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VOL. 46 | NO. 19 | Friday, May 13, 2022

Congrats college graduates – now get busy on job search

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This is a big month. Graduates are emerging from college after spending more than two years in a pandemic. Can you imagine what it would have been like to spend your junior and senior years of college being isolated and learning via Zoom? I can’t. Hats off to the graduates who have pulled through this tough time.

It’s now time to find and embark on a new job, an exciting and scary time for most. You might feel completely confused, as if you’re on an island with no roadmap.

The first step is getting started – now. I’m sure you’ve seen the news about the strong job market and the Great Resignation. Do not assume that it will be simple to find a job. Job searching is hard. It can take a very long time.

Enlist a few job searching friends as support. You need people who are going through the same experience to talk to. You’ll have interviews fall apart at the end of the process. Jobs will be put on hold. Companies will ghost you. It’s a lot like dating. You’re going to have to kiss a lot of frogs.

When you find something, do your homework on what the current market is paying. But, keep your expectations realistic. As a recent graduate, you will likely be paid on the low end of hiring scales.

I know this is frustrating, especially given the high cost of apartments. But your hard work will pay off. Look for the job that will provide you the best experience, and the money will come (later).

Remember that you are only the third group of college graduates to enter the workforce since the start of the pandemic. There are many advantages to working remotely. But companies are still learning how to work with their remote employees. And, they’re certainly not used to working with young college graduates remotely.

If career success is important to you, you’re going to have to work to be more proactive than your older peers.

Look for mentors and friends, and work to build a great relationship with your boss. It’s easy to become disconnected while working remotely. You need to work to create opportunities to learn and grow. You need to create a community for yourself.

Ask your boss to meet with you at least once per week for one-on-one meetings. Set up coffee meetings with your peers. And look for others within the organization to build bonds.

Talk about work, and then look for opportunities to talk beyond work. Friendships at work is where the real growth happens.

Last but not least, hold yourself accountable. Your career is up to you. Set regular hours and put in the time – even when no one is looking. The foundation you lay now will help you for years to come. Congratulations and good luck!

Angela Copeland, a leadership and career expert, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

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