The Importance of Your Alumni Network in Your Job Search

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You’ve probably heard that your alumni network is an invaluable resource for finding a great job or getting your foot in the door at a great company, but has that really sunken in?  Many people turn to a plethora of other resources before they consider hitting up their alumni networks, when this may be the first place they should start looking.

An alumni network is an ideal source to start your search because this is where you have access to the individuals who came before you, and who had an experience as close to yours as you can probably get.  They lived in the same dorms, were a part of the same organizations, took classes from the same professors – in short, they were in your shoes before you were.  Because of this, even if they can’t get you a job, they can give you very valuable advice on where to start looking, or introduce you to the people that can do more for you.  They can also warn you against making some of the same mistakes that they did.

Don’t feel awkward about reaching out – given your similar background, alums will likely feel a strong personal connection toward you, and most will love an opportunity to give back to their school.  The bottom line is, alums from your school will probably be eager to help you, and you should take advantage of this opportunity.

To track down the appropriate person to speak to, start with your college career center.  They will likely have a directory of individuals who are ready to help out.  Bear in mind, too, that any person you find in a directory is someone who has probably given permission for students to contact them, and so they won’t be surprised when they receive your call or email.

Another strategy is to look online or turn to alumni chapters in your city if you are already out of college.  Again, it’s reasonable to assume that if someone’s contact information is in a directory, then they are fine with you getting in touch with them.

When you finally establish contact with an alum, it’s important to treat them with the respect that anyone else deserves.  Remember to be gracious, send thank you notes, and drop them an occasional line to let them know how you are doing and what progress you have made – alums get excited about helping out because they are interested in hearing about the cool things future classes do with their lives!

So go out there and start networking!

The Doostang Team

How to Leave a Job on a Good Note

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Saying “sayonara” to a job can be a tearful transition or the greatest day of your life.  But no matter what your thoughts are on leaving your job, it’s important that you leave on a good note.  Here are a few things you can do to ensure a tactful farewell:

Give Appropriate Notice

Make sure that you give at least the standard two weeks notice when you are resigning your post.  Quitting in a huff may feel like the right thing to do in the moment, but it will come back to haunt you in the future – there’s no need to burn any bridges or risk having a former bitter boss badmouth you to a hiring manager.  If you can give more than two weeks notice, that’s great, and only leaves more time for the company to take the necessary steps to ensure a smooth transition on their end.

Write Thank You Notes

It’s a nice touch to write thank you notes to people such as your boss, peers you worked closely with, and others who made an impact on you at your job.  These are the people you spent every day with, collaborating on projects together and learning from.  Thank them for what they taught you and for the time you spent together – they’ll really appreciate the gesture and will be excited to see you succeed in the next phase of your career.

Tie Up Loose Ends

In your remaining time at a company, make sure to work hard through your end date.  While it may be tempting to slack off given the lack of immediate repercussions, it demonstrates that you don’t care and can tarnish your office reputation.  Do what you can to finish up projects, hand off remaining work to other individuals, and help set up the person who will be replacing you.  If you can, offer to train your replacement.

Celebrate

Do something on your last day to mark your farewell to the company – and to the individuals with whom you spent so much time during your days there.  Go out to lunch, bring in cupcakes, make a toast… do something to recognize that you appreciate the people around you and are leaving on good terms.  That way, your farewell will feel more like a celebration of your time there, rather than like an awkward goodbye.

Some of us just hate goodbyes, but don’t let your distaste for them leave a bad taste in your company’s mouth.  Follow the proper etiquette, be gracious, and have a little fun, and you’ll be sure to make a grand exit!

Hasta la vista, baby!!

The Doostang Team

What to Consider When Making a Career Switch

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We’re no longer of a generation that chooses one career and sticks with it.  While our grandparents may have stayed with a single company their entire working lives, nowadays people bounce around companies, continents, and career paths all the time.  Unfortunately, this means that our forefathers may not be able to give us the best advice when we decide we want to make the transition.  So here are some important things to consider while making that uncertain, foreboding, and always exciting career switch!

Assess Where You’re At

A crucial part of changing direction is determining exactly where you currently stand.  It’s important to understand why you want to make a change, and what specifically you have at the moment that you want to modify.  Is your work unfulfilling, not paying you well enough, or leading to a dead end?  And are there ways you can remedy these current problems without jumping ship?  Making a career switch is a huge task, so instead of falling into the “grass is always greener” mentality right away, it may be wise to evaluate whether or not you can find ways to be happier where you currently are.

Do Your Research

Before you make any hasty decisions, it’s important to understand what you’ll be getting yourself into.  You don’t want to transition out of a career just to find the same problems in the new industry you’re entering.  For the new field that you’re considering, make sure you have a solid understanding of salary range, career path, corporate culture, and so on.  You don’t want to glorify a new career solely because it presents a change, and then come to find out that you were happier beforehand.

Get Qualified!

Just because you feel passionate about a new position doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to come easily to you.  Even if you’re an expert in your current field, you may find yourself having to start from scratch when you transition to a new one.  Figure out what prerequisites are essential for the new career you’re pursuing, and accept the fact that you may have to spend considerable time becoming qualified for the new position.  This might mean taking classes, learning new skills, or hitting the books and catching up on industry literature.

Make Connections

Another step to start thinking about is how you’re going to work your way into the “in crowd” of your chosen industry.  It’s important to know the right people when you’re making a career switch, as they’ll be able to impart advice, make introductions, and present you with new paths to consider.  To that end, think about finding a mentor you can chat back and forth with as you grow and become more established in your new vocation.

Making a career switch takes courage, so pat yourself on the back if you’ve decided to embark on this transition.  Remember that it won’t always be easy, but that the best things in life take hard work and tenacity.

Best of luck,

The Doostang Team

Doostang New Jobs This Week: Mar 21 – 27


Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


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Doostang New Jobs This Week: March 7 – 13


Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


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