If you’re a young worker or a new graduate on the lookout for your first serious professional position, you’re probably receiving no shortage of advice, both useful and otherwise. As a trusted staffing firm with years of experience, we’ve helped countless young people navigate a challenging marketplace, and here are a few of the decisions and tools that seem to work well for almost every novice job seeker, regardless of his or her specific industry. Keep these tips in mind as you head off in pursuit of your dream job.
1. Gain control of your finances.
Even at its best, the job search can still be a drawn-out and expensive process. Everything from interview travel to dry cleaning bills can add up. And on top of these things, you’ll need to factor in the days and weeks you’ll be spending on the market while earning little or no income. You may have to stretch your savings, reorganize your debt payment plans, and find ways to live on less during this time. If you manage this process well, you’ll avoid the anxiety and desperation that sometimes push young job seekers to make hasty decisions and accept the wrong kinds of jobs.
2. Set clear goals.
And don’t just set them; write them down. Chances are, if you take a snapshot yourself five years from now, not every one of your goals will have materialized exactly as you expect…But that’s no reason to ignore this step. The clearer you are about what you’re looking for and what you want out of life, the better you’ll control the small events that shape your future self and future circumstances.
3. Don’t underestimate the power of your network.
You may not feel like you know very many people who can help you. After all, “professional contacts” are a natural result of time spent in the professional world, and you haven’t set foot in that world yet. But you still have friends, and your friends have parents, and your parents have friends, and some of these people have been circulating in the professional sphere for years. Be bold and reach out the ones who might be able to offer you guidance and advice.
4. Keep the pressure on.
Don’t let up on your job search until you get what you need. Take this process as seriously as you intend to take your future job. That means get up early, stay focused, and don’t spend more than a few hours each day sitting still in front of a screen. Pick up the phone, call any person who might be able to help you, offer to buy these people lunch in exchange for advice, attend job fairs, go to conferences, sign up for networking events, and stay busy. The harder you work, the sooner you’ll be able to put this process behind you and move on. For specific help, reach out to the NC job search and staffing experts at PSU.