While college can be incredibly challenging, it doesn’t compare to the challenges one will face upon entering the real world after graduation. After being in an insulated environment surrounded by friends and peers, and a set of challenges not incomparable to the challenges you faced in the adolescent phase of your life, you are harshly cast from the womb onto the cold, hard ground.
I’m being dramatic, of course, but graduating from college is also really hard. You are expected to stare into the face of a shrinking job market, a wide open schedule, and fast approaching student loan payments and not waver — only continue ahead.
It is not easy, but it makes a huge difference if you start planning earlier. There is no reason you can’t start making plans for your post-college life while still enjoying your time in college. Whether you go to Georgetown or GW online, you can put a serious dent in your levels of post- college stress and depression by getting ahead of the 8 ball and giving yourself a fair chance at a career. Start by following this advice for career planning for college students.
Gain Relevant Experience
The big conundrum of the job market for recent college graduates is this: companies want to pay entry level money for positions that require extensive work experience. Now more than ever, any job is going to require that you already have multiple entries on your resume in your field of choice. So do yourself a huge favor and get ahead of the competition while you are still in college.
It will be nearly impossible to get a paid job in your field without a degree though. So find different ways to get interesting entries on your resume. Internships will be an important part of your job application process after college. There are plenty of companies dying to get free labor from college students, so there is no reason you can’t have several on your resume already. You can also get experience through hands-on education offered by your college, or volunteering for nonprofit organizations or charities.
When trying to find a job, it is more about who you know than what you know. If you already know the people who might be able to hire you when you graduate, you will be years ahead of the process. With the amount of business now going on on the internet, it is easier than ever to form connections with people all over the world. But it is also incredibly valuable to form in-person connections, and maintain them over the internet.
Keep an Open Mind
When it comes to starting your career, don’t be picky. Don’t hold out for a job that has your ideal salary, is in your field, and inspires your passion. If it offers one of the three, it will be good enough at first. And just because you get a job doesn’t mean it will be your job for the rest of your working life.