Congratulations – you made it! You are winding down your last few weeks of school, getting ready to walk across the stage, and now you’re just waiting for that one final piece of your future to fall into place – getting your first job. While the process can bring up some feelings of anxiety for seniors, graduation is not the end of the road for opportunities that are out there. Here are some tips to remember as you contemplate your next move:
Have a focused search. Searching for a job is a job in itself. Reflecting on what you’re looking for can help you to really focus your energy on the jobs that match your values and interests while weeding out those that are just not up your alley. Thinking about it from this perspective may also open you up to opportunities you haven’t previously considered. Write down a list of your values, skills and interests and use them as your lens when searching for that next opportunity.
Don’t be afraid to take an internship. Yes, you can have an internship after college. While this won’t be a long-term job it is a great option if you haven’t had an internship yet or are looking to gain a specific skillset to make you more marketable as a candidate. Who knows, a position may open up where you are interning and be the opportunity you have been looking for! If not, you can still walk away with great contacts and a strong set of skills.
Hiring is cyclical. Because we are used to operating on a school calendar we tend to think that April marks the end of hiring season. The truth is that companies don’t stop looking for candidates in April. Or May. Or June. Each industry/company has a different hiring season and many advertise positions on an as needed basis. The key is to stay persistent – keep using those search engines regularly and continue to network with professionals.
Use UCS. As an alum, you can still use UCS services for up to 6 months after graduation. If you will be in the area don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a career counselor. If you won’t be living close by you can make an appointment with our online counselor, Carolyn. After 6 months you can access career resources through the UNC General Alumni Association.
Practice self-care. This will sound a little cliché but make time for things that make you happy whatever they may be. Whether it’s exercising, volunteering or just catching up with family and friends be sure to set aside time for other interests. Not only will they help you stay busy but they will also help you to stay positive and give you the chance to recharge during the job search.