Some students know exactly what kind of job they are passionate about, while others wait for a moment of enlightenment until their senior year. The same rule applies for both of these groups – a college degree doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the job.
Most young graduates find themselves lost and unprepared to face the challenges of the harsh business world, but this is quite natural. The rich and powerful people around the world didn’t attain success overnight. They all started out pretty much in the same place you are now, but they did things a bit differently than the rest.
Don’t feel intimidated, because success wouldn’t be interesting if it came so easily.
It takes some time
Success doesn’t come overnight, and even if you have a degree from a prestigious university, a cozy office and dream job won’t come instantly, especially if you haven’t yet realized what you would like to do. The best way to find out whether you are pursuing a career in the right field through internships. Internships enable to learn something about the skills necessary for a specific industry, as well as the things you like and dislike about that type of work environment.
Don’t be afraid to change your objectives once you find out a career path is not your cup of tea. After all, this is something that you will be doing for the rest of your life, so it's important to make the right choice.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should constantly keep changing your goals and your dreams. One thing is certain: you are under a lot of pressure and you need to adapt to it. The rigors of an internship can help you learn how to handle that pressure and perform in stressful situations.
Think of it as a sneak peek into the future, and focus on learning what your business life will look like a few years down the road. Yes, it takes some time and there is no such thing as instant success, but that doesn’t mean that you should just wait and do nothing until the right opportunity comes. Unless you actively seek it, your chance to shine will remain hidden in a dark corner, along with all the other wasted opportunities.
Networking – getting the job through the right people
How many times have you heard the saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know?” Of course, this doesn’t mean that you wasted all those years of learning in school, but if you haven’t established strong connections with the right professionals (or any connections at all), you may find that you are out of your depth faster than you think.
Here are some of the ways you can expand your network and build relationships with like-minded professionals that can significantly speed up the process of getting your first job:
Internships – not only will you gain the necessary experience in the field, but you will meet a lot of people who can point you in the right direction. Make them remember you by doing a great job and going above and beyond the call of duty.
Join your alumni association – you will be surprised at how much help and how many useful resources you will be able to access through this organization.
Job fairs – being well-prepared for a job fair is a good way to get the internship you want or at least some useful information that can help you connect with important people.
Informational meetings – unlike real job interviews, informational meetings should be stress free, as all that you are looking for is some information. However, if you leave a good impression and show interest, you may end up finding your personal mentor.
Creating a bigger social circle is always a good idea, so get out there and start networking as soon as possible.
Stay persistent and learn how to accept failure
When you start looking for job opportunities, be aware that you need to learn how to accept rejection. Failure is an integral part of our lives, so learn how to embrace it. Not all doors you knock on will be opened, and not every connection you make will last as long as you want, or be as useful as you need.
This shouldn’t derail you, but instead give you some valuable insight and motivate you to prepare better for the next opportunity. Stay dedicated and your time will come. Bear in mind that the connections you have made or are about to make can give you a jump start, but they cannot simply bring you immediate success. You’ll still need to work hard if you want your career to go anywhere.
You’ve made it so far, but now is when it counts
After the celebration and excitement of graduation day, you’ll wake up the next morning realizing you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Even if you had a detailed plan, this feeling won’t pass. Push past it and immediately start thinking about your career and your future.
Do your research (if you haven’t done it already), dress smart, and start acting like a responsible adult, ready to do whatever it takes to secure a bright future. It may sound surprising, but a lot of things depend on your attitude and willingness to succeed. Now is the time for you to show your potential and stand out from the crowd.
If you started networking before you entered the final year of college, you’ve probably made a decent number of career opportunities by now. If you haven’t, don’t worry. There is still plenty of time, but it would be wise to start making an effort immediately.
Don’t dwell on missed opportunities, and keep your head up. Pursuing a good career isn’t easy, but if you work hard and stay dedicated, you will be able to achieve your goals.