Securing a first job

Okay, the real-world can be scary. But finding your first job shouldn’t be. Make the most of your final two years of college and you can end up steps closer to your dream job – or with a job that gets you in the right direction.
No matter what your career goals are, the sooner you begin to work on securing what you are doing after graduation, the better.
Begin by visiting your career services center on campus. They are one of the best resources with the knowledge and assistance you need to begin the discussions of what you are going to do after college. Whether you’ve known what you want to do since you could talk or if you are still indecisive about a lot of things – they can ask you the questions that get you thinking in a good direction.
In addition to visiting your career services center on campus, find out when the career fairs for your university and academic college are. Even if some of the career fairs are targeting a specific set of majors or colleges, research the companies that are going to be there. If you know that you have an interest in a position in a company but they aren’t recruiting for that specific position at that fair – you can still introduce yourself, hand them your resume and make a valuable connection. Networking is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door, take every opportunity possible.
In addition to networking face-to-face, you must also network online. LinkedIn is by far the best way to network professionally. Update your profile, provide examples of class work, and make sure your supervisors from your internships have written recommendations. Another way to network online is to simply ask your personal networks. A Facebook post or tweet with your goals, what you are looking for post-college could spark someone to reach out to you and say: “Hey, I have a position like that open! Send me your resume.” or “Hey, have you tried this company, I’ve heard great things about them.” They are little online networking tips that could really make a difference in your career search.
Once job offers start to come in – really weigh everything that they are offering you. It is really important to understand what your benefits are, how it will help you reach your career goals, what the growth potential in that company looks like, attrition rates, and more. Make a pros/cons list, write it all down. Whatever you need to make a decision that you are comfortable with.
The other really, really important thing to keep in mind – you may start your first job and find out that you don’t like it. You may have the feeling that you want to change career paths. Basically, you are going to feel a lot of things. Listen to your heart. Understand where you are happy and where you are not. Work hard and figure out what your next step will be to put you on the right path.
Most people don’t start their dream job right away – they go through a series of experiences that makes them a better person and bringing them to that dream job when the time is right.

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