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Top 4 Career Choice Tips for New Grads

May 23, 2012

Graduation is nearing. Congratulations to those who have already graduated, and hang in there for those who are close! As we are all on the job hunt, there are a couple tips to remember when applying to jobs and with those who have accepted your first job offer:

Volunteer: if you haven’t had any real world experience, now is the time. Even if you have to work as a barista to pay the bills, set aside time for an internship or at least some volunteer hours at an organization that interests you. Don’t get too hund up about where you choose to work first. The simple act of being in a workplace—any workplace—is useful. It can teach you about your own work values, what kind of environment you’re best suited too and more. Even if you don’t find your dream job, you’ll at least have cut out some options.

Build a Wide Network: Not having a specific focus is no reason not to build a network of contacts and friends. Reaching out to people working in many different areas can open your eyes to the sheer range of career possibilities. Plus, once you do find a career area you want to pursue, chances are you’ll know someone who knows someone happy to help you get a foot in the door. BONUS TIP: Networking is a two way street. You will have much more success if you approach people with the pay-it-forward mentality of “How can I help this person?” instead of “How can this person help me?”

Do Your Research: No matter where you are going –interviews, informational interviews, cocktail parties, networking events—make sure you spend time on the companies website, a person’s LinkedIn page, and get background information. It is so much more impressive when a person can have a intellectual conversation with you when you have knowledge of their business or position.

Stay Strong: Everyone takes a different path. Yes, some people have known exactly what they wanted to be since they were ten years old. But many strong, accomplished people have taken much more circuitous routes to success. It may take a couple rejections in order to find what you are really wanted/needed for. You will find that one position for you. Never get discouraged from rejections. Never apologize for the path you’re on. It’s yours, be proud.

Feel free to share some more tips you have for the recent grads out there!


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