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Adulting Career Transition

Why LinkedIn is Essential for College Students

May 17, 2022

LinkedIn is growing in popularity among Gen Z, and it’s setting off a wave of envy and fear of missing out for some college students who worry they’re behind—even if they aren’t yet in the workforce.

  • The key to using LinkedIn effectively is to create a detailed and engaging profile.
  • Learn and use basic etiquette when sending messages and making connections.
  • Don’t neglect LinkedIn; update your status regularly and explore job postings.

Stop worrying about work experience and connections. After college, as you get more experience with internships and a job, those sections will naturally fill themselves out. For now, follow these 8 steps to make the most out of your LinkedIn profile.

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Career Student Life Transition

The Reality of How to Find a Job After Graduation

April 28, 2022
College Student in Cap and Gown

Classes have finished, graduation is over, your stuff is all packed, and a little taste of reality has finally started to set in.

You’ve probably seen at least half a dozen articles about how to find a job after college. Those tips and tricks may help you get your foot in the door of what may be your dream job! After all, going to college to get that degree to eventually work in the field you worked toward is the goal, right?

Take it from a recent college grad: the job hunt can be tricky and overwhelming when first out of college. It’s not as easy as applying to as many jobs as possible. Read on for some tips on how to navigate the job hunting world in ways not a lot of people talk about.

Keep a supportive and encouraging inner circle.

Similar things tend to gravitate to one another, and it’s important to find comfort in those who are empathetic and understanding about what you are going through. Graduating without a role lined up is a challenge all on its own, let alone dealing with people who aren’t supportive.

Being unemployed isn’t easy, especially with a degree. It can feel hopeless and frustrating to watch your peers quickly start their careers while you are still getting yourself set up. It can feel like a swift kick in the gut when your inner circle of those you trust does not support you when you are feeling down. Be mindful of who you are speaking with when sharing your insecurities and fears.

It’s crucial to make sure your close friends lift you up, not down, supporting your aspirations and motivating you, not discourage you. You’ll need their positive energy if the search doesn’t go quite as you planned. Phases of self-doubt when looking for your first role out of college will come, and it may be hard to talk to some of my friends who just don’t understand what you are feeling – and that’s okay! Just let them know that you require some encouragement or look elsewhere for some.

Evaluate how you’re spending your free time.

It may be very tempting to want to put off finding a job at all after graduation. You finished classes and deserve a break! But time is valuable and many employers look to recent college grads to fill positions in May, June, or July. If you delay this, you may have to wait to find a job with winter grads.

Don’t turn into a lump on a log, wasting away watching hours of TikTok in your PJs. You are capable of so much more than you may realize- you have a degree, you have dreams, and you can start chasing them! Get strong both mentally and physically to get the best position for you.

It’s okay to take a short break to recoup after finishing your degree, but don’t let yourself develop bad habits. It can be tough on your mental and physical health if you let yourself wander too far off the beaten path of structure that college provides. But a self-care day is needed every once in a while.

Spend your time doing things you love and learning more about your passions; never stop learning and growing. Read, write, paint, or exercise to keep your body and mind active. You will feel better, be more alert, and more prepared to take on opportunities when they come to you.

Work toward your dreams, no matter how big they are.

Dreams and goals are not supposed to be easy or obtained overnight. It’s okay if they are a little scary or seem too far out of reach.

Sure, it may seem like the odds are against recent grads, but the good news is that you won’t be a recent grad forever. The journey will be tough with roadblocks you never saw coming, but in the end, it will all lead you where you are meant to go. If you clearly define the goals you have for yourself and believe in them, the struggle will all be worth it!

Dreams take time. Whether it’s getting an internship, starting out at the very bottom, or realizing a role you took was just not meant for you, you’ll get there. With one foot in front of the other, take steps towards your goals, starting at the beginning and working your way up. If your dream is to be a VP at a company, that job title won’t come right away, or even for several years. But know that even entering the company as

You are your biggest fan and fiercest advocate.

No one has your back like you do, so learn to be your biggest cheerleader. Even if you think it’s impossible, never stop believing in yourself because you can do far more than you think you can. Never stop working on getting better; in life, work, your hobbies, everything! We are our worst critics and letting doubt and fear of failure hold us back most of the time.

The only thing in the way of you going to the next level is you.  Be the person you dreamed you could be, and don’t stop until you get there. Even if it seems like it may be too hard, never stop fighting for yourself. You owe yourself that much after spending years of your life working and learning to earn that degree.

Life after college is a whole new ball game. With new things happening simultaneously, it can get overwhelming. It’s okay to take time to get your footing and make a plan as you start this new phase in life. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so understand that life is a process and everything will work out. You got this!

Career Transition

The Post-Grad Job Hunt

March 31, 2022

As graduation gets closer, many feelings start to bubble up; excitement, relief, nervousness, and maybe even anxiety. As we prepare to leave this phase of life and enter another, there are a few things that you can do to make the transition more manageable as you begin looking for your first job as a college graduate.

The hunt for a job starts before you ever step foot off-campus.

Before Leaving College

Of course, there is the fact that you need to actually graduate, move off-campus, and get settled in your new place. However, before you head out into the world, there are a few resources your school may have available to help get you started.

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Career Student Life

3 Things Every Student Should Do Before Graduating 

March 29, 2022
Things to do before graduation

The months following graduation can feel a little odd. Maybe you didn’t have a job lined up after college like some of your friends did. It’s difficult to keep in touch when you’re not bumping into each other on campus or in the residence halls anymore. As a result, many recent grads struggle to adapt to life outside of college.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can make your transition from college into post-grad life a little easier by planning ahead and preparing for all that life has to offer. Here are 3 things every student should do before graduating and heading into the workforce.

Polish Your Social Media Accounts

Your social media accounts will serve a very different purpose once you graduate. Social media was a great way to connect with new friends and learn about events or parties in college. But when you graduate, your social media account can be a risk to your personal and professional growth.  

Nowadays, most organizations will look you up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram before hiring you. Anything that was considered cool in college, such as underage drinking, or posting photos by the pool every Saturday may come back to haunt you if your future employer saw it. Just because your profile settings are set to private, doesn’t mean it’s completely blocked off.

This doesn’t mean you have to delete every social picture from your profiles. You just have to be savvy about what you leave up and what you take down. Try to untag yourself from anything that might be misinterpreted. What happens online, stays online!

Update Your Resume

When was the last time you updated your resume? For most college students, it was probably either in high school or when you applied for a recent part-time position. These versions of your resume simply won’t cut it in the professional world, where you need to put forward a solid resume to make it to the interview stage. 

Fortunately, most colleges have a career services department to help you create the best version of your resume. Usually, the folks who work in these offices have plenty of experience, so it’s worth checking them out and listening to their suggestions. 

You can start writing a killer resume by researching successful resumes online. This will give you an idea of the industry standard and help you choose between design templates and layouts. Regardless of the template you choose, you must first share the most essential information. This depends on the job you are applying to and your experience, but it should always display your strongest achievements and accomplishments first.  Make sure to mention your anticipated graduation month and year, and if you’re open to relocating after graduating.

Write a Will and Advanced Directive

Many people mistakenly believe that will writing is only for the elderly or those with life-threatening conditions. The reality is that all adults need to have a will to make things easier for loved ones if tragedy does occur. 

However, if it’s your first time writing a will, it can be hard to know what to include. Typically, your will should tell your loved ones what you want to happen regarding your health care, property, and assets. Your parents will likely be able to help you out with writing your first will. You can always update it down the line after big life events, such as getting married or having a child.

Takeaways

Transitioning from college to the workforce is always going to be tricky. But you can make the process a little smoother by planning ahead and setting a clear direction for your life after graduation. Start by assessing your social media presence and resume materials, as these will play a significant role in your job hunt. Then, consider writing a will and advanced directive, so you can move into life beyond college with peace of mind. 

Career Student Life

Starting College Undeclared and Thriving

March 15, 2022

You have high hopes and big dreams when you head off to college, but things don’t always go according to plan. Sometimes when you start college, you may start to change and find that what you thought you wanted is no longer the case. Maybe you don’t even know what you want to do in the first place. Either way, it is alright if you don’t have a major picked out right away, or start college undeclared.

With many majors and specializations offered, choosing which major to pursue your bachelor’s degree can be challenging. It is okay to feel uncertain at first, and many students are open to the chance to explore different fields to discover what interests them most. There are often many negative feelings surrounding being undeclared at the beginning of your college career; however, it can actually be a good thing to not have a major picked right away.

Benefits of Being Undeclared

Enrolling with an undeclared major allows you to explore your options and give you the chance to take a variety of courses on different topics to see what you would like to pursue further. You will need to check your universities requirements or with your academic advisor to see how long you can be undeclared. Most universities will allow you to remain undeclared for up to one year or two semesters.

Starting your college career undeclared can also save you some hassle later on down the road. According to Frank.org, at least 80% of college students change their major during their college career. If you start out undecided and take the time to look through the different options by taking courses and speaking with an academic advisor, you can make a well-informed choice. The later in school you change your major, the more significant the implications could be.

Although taking this route may be helpful to you, it’s important to note that not picking a major may push your expected graduation date back. That could affect any scholarships or other financial aid you might have, so it would be good to talk it over with someone before making any significant changes.

Picking a Major

For an incoming freshman, our best piece of advice is not to stress about picking a major right away. Now that you have taken some time to look over the different options offered at your university, you can begin narrowing your options.

Make a list

We make lists for all sorts of reasons; why would picking a major be any different? Writing things down can help you visually and logically think through them.

When deciding your major, there are many factors that you should think about:

  • What courses are involved?
  • What are the graduation requirements?
  • What job could I get after I graduate?

Now that you have your list of options you’ve explored, which ones would you like to seriously consider?

What Did You Like?

On this list of possible majors, which ones do you like? Do any of them have the chance to help you get a job that you would enjoy? Let yourself be a little more creative to explore all the things you’re passionate about to see if you can visualize yourself in a particular role or field using the major. While some of the classes you take might not lead up to being aligned with your major, they can help you navigate your way to something involving different things you are passionate about.

What Were You Good At?

To narrow down the list, even more, think about all the classes from your major list that you were good at. And if you’re up for it, include the ones you think you weren’t so fond of.

How will this be helpful? When you compare the two, it can help you make an informed, logical choice. It may seem weird, but just because you are good at something doesn’t mean that you would end up enjoying that major or a job in that related field.

For example, if you are good at math and performed well in your first accounting class but did not enjoy the coursework involved, you might not want to consider accounting as a major moving forward.

Talk to a Professional

Although we have mentioned it before, a great way to get a sense of what major you might want to pursue further is speaking with an advisor. They will better understand what the coursework will look like moving forward and can help with any questions or hesitations you have.

You can also try speaking with someone who got a degree in a field you’re considering. It could be a parent, family member, friend, or acquaintance, but getting advice from someone with experience in the field can give you valuable insight into if you would enjoy this major or career path.

You could ask about what it’s like getting into the industry, the work-to-life balance, pay range, and possible career growth. Knowing this information can give you a sense of whether or not careers within this degree path are suitable for you.

Picking a major and a career path can be scary, but know that you are not alone! There are many different options out there to help you make this decision. Although it may feel overwhelming, it is okay to start school not exactly sure where you are headed or change your direction halfway through.

Career Student Life

Diversity Encouragement Strengthening STEM Disciplines

March 1, 2022

A STEM career may prove to be a great choice for you. For instance, you can earn a degree in astronomy, biology, or another STEM field. From here, you can gain the skills you need to become a key contributor in a STEM role. In addition, you can help foster diversity among STEM disciplines. 

You can simultaneously build a rewarding STEM career and promote diversity in STEM disciplines. And doing so may have far-flung effects on yourself and many others long into the future. 

Why STEM Studies Are Crucial 

Sparking interest in STEM studies drives diversity among STEM disciplines. To understand why, consider what can happen if you pursue a STEM degree. 

In this instance, you’ll use hands-on and classroom training and exercises to build your skill set in science, technology, engineering, and math. Next, you can use your STEM skills to solve problems and take your creativity to new heights. 

At this point, your STEM skills can make you an attractive candidate for top jobs from STEM companies. They can even help you earn a great salary. 

Let’s not forget about the unique contributions you’ll be able to bring to a STEM company, either. Your contributions may lead others to pursue STEM careers. As a result, you’ll foster diversity in STEM disciplines. 

How Educators Encourage Diversity in STEM Disciplines 

If you’re on the fence about a college major, meeting with educators can provide a great starting point. Teachers have your best interests at heart and can address any doubts you have about choosing a college major.  

Many teachers possess cultural awareness that is vital to the enjoyment and pursuit of learning. These teachers can help you explore career interests you previously might not have considered. And they may help you find a STEM degree program that suits you perfectly. 

Ultimately, earning a degree in a STEM discipline can provide a viable career path. There are many degrees you can pursue in STEM studies. Thus, you can find one that interests you and make a career out of it. You can help make STEM disciplines more diverse than ever before, too. 

How to Build a STEM Career and Promote Diversity

Once you’re ready to earn a degree in a STEM field, you’ll need to find the right degree program. You can look for STEM studies at colleges and universities close to home. Or, you can enroll in an online degree program.

Search for degree programs that align with what you want to accomplish in your career. Oftentimes, it helps to list out your career goals. You can then use your goals to figure out what degree programs can help you build your ideal STEM career. 

Take advantage of any opportunities to gain experience, too. Sign up for workshops on various STEM topics. You can also explore internship and apprenticeship opportunities. 

Remain on the lookout for opportunities to grow your STEM career as well. If you are open to learning about new STEM topics, you can continuously enhance your skillset. Over time, you may establish a cultural awareness that helps you get the most out of learning about STEM topics as well.  

Launch Your STEM Career

Pursue STEM studies in areas that interest you. In doing so, you can build a rewarding STEM career and foster diversity in STEM disciplines. 

Adulting Career Transition

Best Jobs for Introverts

February 8, 2022
Introvert Jobs in College

It can be difficult enough to find a job. Finding one that you, as an introvert, can thrive in is even more difficult. It can seem like the world is built for extroverts, and large portions of it can be. However, in these modern times (especially during the pandemic) finding a job where you can limit your social interactions—or even work from home—is a lot easier.

Money isn’t the only thing you should be considering when looking for a new job. It is important, but you may find out that even if a job pays well, it isn’t the best for you. Here are 4 jobs that an introvert like yourself may enjoy.

1. Architect

Architects mostly work independently, planning and designing a variety of different buildings. If you like to solve problems and have a creative mind, being an architect may be the right pick for you. 

2. Librarian

This one may seem self-explanatory. A library is a quiet setting, one that many introverts can be drawn to. Being a librarian involves helping people find and check out books, as well as being responsible for the library’s upkeep and possible events. This job has more social interaction than you may think, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before accepting any position.

3. Social Media Manager

If you are knowledgeable and passionate about social media but don’t want to post about yourself, being a social media manager could be perfect for you! Social media managers create posts for clients, as well as plan and market larger campaigns. This is a job that can allow a lot of freedom and opportunities to work from home.

4. Editor

Like language? Have a passion for reading and writing? Consider becoming an editor. Editors mostly work alone and a good number work from home. They spend most of their time reading and looking over content to make sure it’s ready to be published. An editor could edit content for a variety of different mediums and subjects.

Conclusion

These were just 4 jobs that introverts may be attracted to. Remember, money isn’t everything when it comes to a job or career. It certainly is important, however. If you’re looking for a job that will pay you enough, Mint’s salary tool can help you see the salary range for a number of different jobs and locations.

BIO: Ray Alonzo is an avid writer from Phoenix. He focuses heavily on research to provide the most accurate information possible to readers.

Adulting Career Transition

5 Important Things to Know After Graduating From College

December 22, 2021

There are plenty of things you could do after getting your college degree. You can jump right in and immediately work or you could take a gap year. The important thing is you get to do what you want at that moment and you get to pace yourself so that you can decide on which path to take.

Here are some important things you need to know after graduating from college.

It’s okay to take your time

You are in a new chapter of your life. If you think you can afford to take a break in the meantime, go and get it. It’s better to face this new phase with a clear mind so you can decide better. Taking your time is not just about taking road trips or slacking off. You can also do other hobbies you have put off when you were studying. You can do anything that puts you at peace. You can also revisit your previous passions because these are often sources of inspiration.

Consider this as some sort of rehabilitation instead of slacking off. The time you invest for your inner peace is never a waste of time. 

Plan for the future that best suits you

You can also do this time to reevaluate your plans. You could have planned everything while you were studying, but there are always new things to consider at a different time. For instance, you can consider the economy, the industry that you are into, and many more.

It is also a time to consider other factors in your life:

  • Do you have someone with you?
  • What’s your current financial situation?
  • Do you still have student loans?
  • Are you willing to relocate for a job?

There are a lot of factors to consider but more importantly, you have to choose what you think is best for YOU, and not for anybody else. 

Consider your location

This is an important factor to consider after graduating from college. Does your industry have demands in your area? Will you be able to get your dream job in your current location? Does your paycheck cover your expenses? How much does it cost to live in your current area?

It is important to consider these things because you are now in charge of your life. Some people may have been considering this even when they are studying, but some people do start being independent only right after they graduated college. Either way, it is important to consider these things. For instance, if you are in the health or logistics industry, Jacksonville, Florida could be a great place for you because of such high demand in these industries.

It would be great if you are already living in the area. But if not, you should plan your move ahead to avoid inconveniences. To continue the scenario, if you are in the health or logistics industry and you are considering moving to Jacksonville, Florida because of the demand, book yourself some local movers for a more convenient move.

Stop comparing your current state with others

One of the things that could always hold you back is comparing yourself with others, especially to the ones in your age bracket. Please remember that everybody moves at their own pace. Not everybody has the same timeline. It could be discouraging to compare your struggles, or even successes, with others. Focus on yourself and be reminded that the only person you need to compare yourself with is the old you — not somebody else.

It’s okay to get help

Don’t be discouraged to get help, whether it is from friends, family, or the government. Some people could ask for temporary financial support from their families while they continue to look for a job and thats okay as long as the family is supportive. Other than financial support, you could also ask for emotional support from your friends and loved ones. Words of encouragement could go a long way for some people and be a source of inspiration or strength to push on.

But on a more practical note, you can also ask the government for help. For instance, there are tools such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics and USAJOBS that could help you gather data on the career path you are trying to take and connect you with employers in your chosen industry.

Don’t worry about not figuring anything out yet, you’re not alone in this!

Career Transition

Dealing With Age Diversity in the Workplace at Your First Post-Grad Job

November 15, 2021

Congratulations! You’ve graduated college and you’re ready to settle down into your first post-graduation job.

You’re probably a bit nervous, which is understandable. You know there’s a lot to learn, and you’re going to encounter people with more experience than you. What might surprise you on your first day, though, is the variety of ages.

Many new graduates don’t think about age diversity at work. Up until now, anyone you worked with or went to school with was similar in age. Anyone older tended to be a boss or professor.

Not anymore. Now you’re going to have peers that are decades older than you — and you might even manage someone who is your senior. How can you navigate this in your first job? Here are some tips.

Build a Strong Relationship With HR

Many professionals think of HR as “where they go when they’re in trouble,” like the principal’s office, but that’s far from the case. The human resources department can help you with various important issues when you start your first job.

For example, HR is where you set up your benefits and ask questions about health insurance, retirement accounts, and other employee perks. A good HR manager can also help you navigate the different generations of employees that surround you.

There’s no reason to be intimidated by older employees or to disregard their ideas as outdated. Instead, respect them as peers and learn from them while communicating your expertise as well.

Know the Different Generations

Because you’ve been surrounded by your own generation your entire life until now, it can be a bit challenging to understand how other generations see the world. Of course, memes and jokes on social media don’t help, either!

Baby boomers were born between 1945 and 1964. They have a strong work ethic but didn’t grow up with access to a lot of technology. They tend to stay in one job for a long time, and they prefer face-to-face communication.

Generation X was born between 1965 and 1980. This generation is financially responsible and hard-working. They are often comfortable working with technology but also do well in person. Generation X workers look for flexibility in their work environment.

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. They joined the workforce during difficult economic times, so they have a looser view of long-term careers. They’re comfortable with digital communication and are quick to join social networks. Millennials look for a deeper purpose in their work, along with opportunities for advancement.

Finally, there’s Generation Z. That’s you! Born between 1997 and 2012, these folks are just entering the workforce. Gen Z are digital natives and concerned with financial debt. At work, they look for flexible working arrangements, social opportunities, and career development.

As you meet your coworkers, pay attention to what generation they’re in and how that might shape their outlook on work as well as their goals. For example, baby boomers and Millennials are very different in their approaches!

Take Advantage of the Diversity Around You

Working side-by-side with different generations may be a bit scary at first, but the truth is that it’s a huge benefit for your career. There’s a lot of wisdom in people who are older — and younger — than you are.

Make sure you learn to communicate professionally with everyone and consider their perspective, life experiences, and goals. When you do, you’ll find that other generations are happy to accept you and learn from you as well!

BIO: Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture.

Career Student Life

5 Part Time Online Careers for College Students

November 1, 2021

School tuition is no joke. Some students need to take part-time jobs just to be able to make it through college. However, certain circumstances make it more difficult to work in person. If you’re a college student who wants to earn extra income from the comfort of your home or dorm, here are some part-time positions you can try.

Photo and video editing services

A lot of people out there are not so well-versed with editing photos and videos and would often find freelancers online who could work on one or two projects for them. If you know a thing or two about photo restoration, video editing for social media, and other editing tasks, you can work as a freelancer online. You don’t even have to invest much. You can sign up on free freelance job websites and use a free online video editor for your work.

Freelance writing

Online writers are in high demand. Businesses, professionals, and even independent creators all need written content to build and establish their online presence. There are websites like UpWork where you can sign up to find and bid for freelance writing projects. Just like photo and video editing, clients just provide a deadline so you work on your own schedule.

Online teaching

If you are quite knowledgeable about a subject, language, art, or musical instrument, then you can offer online lessons for a fee. You can do this independently or you could register at websites that offer tutorial services for students who need after-school assistance with specific subjects.

Stock photography

If you have a camera and can take pretty decent photos, you can consider selling some of your images online. Stock media is highly popular and people are willing to pay for photos they could use on their websites, ads, blogs, videos, magazines, brochures, and other digital or printed materials. Although the income probably won’t be consistent, you could earn enough to support your studies by putting out photos that are relevant to popular topics nowadays.

Graphic design or digital art

Digital creations are in demand, be it for personal or business use. You can work as a project-based graphic designer, creating brand logos, brochures, packaging design, and other visual concepts for companies, entrepreneurs, and organizations. If you are more interested in art, you can create digital artworks and sell prints of them online.

Starting your online career

An online part-time job can help you earn extra income for your college tuition. The great thing about working remotely is that you won’t have to spend money commuting to your workplace. If at all possible, find an online job that’s related to your current field of study. Not only will it help you financially, you will also gain a lot of experience while being able to learn more and hone your skills. Just make sure that you have a working computer, a stable internet connection, and the apps or tools that you need to help you work better and create impressive results. Good luck!