After spending almost four months as an unemployed college graduate, I learned a lot about myself and looked back at my college career almost everyday. Those four months were harder than I expected. Because of this, I wanted to share some of my key insights with other college students and graduates. I came up with seven tips that will hopefully help you on your career-hunting experience, and make you feel more confident when you're looking to start your career.
Before you continue reading, I want to clarify: these are not where you can find a job, but tips to help you find a career that fits you best.
1) Find out what you're good at and enjoy This step I suggest you start before you sign your major. You should take some time to reflect on things you have done that you believe you are good at. This may include prior classes (middle school, high school, and college), volunteer work, and hobbies. After defining what you're good at, you should narrow down the items you enjoy to do many times per day.
For example, you might be good at math, but you do not enjoying doing it more than necessary. However, you do well writing papers, and you also enjoy writing in your spare time. Although you're good at math, you may not want to choose a major or career where this is integral in your daily work. On the other hand, you may want to look into a major or career with a focus in writing since you enjoy it and do it well.
2) Define who you are After you know what you're good at and what you enjoy, you should define yourself. When I did this, I focused on key adjectives myself and others have used to describe me - outgoing, kind, hardworking, go-getter, and many more. These adjectives can help you narrow your search for a career of major down even more. In addition to that, it can help you decide what types of work atmospheres you would enjoy working under.
3) Understand what you want Once you know who you are as a person, you will better understand what you want out of your career. One great resource to help you understand the personalities and work atmospheres of roles is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is also a great place to get density of work in each state, average incomes, daily job tasks, and degrees most people with these roles hold.
4) Outline where you want to live Once you know what you want, you should look into where you can do it. More importantly, you should decide what types of places you want to live. Are there specific cities or states you want to live in? Do you want to be in a big city, small town, suburban area, or rural area? Is it possible to work your career remotely? Finally, can you work in the career you want in the area you want to live?
5) Set your price The next major step is to decide how much you're worth in the industry. My favorite websites to estimate salaries for a specific job in a specific location are PayScale and Glassdoor. PayScale does an in-depth analysis of what you're expected title is, where you will be working, what your tasks will be, your education, experience, and many more items. Glassdoor has a company rating by its employees, average salaries for roles at companies, interview questions, and much more. I highly suggest you check out these websites if you're looking for a job.
6) Create a timeline You need to set up a timeline when you're looking for a role. When will you start applying for jobs? I started applying for jobs my junior year of college, because I wanted to get my name out to companies and start interviewing. Also, upload your résumé to job sites. One site is Indeed's resume uploader. Also, some states also have a place to upload resumes for local job seekers to upload and search for jobs.
Also, how long will you keep looking in that city, state, etc? Set a time when you will broaden your search. You many choose to set your timeline for two months after you start, or even one month after you graduate; choose what is right for you.
7) Re-evaluate Don't be afraid to question yourself. You can change what you want to do at any time; you might think you want to live in a big city, but you realize you want to drive your own car and you hate taxis and buses. Maybe you decide change your mind to live in a medium-sized city, or you're willing to commute from the suburbs. In the end, do what you want, what makes you happy, and be honest with yourself.