College is one of the most important, challenging, scary, and exciting part of our lives. College is a moment to discover, make friends, get to know yourself, party, study, and finally transition into an adult and professional life. College is a beautiful time, but like everything, it comes to an end.
Senior year, is that year were we all feel like graduating already but at the same time, we are anxious and scary for our next chapter in our lives. An ocean of doubts, questions, and stress rises. How am I going to find a job? How do I apply? Where do I apply? Which position should I look for? Here are some tips I took from parents, professors, advisors, friends and finally myself.
In order to not stress out and find a job after graduating you need to ask yourself: – What am I passionate about? and then, even if you might think it is impossible to achieve, ask yourself again: If money was not an issue, what I would do to make my passion a job?
Second step is recognizing what are we good at, what abilities we have. A person is always described by their friends through fleeting adjectives : she is nice, he is a good person, they are always there for me… We never describe a friend saying: Mike has a Ph D in Science, he speaks Spanish and English…We look into the person’s characteristics and attitude towards life. Because let me tell you, to find a job as well as to be happy, is all about attitude; and to attitude we add our knowledge and abilities. Let’s recap, the formula would be (Knowledge+Abilities) x attitude. It is important to have an education nowadays, some even say it is necessary to have scholarly experience to succeed, that is why we go to college; but our attitude, multiples the equation. If we have knowledge but not passion how are we suppose to find a job? If we truly want to find a job it is all about attitude.
Second tip: Once you know what you like, start your research. Do you want to be your own boss? Do you want to work for someone else? Why do you think this company will suit you? Visualize yourself working for the company and see how you can contribute.
Third tip: Once you know what you like and where would you like to start your career, build a resume. A well-structured resume will take you to the next step in your life. What to put in a resume: What did you do up until now? What are you good at? What have you learned? What extracurricular activities have you been involved in? What sort of leadership positions have you held? What makes you different than any other person that walks through their door asking for that same job?
Fourth Tip: Do not stop learning ever. Do as many internships as you can during your time in College. Take advice from professionals and explore with your own hand the professional world out there. Observe, ask, make mistakes, learn, and always be grateful to everyone that teaches you something. Internships are the best way to make connections. Internships are the best way to know what you like, get experienced, and to learn how to be better at it.
Fifth Tip: Once you have your resume with all your extracurricular activities, as well as your internships and education, go to your career center in your University. For example, at University of Florida, Gainesville students can go to the Career Resource Center and ask for help to find jobs and internships, as well as help them to build their resumes and cover letters. Nowadays Universities provide a good system that allows students to make contacts and find jobs before graduating. According to the Career Resource Center at University of Florida, 61 percent of the students change their majors and 80 percent of jobs are never advertised and found through networking. That means you need to find contacts and set up meetings with your college advisers to ask for the opportunities. College is here to help us find your passion and fuel it .
Sixth Tip: Make sure you are involved, aware and know everything that is happening in your college. Find out when the due dates for interviews are, attend to the events about different tops like “how to be a good leader”, “How to ask for money when it comes to a job”…Finally make sure you ask professors about their personal experience in the industry, and see if they can refer you to someone in your area that could help you put a foot in the door.
These are just basic but important tips we should take into consideration ahead of time so we do not stress out when we are about to graduate. Looking for a job doesn’t have to be stressful, it can be fun and an enriching experience. Take your time to think about what you like, and if anything inspires you just work in different places and positions and feel what suits best for you. Remember we all want to be successful, but we also want to be able to wake up every morning and go to a job that we are passionate about.
Follow these steps and I will assure you, not only will you find great opportunities, but you will also become more innovative and creative about your work. College is a wonderful moment to have fun and learn, take advantage of it and start by building your dreams.
Our generation is often berated because we expect things to come to us on a silver platter. Many students get to their graduation day, and are asking themselves, “What now?“. You don’t want to be that person–and if you follow these 6 steps, I assure you that you won’t be. Not only will planning ahead benefit you by soothing the anxiety of not knowing your next step, but if you work for something, and YOU are in control of your next life plan, it will inspire you. There is no better feeling than accomplishing something that you have innovated yourself.