Making the Transition between College and Career

You have finally done it! You made your way through college, have a degree and you are ready to make your mark on the world. Once you are ready to enter the professional world, you may find that things are somewhat different from the world of college. The time period between graduating college and embarking on your first professional position is typically a crossroad. This time can be daunting as well as exciting and overwhelming for most college graduates. Below are some steps that will help to make the transition between college and the professional world much easier.

First, begin by making certain that you have determined the direction in which you want to go next in your career search. While it would certainly seem that you would be 100% certain about the next step after spending several years in college; that is often not the case. This crossroad time period is often the best time to make sure you understand the best type of career that will suit you. Give thought to whether you enjoy being around people or prefer to be on your own. Take into consideration all of your interests, dislikes, weaknesses and strengths when planning your next career step. Take the time at this point to focus your direction on those fields that match your talents as well as your interests.

Always make sure that you have done your homework. You may have thought that you were finished with homework once you had your degree in hand, but that is not the case. Employment candidates who take the time to research the companies that interest them will often have the best competitive edge as well as odds of landing the job they want. Look at the company’s web site and review news articles that talk about current trends and activities of the company so that you can learn as much as you possibly can.

Do not forget to assemble all of the tools you need for your career search. You will need a resume, cover letter, and a portfolio that focuses on your work. Taking the time to develop a professional resume and cover letter will be time well spent.

Spend some time networking. Even with the popularity of the Internet, the importance of networking should not be overlooked. In fact, networking can be one of the most important things that you do when looking for a job. Utilize any resources that are available to you, including your college’s career placement office, former professors, your parents’ friends, neighbors and friends who may already be in the working world. Do not be afraid to ask your contacts for assistance. You may be surprised at the doors that are opened to you through networking.