Are you a new graduate looking for a job? Here are some ideas and suggestions to help you survive while pursuing your dreams.
- Consider taking a survival job - The number one concern new graduates worry about while conducting a job search is paying their bills. Survival jobs help pay the bills, and can help to keep you out of debt, while allowing you to focus most of your energy on your job search. Use it as an opportunity to build and hone new skills for future jobs. Think of it as a chance to meet new people, and build your network of professional contacts. Think of survival jobs as getting a foot in the door, and some may offer the potential for advancement or permanent positions.
- Be adaptable, flexible, and persistent - these are some of the characteristics that you will need to help you weather the job market. If you are interested in a particular position within a company, but it is not currently available, consider taking another job in the company. Remember most companies hire from within, and once you're inside you can check out the company, find out how it operates, and get to know the key players. Networking is still the most effective way of finding a job, and once you're in, you will be part of the network.
- Put a career plan in place now - Most job seekers will delay or eliminate this step because they are unsure of the job market. However, now is the time to do it, because without a plan you will end up drifting from job to job, and that can paralyze you. Your career plan will serve as a road map that comes with directions and guideposts along the way. Take an inventory of where you are now, and think about what you want to do next, and put in place a plan of action to acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities you will need to get that next job.
- Find ways to stay connected to people in your career area - Join a Professional Association. Associations are one of the most valuable resources for anyone trying to break into a particular industry or for those exploring careers. Through associations you can learn about job leads, meet major players in the field, attend networking and social events, find out about hiring trends, and most of all make valuable contacts.
- Develop a support system of your own - Connect with other recent alums in a supportive environment to network, explore goals, personal strengths, and manage the emotional roller coaster of the job search process. Studies show that a positive attitude really does pay off in job searching, and a support group can help you stay motivated and maintain a positive attitude.