How to prepare for your 1st job before graduation...

Time has definitely flown by… I can’t believe it’s May! The time of the year all graduates look forward to…graduation season! What an exciting time for new graduates with completing all courses to receive your degree and preparing for graduation and the graduation parties.

I was so excited when I graduated from Ohio State University.  I dreamed of the day of when I wouldn’t have to complete another paper or stay up studying and swore that I wouldn’t go back to school.  Well, I did go back to school to get my Master’s, but that will be a story for a different day. I was prepared to graduate but not prepared to find work.  I don’t think I even visited career services more than 5x times my senior year.  I waited until the 9th hour to apply to jobs and look for work.  If you’re like me and not as prepared as you would like to be no worries I will share tips on what to do. 

Below I’ve listed the 3 mistakes I made with not being prepared and what you can do to be better prepared to find work.

1. Do you have a plan?

I didn’t have a plan for life after graduation; I was only prepared to graduate. Whether you plan to take some time off to travel or rest your mind, you need to have a plan. I made the mistake of assuming it wouldn’t take me long to find work.  I did find work but it wasn’t the work I thought it would be doing and it’s because I didn’t have a plan. You have to plan for the type of career you want to have!  My recommendation is that you can start looking for your 1st job as earlier as the start of your senior year or after the 1st quarter or 1st semester.

2. Do you know the type of career you want to have?

So I completed the degree, but I wasn’t sure of what type of career I really wanted to have.  The degree you’ve achieved won’t always directly connect to the kind of job you want.  If you’re unsure of what type of career you want, this is when a career coach or career counselor comes in handy.  They can help you look at different jobs that align with your goals.

3. InternshipsMaximum the connections you’ve made through internships.

If you’ve, haven’t completed any internships and you still have time I would recommend completing 1, 2 or more.  Internships will give a glimpse of what it would be like to work for that company.  It will also allow you to network and meet a lot of people who would be able to help you possibly find your 1st job.   

So the takeaway is to start early and plan ahead. Don’t forget to share this with someone you know who's about to graduate.  Also, share with the advice you wish you received before graduation. 

In the next blog, I will discuss what you will need to do if you don’t find a job before graduation.