Article Summary

Being a recent graduate can bring with it a number of emotions. You are finally free from school and are ready to go and face the “real world” which is very exciting, but you also know that that won't be as easy as it seems, which is scary. For some, this life transition will be more difficult than most any other they will make. The thought of making the right career decision by choosing the best job option can be overwhelming.

Advice For Recent Graduates

Being a recent graduate can bring with it a number of emotions. You are finally free from school and are ready to go and face the “real world” which is very exciting, but you also know that that won't be as easy as it seems, which is scary. For some, this life transition will be more difficult than most any other they will make. 

The thought of making the right career decision by choosing the best job option can be overwhelming. 

In this article we share advice for recent graduates looking for their first job.


1 - Reflect on who you are becoming

Stop focusing on who you used to be (a student) and see yourself for who you have become (a job ready worker!).

Far too many graduates continue to see themselves as former students, even though they have graduated and are now qualified entry-level applicants. Speak with confidence about your knowledge and skills. You’ve earned the right to do that!


2 - It is fine to search for the perfect job, but can you create it?

Entrepreneurship is a growing sector. Now, more than ever before, countless numbers of graduates are setting up online businesses - and doing very well! 

Even if it’s just a hobby or a side-gig, launching a small business provides a sense of independence and financial security, so that you are never completely dependent on someone else to earn a living.


3 - Before chasing your dream, help someone else with theirs

If you’re somewhat “risk averse”, consider working closely with someone who is ready to jump  in and manage the consequences if things don’t go exactly as planned. Being close to the action, but not taking full responsibility for successes/failures can save you years of stress and financial strain, but can provide you with a learning environment that in the long run will help you to grow faster in ways that you can’t even imagine. 


4 - Be open to change

Do not get discouraged when something doesn't go according to your plans. This happens to almost everyone, and more often than you’d expect. It is just the way life works. Instead of focusing on your disappointment, try to learn from the experience. What do you now know that you didn’t know before as a result of things going in an unexpected direction? How will you use those lessons going forward?


5 - Don’t hide from mistakes

People admire winners! What is less known, is that people trust individuals who admit to their mistakes. Although we are drawn to those who are successful, we are also suspicious or maliciously envious of people who never seem to fail. If you want to be seen as relatable and human, let people know that you occasionally falter. Go ahead and celebrate your successes, but build your relationships and gain trust by letting people know that you also struggle and get disappointed at times when things don’t go right.


6 - Make connections 

One of your biggest assets is your “network”. Look for opportunities to expand it and use it in a way that allows for “give and take”. The worst way to network is to always be the one asking for help, job leads, or other information. Remember to give as much, or more, than you ask for.


7.- Be patient

It took you many years to learn what you needed to know. If you’re like most people, you couldn’t wait for school to end. Know that your career will last you for the rest of your life. There’s no prize for rushing things and possibly making big mistakes right out the starting gate.

Most people take time and do research when choosing a vacation spot, a new car, or a new place to live. Do yourself a favor and be just as diligent when choosing a job and a new employer. 


8 - Practice “Best Practices”

Although you’ve graduated with all of the necessary technical skills you’ll need for your first job, employers are also looking for individuals who’ve mastered life’s “soft skills”. 

Working on things such as: time management, a positive mindset, prioritizing, collaboration skills, patience, and flexibility (amongst others) will make you a better worker, all the while building your confidence and making your experience at work a more enjoyable one.


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