Graduates are conditioned to believe that after earning a degree in their chosen major, landing a career in their field is expected.
Therefore, the first task becomes attempting to land a full-time job right after school. It’s a nice thought, but after graduation, this happens rarely. Most of the time grads find themselves in a completely different career path.
There is, of course, the exception of those who have secured a job in their major. These are the people to whom graduates constantly compare themselves.
For many, “post-grad life” is figuring out the next steps in your career. The truth is parents and professors can help guide you in the right direction, but can’t prepare you for one of the most confusing stages of your life, the post-grad transitional period.
During collegiate years, you are given advice that chances are you don’t consider because you don’t realize at the time, its importance. The state of the job market for post-grad millennials is highly competitive. Parents strive to prepare their recent college grads, but only through trial and error did I learn how to make myself more desirable for the job market.
As a recent (2019) college graduate from Florida State University, I am familiar with the frustrations of discovering an “entry-level position” that desires two to three years of field experience. At this point, job-searching fatigue has fully kicked in, but on the plus side I have had plenty of time for self-introspection.
Naturally, I have thoughts about what I could have done differently. My biggest regret was not attending Seminole Futures as a senior, an event for career networking. At the time my college mindset looked at the list of participating employers and thought none of these companies are in the industry I want to pursue (editing, writing, and media), which was true. However, now I look back and realize it is important to take advantage of any opportunity to network.
Having built my resume throughout college through studying abroad and gaining internship experience, I must admit I held my head high and felt confident that I would obtain a career instantaneously. Unfortunately, even with experience, there is still fierce competition. Moving forward, this journey is uncertain, but if I could council soon- to-be graduates or graduates in my place I would advise them to consider applying to fellowships that many major companies sponsor. Mostly, these are designed for college graduates and open the door for future employment endeavors. In addition, it helps to move at your own pace and strengthen your resume by staying proactive, seizing opportunities.