First things first, put down the tissues and remind yourself why you went to college in the first place—to get a degree that will lead to a successful job and life—and YOU DID IT! Congratulations are in order! Next, stop talking to your friends about the jobs they already have lined up after graduation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person changes jobs 10 times before they are forty, so though people you know have jobs lined up, it is likely they will leave those jobs within the first year of being there. Also, a majority of the thousands of college graduates around the world do not have jobs lined up before graduation so if that’s you, you are totally normal for not having one either. You just have really successful friends in your circle, which is actually a good thing—so don’t let go of those amazing and supportive people in your life. You will be just like them one day, too.

Let’s dispel a few myths about your dilemma.

It’s NEVER too late…

To visit the Career and Leadership Development Center. The CLDC is a year-round office and you can schedule career coaching in person before you leave campus or call at 740-593-2909 to schedule meetings with a professional career coach over the summer to support your job search process. The CLDC also continues to work with all students even after graduation and well into their alumni years, so continue to use their services regardless of the situation (e.g. new job search, transitioning careers and encore careers after retirement.)

Have a few backup plans…

Because there will be days when you may need to just make a buck. Remember you have skills that you gained outside of the classroom that could lead to part-time jobs while you are looking for your real job. Going back to a job as a summer camp counselor, bartender, server or grocery clerk isn’t taking a step back – it’s called the “in the meantime” plan, and everyone has one. Some people babysit or nanny every summer or work as labor workers in their local area to pay bills and save money. There is NOTHING wrong with doing those jobs while you continue to job search after graduation. Those jobs are valued and needed in our communities and if you are good at one of them, then you’re offering an important skill to an employer.

Don’t forget you have skills…

That other people don’t. You just need to know how to highlight those skills to a recruiter or people in your network. You have the next week to get your resume in really good shape as you continue your job search, so head up to the CLDC for a drop in because it will only take 10 MINUTES. Seriously, it’s amazing how much you can get done in 10 minutes if you are willing to ask for help. The CLDC continues to offer drop-ins throughout finals week and into the summer from 11am-5pm every day. It’s tough to keep your head up when you haven’t had someone encourage you to brag about your accomplishments in a while. That’s literally what the CLDC is there to do—be a guide of encouragement as you move out into the ‘real world’ after graduation, so come see us because we all know you are NOT studying as much as you say you are during finals week.

Rolling admissions…

Do exist for graduate schools. Graduate school is NOT a great idea if you are just prolonging the inevitable or avoiding the world of work, so make sure you are going for the right reasons.  However, if you are a little late to the game and realize how much you wish you would have done your graduate school search back in the fall when your friends were—it’s not too late. Plus, the CLDC can help you get your application documents in good shape once you find a school you would like to apply to in the next few weeks or months.  Rolling admissions means that there is no deadline for application, and that means you CAN still apply for fall semester if you want to go grab another degree in a specialized area. An example of a few universities with rolling admissions can be found in this U.S. News article from 2017, but there are even more schools that do this if you are willing to put the effort into looking now.

To stay motivated and positive through this new transition to life after college, sometimes just posting positive affirmation messages on your bathroom mirror or computer screen can keep your eyes on the prize. Remind yourself that you are awesome, you will be successful and there is a job right around the corner—and it will be yours if you “Don’t Stop Believing”.

By Erin Morgenstern, CLDC Assistant Director for Leadership

 

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