How Recent Grads Can Prepare for Their Careers

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There are many phases in life, and being a new college graduate is one of them. It can be a difficult and confusing time as you transition to an adult, especially if you don’t have a job lined up right away. You may have heard stories of other new graduates who couldn’t find jobs in their fields and had to look for other options. Even if you don’t have everything figured out right now, taking a few key steps will prepare you to be successful in your chosen path.

Take Some Time to Get Your Finances in Order

The best time to create a budget and get your finances in order is before you ever get a job. This is also a good chance to learn to live on as little as possible. Keeping your spending low, even when you have a full-time income, is what will help you build wealth. There are several ways to reduce what you are spending monthly, but one of those ways is by refinancing your student loans. Refinancing looks different depending on whether you have a fixed or variable rate loan. Take some time to research the difference by reviewing a guide so you can determine if this is a viable option for you.

Get Your Resume and Cover Letter in Order

If you haven’t already, make sure you have a professional looking cover letter and resume, and ensure your professional social media accounts are up to date. These represent you before any company meets you face to face. In fact, these can sometimes impact whether a company decides to invite you to do an interview at all, so make sure the documents look professionally and are free of errors. Your professional profiles should also inform recruiters about who you are and what your accomplishments are. The platforms can help you be found if recruiters are actively searching for candidates with certain qualifications.

Look for Volunteer and Internship Opportunities

As a new graduate, you likely want to learn as much as possible, as this will make your candidacy more appealing to potential employers. Volunteer and internship positions might not help your bank account, but the experience might make it more likely that you are considered for more jobs. Internships might pay, but they are not designed to be full-time jobs. Instead, they allow you to put your skills to work through hands-on experience. 

They also allow you to expand your network and connect with potential mentors. Becoming an intern or volunteer can also help you learn more about an industry or career, especially if you are uncertain about what area you want to work in. Take some time to research different openings posted online. You can also speak with the career center at your school to see if they have any leads on possible opportunities. 

Expand Your Network

Find mentors and other professionals to expand your network and help you start your career sooner. A mentor does not have to be a top-level performer in their industry, especially when you are a new graduate. Consider connecting with someone who has three or more years of experience. 

They can help you avoid common mistakes, and they can guide you on things you can do to get ahead. One way of expanding your network is using technology. Technology has greatly impacted the way professionals find jobs. All you must do is create an account and fill in your profile, and you can start connecting with people you have met at school or through internships. Some sites allow you to create job alerts for positions that might fit your qualifications.


Come Up with a Long-Term Plan

It’s easy to focus on the near future, especially if you don’t know how you will pay the rent this month. However, it’s a good idea to consider your first job to reach your goal, and not the goal itself. Consider creating a 10-year plan so you know what you should be working toward in your career. Maybe you want to oversee marketing for a firm 10 years from now, or maybe you want to manage large accounts for a corporation by that point. Once you know what you want to be doing, take some time to outline the key experiences and skills that will help you get this job. 

If you are interested in brand management, this is the time to be building your sales, product design, and market research skills. You don’t have to start in brand management to be able to get there. Starting in sales and working your way up could give you similar skills. Working in different positions can give you a broader perspective on the industry than if you only had brand management positions. This additional experience can help you stand out from the crowd.

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