June 29, 2012

courses every professional could benefit from taking

Happy Friday everyone! Hope your week has been great so far! Today I am happy to introduce another eager and motivated guest writer called Liz Becker. I love her post because I am a big fan of continuous education.

Every professional has an array of skills that are specific to whatever type of work is being done. There are also a core set of skills that can benefit any professional because of the common elements in nearly every work environment. These skills can be enhanced, refreshed or learned for the first time through a few simple college classes:

1. Communications

There are several varieties of communications classes available in colleges and universities. These classes can help professionals to learn the most effective ways to relay ideas or instructions to co-workers. Communications can cover speaking in public, writing or visual communication with charts and graphs.

Nearly every professional position involves daily communications between an employee and co-workers, management or clients. Ineffective communications skills can hinder a career and can generate confusion among co-workers and clients.

This type of class can become necessary when an individual rises to a level where large groups of people, the media or government committees must be addressed in concise and unambiguous ways.

2. Introduction To Business

Every professional from a pharmacy technician to a lawyer works within the framework of a business. There are various factors that can determine exactly how a business works and what contributions an individual is responsible for making towards the success of the company.

Understanding how businesses work can allow a professional to advance more readily through a familiar structure. Knowing basic terminologies, concepts and processes can give an individual the ability to more readily contribute to the business as a whole instead of filling only a niche position.

3. Computer Literacy

There are very few professionals who do not work with computers, mobile devices or some form of technology on a daily basis. Computer literacy classes are designed to give students an overview of how technology works and how the Internet functions. This can give a professional the extra skills that are necessary to become more efficient or to take on new responsibilities.

The can also be important for tech-savvy employees who have not kept up with changes in the computer industry. Learning how to use new programs, new web services and learning what techniques have fallen into disuse can all become valuable skills that can benefit nearly any career.

These classes are all introductory and can be taken at a variety of schools. Some people might even benefit from taking certain classes regularly every few years in or to remain current. Communicating effectively with others, understanding how an employer operates on a larger level and being able to efficiently use new technologies are all skills that can benefit any professional regardless of the industry.

Liz is a blogger, freelance writer and recent college graduate. She currently performs market research for an online marketing firm when she is not contributing her own thoughts and observations to the online community.


June 25, 2012

10 hidden reasons why you might hate your job

Another Monday, another great guest post. Today's post is written by freelancer Carol Brown and I am sure many readers will be able to relate to this topic! At some stage, most of us will be in a job we really dislike so let's see if we can use these handy tips to diagnose the situation.

Do you grudgingly roll out of bed each morning, downing cup after cup of coffee in an attempt to work up the motivation to head to work? While this might be the reality for many out there, it certainly doesn't have to be, nor should it be. There are a variety of reasons why you might not be thrilled to go to work in the morning and most of them are pretty obvious, from a bad boss to grating coworkers to feeling like you're at a dead end. Yet there are often more subtle factors at work that make going to work a miserable experience, many of which you might not even realize apply to you. Here, we share some of the often hidden reasons your job seems like torture even when it shouldn't.

If you're finishing assignments quickly, don't find them particularly challenging, or just don't have enough to do at work, it likely isn't helping your morale. While some people might think a job that requires little of them would be ideal, the reality for most people is that a job that doesn't ask much is just plain boring. You might not even realize how bored you are at your job until you really stop to think about it. Boredom is one of the easiest gripes with work to remedy, however, as you can challenge yourself to take classes, work on your own projects, or simply start looking for a job that's more engaging with all that free time you have.

Living in constant fear that you'll be laid off, demoted, or pushed out of your current position can lead to a whole lot of workplace stress which, in turn, can make you generally miserable at work and everywhere else. With the economy struggling and many businesses cutting back, this may be a bigger concern for many employees than ever before, and one that you may not even realize is constantly in the back of your mind. Fear can shape your decisions, destroy balance in your life, and might even make you start to resent the power your boss has over your life. Learn to realize you can only control so much in your life, do your best at your job, and start creating a backup plan just in case the worst really does happen.

People often don't realize how many of their bad habits are tied to work. Afternoon snacking? Happy hour binge drinking? Lack of sleep? Skipping workouts? All of these things, and many others, can be tied to a workplace that is overly stressful and demanding. While you might notice the stress, you may not notice just how much your work is impacting other areas of your life, destroying your health, relationships, or work-life balance. When stress and bad habits are coupled with an office environment that promotes your bad habits, things get even worse. This often leads to you beating yourself up about not breaking those bad habits, many of which are tied directly to issues at work, which ultimately results in you disliking your job.

One of the reasons you may hate your job is because your job simply doesn't give much back to you. If there's no prospect of advancement, and no chance to grow, develop, and learn as an employee, you're bound to feel frustrated and unhappy. The ideal job should give back as much as you put in, and if your workplace doesn't offer this kind of payback, it could be weighing more heavily on you than you realize. If this is one of the underlying reasons you hate your job, it may be time to start looking for a new one or finding new ways to push yourself at work.

Do you put in long hours, work extra hard, do your best, and still never get so much as a word of thanks from your boss or coworkers? While you can't expect to get high praise (or a raise) for everything you do at work, we all want to feel like what we do matters. If your job isn't making you feel valued, even if you're helping to push the company forward or developing great products, then it's almost impossible to be happy working in that position. If your company doesn't value you, then it might be time to move on.

For some, the workaholic lifestyle is great, but for the rest of us, spending every waking hour at work, thinking about work, or tied to the office isn't a good thing. Even if you like your job, you may begin to resent its imposition on your personal life, especially if it means missing out on important events, sacrificing vacations, or just not having any time to yourself. Really think about how much time you put into work each week. It might be sucking up more of your time than you realize, which may be a big part of why you don't have much good to say about your job.

If you feel yourself hating your job, it may be because the job you were hired for has morphed into something else that may or may not reflect your career goals. Often this starts out as taking on a few other tasks and can add up to your position being radically different than the job you agreed to take from the company. While this can be a good thing for some people, others may find that it makes going into work boring or unfulfilling. If this is you, talk to your boss or start looking for a position that really reflects what you want to do.

Surprisingly, it can make a big difference whether or not you agree with your company's long-term goals, mission, or management policies. For instance, if you're a high-tech-focused person working for a company that is resisting the digital revolution, you might feel pretty restricted or frustrated at work. If HR policies make it hard to do your job, you're not likely to jump out of bed to get to work in the morning. Sometimes a company just isn't a good match; you just have to figure out if that's true for you and be willing to break it off if it is.

Do you have to keep your values secret at work because they don't match the company values? For instance, it's pretty hard to be crazy about environmentalism when you work for a company that specializes in potentially deadly chemicals. That's an extreme example, but there are many more subtle ways that your job can be a mismatch for your personal beliefs, and that may be an impossible gap to bridge. Ultimately, something will always feel wrong, and that may lead to you hating your job.

We all want to feel like we make a difference in the world, whether we're battling hunger, helping a family deal with setting up a will, or just ensuring people choose the right toaster. Ideally, jobs should offer us some sort of meaning, but if yours doesn't, then it may be a big part of the reason you hate going to work every day. This can be especially true in a large, corporate setting where you may feel like you're just another nameless person working away in a cubicle. Seek out a job that offers you some meaning in your work and see how quickly you start feeling more optimistic about going to work in the morning.

Carol Brown is a freelance contributor to and writes the Job, Career and Education articles for the site. You can view the original post she just shared with us over here.

June 21, 2012

how to get a promotion at work

Welcome back to guest writer Courtney Harrison who has written a fabulous post for us before! 

In the past it used to be the case that workers generally progressed along a set career path during the course of their careers.  The impact of technology, globalisation and flatter organisational structures has changed this. Today employees have to generate and manage their own career paths. So how is the best way to do this? Below are a number of strategies that may be useful.

Work for a Company that gives you Potential to Progress
The first question must be are you in the right organisation that will allow you to be promoted. Large corporations do usually have many promotional possibilities. However it does not need to be a large company. When you are applying for a job ensure that the company is growing and not stagnating.

Where are You and Where do You Want to be?
If you want to get promoted the first stage is to evaluate where you currently are. Why are you there and what are your strengths and weaknesses in this position? Can you use your strengths to lift you into your next position? Do you need to improve on your weaknesses? Once you have identified where you are currently positioned you next need to decide where you want to be. Develop a plan to achieve that objective. This all sounds very simple but if you think it through and write it down it will be a clarification exercise. Once you know where you want to go make sure that your boss knows what your career aspirations are.

Do the Best You Can Now in Your Current Job and Get Credit for That
Do the best you can do currently in your job. Take pride in your existing work. Although doing good work in your current work will not get you promoted if you don’t then you certainly won’t get a promotion. Make sure that you are punctual, show willing and enthusiastic. As well as doing a great job you need to make sure that your boss or those higher up the structure are aware that you are doing a great job. Self-promotion is better done in a subtle way but make sure that you get credit where it is due. Keep a record of everything that enhances the company’s bottom line.

Do More Than is Necessary and Beyond  your Remit
Make sure that where possible you take the initiative on work and don’t wait to be asked. Volunteer for work and solve problems even if they are not yours.  Try and do work that is normally done by the next level up so as to prove you are cable of doing so. Force yourself to innovate into new routines.

Seek out New Skills
It is not enough to be great at your job; you also need to establish marketable skills that will prepare you for your promotion. Further is you become over qualified for your current job then your boss may think it is a waste of your talents leaving you where you currently are. Ensure however that any new skills and knowledge learnt is relevant to your promotion. If your job is in financial investment then a course on investment trusts is going to be more appropriate than one on computer design.

Obtain a Mentor
In a recent study it found that in the case of four out of five promotions made those individuals had a mentoring relationship with someone higher up in the organisation. On one side you will learn about your organisation form a higher perspective and you will get to know about potential jobs higher up the organisation. On the other side your mentor will hopefully be there to put a good word in for you at the appropriate time.

Be Popular
In ideal world promotion would only be based on performance. In reality we are all humans and if you are likeable your promotion potential is always going to be better. In particular if you have a good relationship with your boss they should assist in helping you ascend to the next level. Moreover you should be able to act as a team player as in the corporate world a lot of work is now accomplished through teams. Ensure that you network as much as you can as the more people know what you add to the organisation and what your ambitions are the more likely your name is to arise when opportunities come up.

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list of tips on how to get a promotion but by at least putting some of these into practise you should increase your chances!

Courtney Harrison is a freelance writer who covers investment trusts and related jobs and services for a finance company. Everyone will deal with rejection at some point in their careers; the key is to just keep on pushing for that raise.

June 18, 2012

the work/life balance conundrum

Welcome back after a well deserved weekend! Yet another great guest post today from Rose Keating, with some great insights regarding work-life balance.

We are living in a unique time – there are currently four different generations working side-by-side in companies across the globe. As our working environment is becoming multi-generational, the issue of work-life balance is getting harder to define.  As the older generations continue to retire, the majority of the workforce will be Millennials (those born between 1980-1995) and Gen Xers (those born between 1965 – 1980).   These two generations have quite different ideas of what work/life balance should look like, and this creates a challenge for companies that are trying to satisfy their employee’s needs.

The term work/life balance implies that the two are separate entities, and that they should be kept that way.  This goal of separation and balance is becoming increasingly unrealistic, especially with the advent of smart phones.  Our work is always in our pocket.  You could be at the beach with friends on a Saturday – work email is there too.  You could be at aunt Lucy’s birthday party –work email is there too!  We are now forced to make the decision of whether we are going to work or not – over and over again each day.

The term also carries implications that work and life are in conflict with each other; it’s a battle and only one can prevail in any given moment.  Some Millennials (also referred to as Gen Y) are turning this idea on its head, and instead accepting and pursuing a blended idea of work and life.  In his post on Penelope Trunk’s blog titled, Twentysomething: why I don’t want work/life balance, guest writer Ryan Healy explains, “There is no need for me to keep work life and home life separate. The majority of weeknights you can find me in front of the computer chatting with a friend, watching TV and messing around with MySpace or Facebook. I may as well send out an email or finish up a work briefing at the same time.”  The Millennial generation grew up in world where it was normal to be plugged-in 24-7, so many don’t feel a need to disconnect from work completely when they get home each night.

Gen X has a different take on work/life balance.  They were raised by a generation that often put work before family, and as a result they tend to value work/life balance more than Millennials do.   For many Gen Xers, family is their highest priority – and as a result they want flexible hours, and the ability to work from home.  A new study from British consultancy JBA, involving almost 25,000 people across 19 countries, found that among older staff, seven out of 10 wanted more choice about their work patterns. But just four out of 10 of their younger colleagues wanted to detach themselves from the office environment.

So how can you as an employee get your work/life balance needs met?  Here are 3 ideas:

  1. Seek out companies that share your values around work/life balance When you are networking and doing informational interviews, ask questions about work/life balance and company culture. Slowly build a list of companies that appear to share your values.  Then, during the interview process, ask questions to confirm that your perceptions about work/life balance are correct.  You can do this by asking the hiring manager what work/life balance means to them, and how it applies to their life.   If you meet with potential colleagues during the interview process, ask them their thoughts on the matter as well – colleagues tend to be more candid during interviews than hiring managers.  Other great questions to ask potential colleagues who are in the role you are applying for:  How do you feel about your workload? and How much overtime do you typically work in a month?
  2. Specifically ask about HR policies.  During an interview, ask the hiring manager what the HR policies are for flexible work hours and telecommuting (or any other work/life balance item that is important to you).  Sometimes you have to read between the lines, as they may not explicitly state the policies.  If they say things such as, “I can work with you on that,” or, “I have some flexibility in that area,” - that is a great sign that there are guidelines, but nothing is set in stone.  If you hear things like, “our policy does not support telecommuting,” or, “due to our clients needs we really have to have everyone here from 8-5pm,” you will know that the manager has a hard set of rules they stick to. 
  3. Don’t be afraid to say exactly what you need.   If it is absolutely critical for you to be able to leave early 3 days per week, express these needs to the hiring manager.  The key here is timing – these discussions are best held after an offer is made, but before you have accepted.  You don’t want to start the interview process with demands for a special schedule, but it is important that you be clear about your needs before you accept a position at a new company.  

Rose Keating is a Boston-based Career Coach who specializes in working with millennial women who are in career transition.  She is a strong believer that young professionals can make a significant impact in their organization – if they have the right mindset.  She can be reached at 

June 15, 2012

learning to deal with job rejection

I am excited to feature yet another guest blogger today - thanks so much for your great article Courtney!

Whether you have a particular career goal in mind, are a new graduate or are tentatively looking for a job, any job, rejection is one of those issues that you have to come to terms with. The job market fluctuates so significantly on a regular basis that even if you are a highly qualified, competent and intelligent candidate, there’s no guarantee you’ll find a job. It’s hard not to get despondent when you’re met with tons of rejection emails, interviews that seemed so successful but then no word, but it is important to learn to deal with rejection and its role in your wider job search.

It happens to the best of us
Employers are looking for the best possible candidate for every role whether you’re a wannabe typist or a qualified botanist and to be the successful candidate you need to match the job in question better than anybody else who’s up for consideration. If you don’t, you won’t get the job, however well you interview because the employer needs the person who they are convinced can do the job competently. If you’re not a strong enough candidate, you won’t get the job and equally, if you’re too strong a candidate it’s likely you won’t get the job either as they want somebody who will stick with them. If you apply for a filing job and have a degree in the law, the likelihood is you’ll be bored within a few short weeks and try and move on, which is bad for the company and they realise this at the interview stage.
It is very easy to take rejection as a personal attack, especially when you believe the job was perfect for you but it happens to hundreds of people every day and you need to develop a thick skin if you’re going to survive in the job marketplace.

At least you’ve been noticed
There’s nothing worse than applying for the tenth ‘dream job’ of the week and hearing nothing, absolutely nothing. At least receiving a rejection letter, email or phone call means you’ve been noticed. Most of these rejection letters will state that there was a huge volume of applicants yet sometimes you’ll get a statement such as ‘you don’t meet the role specifications’ or ‘you’re not a good fit’ which gives you a chance to evaluate your own skill set and whether you’re presenting yourself in the best way.

Reevaluate and Move On
If you’ve been rejected for several jobs in the same sector or at the same level, use this experience to consider a different angle or tack. Maybe you need to be finding listings at a lower of higher entry level. Whether you rely on online, newspaper or magazine listings in your job search, it’s important to ensure you’re applying for roles that match your experience level or you have the prerequisite qualifications required. Many people say that whilst you’re job hunting, you should dedicate as much time to your hunt as you would dedicate to a full time job and this is certainly a sensible way to go about it, ensuring that you have the perfect resume, attuned interview skills and are aware of your strengths. Knowing what makes you stand out is essential so when you next get to the interview stage you can show them everything you’ve got. Moving on from rejection can seem hard but dwelling on the past or wondering what else you could have done won’t change the outcome, simply evaluate how it went and move onto the next opportunity.

Keep it Real
Perspective can be hard to come by when you’re surrounded by endless “No Thank Yous” and it is extremely to think finding a job will never happen but really, it will. You may need to rethink your strategy, ask yourself some home truths and really push yourself to try new things but it will happen. A rejection doesn’t mean you’re worthless and it certainly doesn’t detract from the strength of your skill set and qualifications so don’t allow it to make you feel that way. Many of the factors which result in your rejection are simply beyond your control and more due to the employer than your personal profile.

Learning to accept job rejection is essential to ensuring you continue along the right path and when you do find that job, you’ll really appreciate it.

Courtney Harrison is a freelance writer who covers finding listings on the Internet for jobs and services for a social media and search company. Everyone will deal with rejection at some point in their careers; the key is to just keep on searching.

June 11, 2012

interview with a career enthusiast

I have a good friend, Liezl McLean, who is currently the editor of the SA Career Focus Magazine - I have always wanted to do a quick interview with her for my blog. I love the mag because it's great guide for youngsters who need to make informed career choices. Each addition features a variety of career options and includes interviews with people who are in those roles at the moment. So let's hear it from a lady who deals with all types of careers on a daily basis.

How did you come to be a magazine editor?
After undertaking loads of odd travel jobs before studying (such as working at an assembly line in a Smarties factory, waitressing with a crazy chef, changing nappies at a nursery school in London and doing some grape picking in Bordeaux), I was finally ready for a more ‘serious’ job. I love the media industry and believe it plays a vital role in our country.

What are the things you love about your job?
I constantly get to meet the most weird and interesting people! You never know who you’ll be interviewing next and every person is worth a feature! I also love the fact that one never stops learning in this industry – you constantly have to read up about whatever topic you’re going to write about next, whether it’s politics, sport or lifestyle.

And the not-so-glamorous parts?
Late night editing to meet deadlines. The result: a coffee addiction. (Think I need to go for counseling)

After featuring so many different job profiles in the magazine, what are your top 5 career tips for young professionals?
  • Find out what you ENJOY doing.
  • Choose a career that utilises your natural strengths – the job will come naturally.
  • Make sure you have some self-knowledge - this includes an understanding of your interests, abilities and personality.
  • Sharpen up your career knowledge. In other words, know what the job is really like. Do a job shadow or speak to someone in the industry who knows the daily activities.
  • It’s not all about the money.

There you have it - great tips from someone who's tried out some interesting jobs herself and eventually chosen one that is just right for her.  Have you checked out this magazine before? I wish I had a career guide like this when I was still in high school!! 

June 8, 2012

believe you can succeed and you will

Thanks to all my readers who have been sending me guest posts - I am enjoying every single one and it's a pleasure featuring the work of other inspiring young minds! Keep them coming!

Today's post is written by Rose Keating. Do yourself a favour and check out her site after reading this post!

When you believe you have what it takes to accomplish your goals, you create the confidence, energy, and skills needed to do exactly that.  This belief is one of the driving forces behind exceptional employees and high performers. 

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a concept in psychology that explains how a belief or expectation can influence the outcome of an event, regardless if it’s true or not.   If you simply believe something to be true, you will communicate that conviction to others through subtleties in the way you talk, walk, and behave.  People will pick up on those messages, and subconsciously alter their behavior to match your expectations.  In the end, your original thought becomes reality. 

Have you ever noticed at work that there are some people who just seem to be headed to the top? You may not be able to put your finger on exactly why you perceive that vibe; it’s just there. Chances are, that person also believes they are headed to the top.  Someone who has faith in him or herself will take on more responsibility and be more confident in their ideas, compared to an employee who is unsure of their ability.  They will also be more open to feedback, because constructive criticism won’t feel like a personal attack on their competence.  It’s easy to admit your shortcomings when you know deep down that you are going to do great things. 

You can use this phenomenon to your advantage in the workplace by re-examining your own deeply held beliefs, and actively making an effort to start thinking bigger.   If you sincerely hold the conviction that you are capable and worthy of success, your mind will figure out the means to get there. Your colleagues and managers will begin to see what you see.  They will start to share your belief, because confidence is contagious. 

Here are 3 steps to harness the power of self-fulfilling prophecy to reach your career goals. 

  1. Think about what you want to happen for you in your career over the next year.  It could be a raise, a promotion, or an assignment to a specific project. 
  2. Cultivate the belief that you are capable of accomplishing that goal by writing down exactly what you plan to achieve. Include specifics about why you will be successful. 
  3. Create three affirmations associated with that goal, and repeat them to yourself every morning and every evening, for 1 week. 

After you implement these steps, you will be amazed at how a change in your mindset can change your reality.

Rose Keating is a Boston-based Career Coach who specializes in working with millennial women who are in career transition.  She is a strong believer that young professionals can make a significant impact in their organization – if they have the right mindset.  She can be reached at 

June 6, 2012

5 ways to counter a depressing work environment

I am very excited to feature a new guest writer today - Melanie Slough. Thank you Melanie for your wonderfully positive and refreshing article!

To me, working in a cubicle is the ultimate form of mental torture. Well, maybe I won’t go that far, but still, it is pretty bad. Staring at boring beige walls eight hours or more a day can really get on your nerves. Then the personalities of your co-workers come into play. If they are as drab as the walls, or worse, it can really bring you down. But what can you do? Here are five tips on overcoming the beige blah of work.

  1. Brighten your space – If your company allows it, decorate! Get some photos of your friends and loved ones, add some knick-knacks and add color with posters of vacation destinations. If you’ve got a hobby you love, bring that into your space too. Anything that reminds you there is still a life outside of these four walls. 
  2. Get some green – Another thing that will help you is adding some plants. Green is the easiest color on the eyes, and plants also offer another advantage- some extra oxygen. They are proven to be relaxing and give you a grounded feeling. All it takes is a little indoor plant on the corner of your desk to make the space feel alive. 
  3. Make it yours – If your company doesn’t allow you to personalize your space (why are you working there, again?) then you’ll have to find other ways of making it yours. A favorite scent, in candle or spray form, can help you focus. Some comfy shoes tucked under your desk or a fuzzy pair of socks to keep your feet warm. If you are consistently cold, find a stylish but warm coat to wrap yourself in when the going gets tough. These little comforts will help to turn a blah day into an ahh day. 
  4. Connect – If your co-workers are the problem, then there is one solution. I know it is painful, but you may have to connect with them. There are very few people that are actually boring. Most are overworked, stressed, or just shy. If you can find some common interest, it will help the day pass faster, and make it a lot less depressing.
  5. Get creative – If all of the above fail to lighten the mood, you may have to get creative. Talk to management about ways to brighten the workspace. Maybe movie Fridays or birthday lunches. Remind them that happy workers work harder, and then point out the bare walls. You might be surprised by the light bulb that suddenly appears above their heads.

No matter what you do, enjoy yourself. Work is not the be all and end all of existence. Have a life outside your job and you will be a happier, more balanced person. Remember that life is what you make of it. Set your mind on the positive and don’t let circumstances get you down. One happy person can change an entire office.

Melanie Slaugh is enthusiastic about the growing prospects and opportunities of various industries and writing articles on various consumer goods and services as a freelance writer. She writes extensively for internet service providers and also topics related to internet service providers in my area for presenting the consumers, the information they need to choose the right Internet package for them. She can be reached at slaugh.slaugh907 @

June 1, 2012

you've graduated - now what??

Hooray for guest posts!! Today I have the pleasure of welcoming back Zach Buckley, who's written a guest post for wannabe|employee before.

For many college students, it can be difficult to see beyond the perceived end goal of graduation. When in college, however, it’s important to think about what lies beyond. If they fail to consider what they’ll do once they graduate, they may find themselves ill-equipped to handle the rigors of life after college. Whether the graduate in question trudged to campus every day or earned a degree through the completion of online classes, he’ll still face the same challenges post-graduation.

Acquiring a Job

The first challenge any new graduate faces is hunting down that elusive job offer. Venturing out into the job market with new degree in hand can be a daunting task. Often, graduates are left choosing between the position they want and the one they can acquire immediately. When beginning the search process, it’s important for recent graduates to set clear and achievable goals. While holding out for a dream job can be desirable, sometimes graduates must take jobs to make ends meet.

Graduates who settle for less-than-ideal jobs should keep in mind that this position doesn’t have to be one they hold for years. If they aren’t happy with their initial jobs they should still continue the job search while working at this starting job, continuing to strive for the career they’ve always dreamed of having.

Get a New Place

Whether the graduate lived with a roommate or stayed home with Mom and Dad through college, graduating often means calling a new place home. This can be difficult as the graduate often doesn’t have gainful employment to fund this new abode. As they prepare for graduation, students can make this transition easier for themselves by exploring new home options and saving up to finance this dream. If graduation arrives before the funds are saved, it may be beneficial to remain at home with parents or to live with a roommate while starting out in order to save the necessary capital.

Continued Education

When walking across the stage to pick up that degree, many college students --exhausted from years of study-- feel reluctant to head back to school. Doing so, however, is a wise choice, particularly in ever-changing technology industries. It behooves recent graduates to consider continuing their education, even though the prospect may appear less than desirable. By exploring online degree programs, recent college graduates can acquire information to enhance their understanding of concepts within their industries and pick up new credentials without making additional schooling a full-time endeavor.

Network for Advancement

After completion of a degree, the graduate’s attention should turn to the process of networking. By building relationships within the business community, the graduate can set himself up for career advancement. While even the most adept networking doesn’t ensure a job promotion, attending industry functions and rubbing elbows with movers and shakers is always helpful. Graduates can enhance their ability to network by joining professional societies in their field, as this gives them access to an array of activities and events that will be filled with individuals who work within the same industries.

Leaving behind the comfy cocoon of college can be equal parts scary and exhilarating. As graduates prepare to exit these halls of education, they can often assuage their fears by critically thinking about the steps that follow graduation. With careful exploration of the post-graduation process, former students can make the transition a seamless one and find their way more easily into the working world.

Zach Buckley is a freelance writer who is interested in exploring the intersection of culture, science and education. He lives in the Midwest and enjoys music, literature and good food.