The university , especially the better ones, have employers come to them for graduates and provide job listings. They benefit from their graduates being employed so these resources are available a year or more after. Also have them review your resume, we hire professionals for this so don't pay for a service.
- •NetworkKeep in touch with your professors & peers. This is amazingly helpful for professional contacts and possible job opportunities. Professors (especially those in your field) typically have great contacts and experience. Plus if grad school is on your radar you will need recommendation letters/ contacts. Linkin in great , but a personal email or letter once in a while goes a long way. (Who know maybe that one awesome professor will start a company and take you with !!! )
- •Don't rush grad school if you aren't sureI can't tell you how many students tell me they are going to graduate school because they don't know what else to do. Yikes. School is expensive and grad school can make you overqualified for many jobs and pigeon hole you in one career field. Work experience ( even if it isn't your ideal job) can really help you figure out what to do next and where you want to go. Take your time.
- •Live abroadYou have a bachelors degree + you speak English (Maybe other languages too!) this might the perfect time to look abroad for jobs if you are willing to try out a new culture. There are so many opportunities for those willing to travel/re-locate. Education, tech, nursing & business majors have huge options for this. Did you know that recently the Saudi Royal family wanted a staff of nurses just to travel around with them. Whaaatttt?
- •Clean it upEmployers will look for everything they can find about you online. It's a free way for them the find out who you are. Make your accounts private or clean them up and keep them professional. That means remove the pictures of drunken parties and any status you might have up about hating your job or being late for work again. Make social media work for you.
- •Add skills, keep learningYeah I know you might be so done with school but it never hurts to have a diversity of skills. Did you know that with public health jobs, many will pay you more if you know SQL. Often times you can learn these skills in 6-8 months taking class one night a week. (Or teach yourself) Tech skills are great but do whatever interests you! You never know, your company may hire you to design a new logo instead of outsourcing if you have the skills !
- •P.S. Loan forgivenessWelcome to ugly world of loan repayment. It's not fun but in case you don't already know , if you work for a non-profit (including any governmental job) you can get your loans forgiven after 10 years of timely payments at the minimum. Whoo!