People were not lying when they told me, “Your college years will fly by.” Four years came and went in the blink of an eye.
The months afterward can be the most stressful in a young person’s life. We are making decisions that will affect where we live, who we might meet and how successful we will be in our careers. It is frightening, but it doesn’t have to be.
I learned a few things when I went through the same experience a year ago that might help you.
Reach out to your family and friends and let them know what job opportunities you are pursuing. I told neighbors, family friends, previous bosses and even my high school principal. This way, the word gets out and you’ll have people watching for possible job openings.
Become a CSI investigator when researching potential companies. When I applied for jobs, I would look up the human resources and possible employees that I might work with on LinkedIn. I even took it a step further, in the least creepiest way possible, and searched for these people on Facebook to see if we had any mutual friends. If we did, I would contact that mutual friend and ask if they could put a good word in for me. This typically got me a job interview.
Prepare to get turned down, have three job offers at a time, be asked weird questions during interviews, or receive a job offer on the spot. Use your resources on campus to prepare for these situations so that they are handled correctly. Keep in mind that you are not alone. Your classmates, parents, professors and career services advisors have experienced these circumstances. They can help you set up a mock interview, locate a networking event, and even help you find professional clothing. This will make your life easier even if it seems like a pain at first.
Talk to classmates
I remember my classmates talking about how they already had jobs lined up, some at well-known companies. I felt like I was the only one without a job until I worked up the courage to ask other classmates about their searches. It turned out I was not the only one struggling. Even though you’re competing, in a sense, with your classmates, don’t be afraid to check where they are at in the job hunt.
Don’t sell yourself short
No matter what you’re facing, do not settle. Have faith in your abilities. Even after you have been denied five times, keep your sights set high. There is a reason those first five job offers did not work out — because there is a better opportunity waiting.
Now, take a deep breath.
This might be a difficult time, but you will have a job and one year of experience in no time. Be fearless. Use your courage and ambition to dive into new experiences. Do not let one person or company’s opinion define your abilities. Remember, you are cable of doing incredible things.
Joanna is the Social Media Specialist for the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association.