Are you a recent grad? If you walked across the stage to get your diploma and shake hands with the hierarchy of your school you may be ready to start the next phase of your life. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in 2005 and when I close my eyes I can remember that day as clear as if it was yesterday.
Find a mentor for guidance
I was thankful that I had a full time job at graduation, but that’s only because I worked full time during my four years of college. Why is all this coming up? I was recently asked to mentor a soon-to-be-college-grad on how to transition from the world of books and classrooms to the workforce.
To be honest my transition from school to full time work was kind of a relief. After graduation I only had to work full time, I no longer had to also attend classes, do homework and fit time for group work into my busy schedule. To say graduating freed up a lot of my time and for that I was thankful. If we’re being totally honest with each other I actually missed school and went back to pursue a second degree a year after graduation.
Work part time during school
So what’s my advice for recent grads? Well my number one piece of advice is to gain valuable work experience throughout your four years of college, not just in the last semester before graduation. I’m not suggesting that everyone work full time while studying because I know how hard it was on me.
My grades would have definitely been a lot better if I had the liberty to dedicate 100% of my time to my studies instead of focusing on work. However part time work can help gain valuable skills that employers look for after graduation.
Check with the student union for part time gigs on campus, check with local student hangouts in the area such as cafes and store. You may even want to ask your parents if there’s the possibility for part time student positions at their workplace.
Take a non paying gig
During college you may not be looking for a job for the pay check. If your main goal is to gain valuable work experience then think about non paying gigs such as an internship. Sometimes departments and teachers are looking for part time aides and assistants, but they don’t have the budget to pay.
Working during college – whether it’s paid or not – can help you gain experience such as accountability, responsibility, multi-tasking and team work skills. These are all things that potential employers will look for in potential employees.
One mistake students always make is trying to find work in their field of study and that may help. However employers only look for experience in seasoned employees. Potential employers look for general sills in entry level employees because you’ll be able to learn everything else on the job.
What’s your career advice for recent grads?