Congratulations to all the new graduates! It’s time to celebrate. But now the diploma is in hand and all anyone seems to ask is,

“So, what are you going to do now?
Do you have a job yet?” 

And if you are a parent, it feels likes all of your friends’ kids have jobs. You also hear those dreaded questions directed at your graduate or even yourself and you cringe as well. Your sons and daughters are still managing that transition back into living in your home and they are not so interested in your advice. This blog is for the graduates and if you are a parent reading this please share… that way you don’t have to explicitly tell them yourself!

3 Quick Things A Graduate Can Do RIGHT NOW to Find a Job:

  1. Take a deep breath and slow down. Embrace the accomplishment. You have graduated. Enjoy the moment. Yes, there are loans to pay. Yes, the balance in the house is off kilter with the “re-entry” back to your old bedroom and parent rules. The realization that Thursday night is no longer a fun night out on campus can be depressing. You can take a little time to adjust.  And give your parents a break too… it’s an adjustment for everyone. This is a good time to really think about your next step and how you want to proceed. Not sure? Keep reading.
  2. Think about your CORE skills. You have accomplished a lot in four (or more) years. Now is a good time to be self-aware and consider what skills you have to offer an employer. Make a list of all of the great things you have going for you. Then narrow down the list to those things that you are most competent, most talented, and really enjoy doing…these are your core skills. I would also ask your friends, family and your parents on what skills they think you are best at. Knowing your core skills is important for two reasons…it makes it easier on what types of job to focus on and what to tell others about yourself. Did I mention that you should be speaking to a lot of people these days? Read on.
  3. Don’t miss an opportunity to be social…and be prepared. This is the season of graduation parties, social outings and family occasions. You will probably be asked by many people on what you plan to do now that you have graduated. Instead of avoiding the question and being annoyed, embrace it as an opportunity to practice telling people the skills that you have to offer. It is also a great time to ask questions of the people you are meeting. Ask friends of your parents what they actually do in their job, and how did they get there? Ask if there is anyone they could refer you to? You may prefer to hang out with their son or daughter at the party, but taking the initiative to mingle with the adults in the room will demonstrate your maturity that you are ready for the real world. As well, the more prepared you are for the casual conversations, the more likely you will make a good connection.

Is this all? No. But it’s a start. Research, targeted networking and preparing for interviews are among the other things to start thinking about. Take it one step at a time.

It can be very stressful when you feel like “all” of your peers graduate with a job. In fact,  many individuals are still trying to figure it out too. I’ll bet your parents didn’t have all the answers when they graduated either. However, they have learned a few things over the years and you should let them help you where they can. You are all in it together. To learn more about how Next Great Step helps graduates compete and get that first job out of college, click here.