We have some good news: Prospects for today’s college graduates are looking up.
According to a job outlook study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers expect to hire 7.8 percent more Class of 2014 grads for their U.S. operations than they hired from the Class of 2013. If you look at international operations, prospects are even more promising, with an overall increase of 12 percent.
Good news aside, as a graduate or soon-to-be graduate, you’re probably still faced with some concerns and fears as you start to look for work. That’s completely normal, and only shows that you are taking a true interest in your future and career.
To help you out with some of your concerns, let’s look at some of the most common concerns today’s graduates are facing and how to overcome them:
Not Finding A Job
With the job outlook looking up, finding a job shouldn’t be too worrisome for you. Just remember that finding a job takes time and patience. It’s best to devote at least one hour per day to looking for a job. If you’re out of school, you should increase that time to two or three hours a day.
Also, remember what you do during school or while you’re looking for a job is very important and can help increase your chances of getting a job faster. Internships, pre-professional organizations, and volunteering at local businesses can give you some real-world experience and networking opportunities to give you a leg up with the competition.
Finding A Job You’re Not Happy With
Coming out of college, it is common to have a picture painted in your head of the perfect job at the perfect company in the perfect location. The truth of the matter is that just doesn’t exist. One job won’t be able to fulfill all of your interests and skills. But you can certainly get close by doing extensive research on the companies where you apply and keeping an open mind when you start working with them. Plus, you have an entire career ahead of you, so be patient!
One word of caution: If you are constantly looking for the perfect position, it can lead to serial job hopping, which is not good. However, if you’ve given your job an honest try and realize it’s not the right fit, it’s ok to start looking for something else. You may even consider resetting your career path altogether.
Becoming The Perma-Intern
Although they may not be the most desirable positions, internships are common for students to take after graduation. Think of it as a “test drive” for both you and your employer. It’s a great way for them to see your skills, and for you to figure out the company fit while gaining some valuable real-world experience.
To avoid feeling like you will be a perma-intern, treat the internship just as you would a real job. Before accepting the position, ask them what their policy is on promoting interns to full-time employees. Once you have the position, prove you are a valuable asset to their team and stay alert of any job openings that come up within the company.
To Stay Or Not To Stay
Many college students want to find a job that allows them to get away from their hometown and explore other parts of the country or world after college. Our advice to you — go for it! You are still young and have very little tying you down, so take advantage of that. Employers also like college graduates who are more flexible to the idea of travel and relocation.
Ultimately, your post-graduate years are a time to explore your career choices and see what else is out there. There is nothing saying you can’t come back to your hometown if you want, but give yourself the chance to be open to new opportunities and unexpected possibilities.
It’s common and acceptable to be nervous about entering the workforce — a full-time job comes with bills and other added responsibilities. However, it’s exciting to be on your own and pave your path for the future. Just take these pieces of advice, and remember it’s about taking everything one step at a time to land your first job.
About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and#ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.