As a young, soon-to-be college graduate, I have been facing the many of the same anxieties other soon-to-be grads are facing: Where am I going to work after graduation? How will I land my dream job? How am I going to pay off this mortgage-sized loan that built up for a degree? These are just some of the questions that swarmed my head on a daily basis throughout college.
Although uncertainty is something that makes us most nervous, it shouldn’t. Undergrads should be excited that they do not have the rest of their life mapped out because it’s never a straight line to your dream job.
What can you do?
If there is one piece of advice I can give, it would be to never settle. Too often, I have seen friends in college graduate and throw themselves into a job that they hate, simply to make money. Be ambitious and chase after what you want. In order to do that, you must formulate a plan and figure out a way to execute it.
I have chosen a career of a Talent Agent (for those of you who are unsure of what that is, think of Ari Gold from HBO’s hit series Entourage). Although, the projected number of openings from 2012-2022 is only 5,800, according to onetonline.org, I am certain that this will be the career I hold because I followed a five step plan to ensure that I become it.
So, what are my tips for getting your dream job after college?
1. Pick your job and do your research.
I mentioned Entourage above, and I will do the same in this section. Watching the fictional super agent, Ari Gold, sign clients, close million dollar deals, and name himself the king of Hollywood, I knew that an agent is a career I wanted to have. Obviously, for entertainment purposes, the job on the show was exaggerated and glorified, so I did my research.
2. Apply your research to your courses.
Most students pay top dollar for an education, so why waste your money on courses that provide no benefit to your overall goal? Take courses that will develop your skills in your selected field of interest. Even more important, be sure to take many writing intensive courses. Strong written and oral communication skills are necessity for any high paying job in the world.
3. Develop your network.
In any industry, it is imperative that you have a strong and large network. Shake every hand you can, collect business cards, and always – I repeat ALWAYS – follow up with people you meet. You’d be surprised at how many people do not follow up and are forgotten about. LinkedIn makes it easy for us to communicate with our network these days. It also allows you to network with people outside your area, which is a strong advantage we have as millennials.
4. Set up interviews.
Not every interview has to lead to a job. This is a perfect extension to developing your network. Informational interviews are a great way to get to know an business professional without all the pressures of wondering if you’ll get the job or not. Look them up, give them a call, or shoot them an email. The worst thing they can say is “No.”
5. Have side projects.
Doing side projects on the regular shows that you are an ambitious individual who is always looking for the next opportunity to showcase their skills and get involved. Companies want employees who are involved and always looking to be a part of something bigger. If you have some great projects on your resume, it shows just that.
6. Be resilient and persistent.
Whatever job you may be going for, more than likely, you will face adversity in obtaining that job. Don’t let others dictate your future. If someone tells you that you aren’t a good fit for a position, identify WHY they think you’re not a good fit and figure out how to become the perfect fit for it. No one has ever become successful by settling for second best.
With this guide, there is no doubt that any young professional can obtain the career of his/her dreams. Follow every step, and prove yourself to be the best candidate for any position you may look to acquire.
This post was originally published at an earlier date
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