So you are about to graduate from college. Good for you! This is a very exciting time in your life as you prepare to share your knowledge with the world. The next step in the process will be finding a job that not only complements your skillset but also provides long term employment where you can grow as a person.
The idea of finding a job after college can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By researching and being well informed, you can find a position that will suit your needs. Below are some pointers to keep in mind.
While some students may have time after graduation to weigh their options, others might need to get a job as soon as possible to pay the bills. Even if time is of the essence, you will want to thoroughly research a new company before signing on the dotted line. First, look to your online networks and see if anyone in your similar field works at a job that is hiring. If so, get the details from them first hand.
Next, go on a site like Glassdoor.com, where you can see what existing employees think of the company culture, salary, and the benefits. You also want to find a job that matches your skills, so pay special attention to the job description, and when you apply to the job, modify your resume to match what they are looking for. Keep in mind that companies may also find you online, so make sure that your social profiles are employer-friendly with professional pictures and a summary of your skills.
If you are part of Generation Z, then you probably have a different set of values that you want to see in a job. Many who are new to the workforce are engaged by more intangible things like company culture and how much a company truly values its employees. When you research, look at how past and current employees talk about this stuff, and if it sounds good, then apply.
You can get further intel on the business and the job opportunity during the interview. Take this process very seriously and write down your questions ahead of time so you don’t leave anything out. Ask about your responsibilities during an average day, the health benefits, the pay, and anything else important to you.
In many cases, you may have to start in an entry-level position, which may have lower pay but will allow you to learn the ropes and the responsibilities necessary to grow within the company. Growth is key. Ask what attributes they look for when promoting employees. If the interviewer would be your future boss, ask them the steps they took to rise in the ranks.
No question is off-limits. Interviewers look for applicants who ask questions because it shows a genuine interest in the company. You might even ask about the layout of the office as that can affect how business is done. For instance, open floor plans are best when communication with coworkers throughout the day is essential, while cubicles work when focus is needed to complete your tasks.
One aspect of a potential post-grad job that you might not consider is the location of the company. Ideally, you will want to work at a company close to where you live. If not, you will want to factor in the cost of the commute and determine how much it will take out of your salary. Also, how far of a drive is it? You need to maintain a life-work balance, so you may not want to drive an hour to work, be there for eight hours, and then drive that distance back and have your day be over with.
If you find the perfect job, but they ask you to relocate to a different city or state, then other factors will need to be considered. Again, it would come down to the financial implications. Will the company pay your moving expenses? Are they paying for a place where you can stay while you figure out a permanent living situation?
You also need to consider how the location will affect your personal life. If you are single, then it may not be that big of a deal to work in a new city. However, if you have children or you take care of a relative, then the move may not be possible. Take some time to think about all of this before you accept the offer.
There can be a lot of stress that comes with finding that first post-grad job, but by considering all aspects of a potential position, you can make the right choice.