You’re not alone. Lots of graduating seniors feel bewildered by the job search process and don’t know where to begin.
The last time you faced a big life transition, you were probably applying to college, a process that involves:
- A fairly rigid time table, with strict deadlines
- A cohort of peers following the same timetable
- Clear steps (taking the SAT/ACT, getting recommendations, writing a personal statement)
- Straightforward choices (apply to X number of schools)
- A clear picture of what “success” would look like — that acceptance letter, followed by moving into a dorm a few months later (pre-covid, at least).
- The stakes were high: your decisions would shape the next four years, and you knew that switching directions or changing your mind would be complicated.
Now you face another big transition, and it is NOTHING like the college application process:
- There’s no set timetable.
- It’s not clear where you should be applying.
- Your graduation date is a hard deadline of sorts, but nothing else is.
- Some of your friends have job offers already, others are headed to graduate school, many may be as confused as you are.
- There’s no predetermined picture of “success” to aim for.
For many students, the first step towards a successful job search is shaking off the unspoken expectation that the process should follow a familiar pattern. It won’t. That’s okay. The many ways that the job search process is different may be disconcerting, but they work to your advantage.
The stakes are much lower than they were for college admissions. Yes, you may be feeling a lot of pressure to land a good job and start earning money. That’s real. BUT you are in control of this process, in a way that you weren’t when you applied for college.
- The first job you land out of college probably won’t be your career — but you can be earning money, gaining skills, and figuring out your next steps.
- You’ll learn a lot in that first job that you don’t know now — about what you can contribute to an organization, how you work best with other people, what your priorities and values are.
- If you learn that your first job out of college is a bad fit for you, you can apply for and get a different job. People do that all the time. Your skills and strengths are widely transferable.
- You know yourself better than you did when you applied for college — and you can seek out the contacts, the information, and the resources that will help you figure out your next steps. You no longer need to depend on an institution to define your choices.
Embrace the uncertainty of this moment! We’re here to help you do that. Make an appointment with us to
- Figure out where to start looking for jobs
- Update (or create) your resume
- Identify some career paths to pursue (you have more options than you realize)
- Connect with alumni for advice and mentoring.