Think about your classes and what you really liked. Imagine applying those skills or working in those settings. It will help you narrow down the jobs you should apply for.
Take advantage of all the opportunities your school offers. Get internships, both to learn what you want to do, and what isn’t a fit.
Think analytically about the skills you have learned throughout all your experiences. All jobs teach you something and you just don’t know what will resonate with a potential employer. Remember, every single job has some aspect of customer service, so if you worked in retail or fast food, put it on your resume with pride.
Same with extracurricular experiences. Sports, clubs, social justice, or political engagement all help round out your resume.
Now on to finding jobs. Start early with networking. Expect to talk to a lot of people about your hopes and interests. Hannah noted that you should, “Focus on what excites you. But at the same time be open — don’t close doors.”
What does networking look like in this case? Start with your professors. They are a great source of connections.
Your parents will know people, and so will your friends’ parents. Then there are people you know through faith communities and your hometown. Start making lists and have a summary ready to share about what you want to do. Be willing to go outside your comfort to build your brand.
Get on LinkedIn. This will help your network grow and then you can mine your connections’ networks for contacts.
The day will come that you land your job. Once you are there, get involved! Get to know people, learn all you can, and take advantage of the social aspects. Before you know it, like Hannah, you will be established in your field and it will be your turn to help the next wave of emerging people get their start.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Liz Reyer is a credentialed coach with more than 20 years of business experience. Her company, Reyer Coaching & Consulting, offers services for organizations of all sizes. Submit questions or comments about this column at www.deliverchange.com/coachscorner or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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