Are you real world ready?
The quote to the right of this was one that I kept with me throughout college. I printed it out, and had it in my planner every year of my college duration. It taught me to never look back at my mistakes and to keep looking forward.
At this time last year, I was a senior at Loyola University. Currently in a state of panic, I had no idea what I was going to do with my life once graduation came. Fast forward to a year from then, and I am seeing friends of mine deal with the same situation. The feeling that you have no idea where your life will be in a month is one of the most terrifying feelings in the world. So how do you deal with it?
If I could give current college students any advice for the next month of their life, it would be these four things:
Look everywhere for opportunities.
When you are searching for a job, don’t stick to job boards. Look for jobs anywhere and everywhere you can. I found my job at Walker Sands from an email blast that a Loyola professor sent out about the opportunity (who received the job posting from Jackie, and the rest is history 🙂 ) Having said that, you never know where you can find a job. Always keep your eye out. Twitter will be your BFF in the job hunt. People post jobs constantly on Twitter, so talk to them when you see opportunities that fit. Most old-school college teachers will tell you that is crazy, but those are usually the ones who do not even understand what social media is. Sites like Media Bistro and Career Builder are great as well. Also, check with your University career center. They may have resources that are sent directly to your school.
Don’t freak out if you don’t have a master plan set up.
Let’s say all of your friends are landing great gigs, and you are still searching. Don’t panic or give up hope. Keeping a positive attitude and talking to positive people is essential. Don’t let your mind talk you out of it. Take it one day at a time. It will fall into place when it needs to. If you need some inspiring words of wisdom, go here.
Find mentors, and talk to them.
If you don’t have a mentor, now is the time to connect to one. Mentorships come naturally, so talking to people with similar interests and values will help you to build mutually beneficial mentorships. Having someone that you can share and vent to about the frustrations of a job search is vital. If you ever want advice from me, shoot me an email, tweet, or comment here. I am happy to give advice, and I know Jackie is as well. We were both in your shoes this time last year. We understand. No question is silly. Ask away.
Enjoy the ride.
Even though you will be stressed out, overwhelmed, and not knowing what to do – enjoy every minute of it. Stay out late with your friends. Do everything you want to do as a student before the time is up. Have no regrets. Why? You worked your ass off for 4 years, and you will spend the rest of your life proving your degree was worth it. So rock on.
Here are a few other resources for students/soon-to-be grads:
There are thousands of blogs and sites out there that will keep you inspired and positive. Let me know what your favorites are. I’m always looking for new reads.