Most people don’t know what they want to do after they graduate college. Feeling a little lost is normal and part of the self-discovery process post-college. As you are starting to figure out your options and make decisions, consider the tips below to help guide you in the next chapter of your life.
Talk to your school’s career center
Take advantage of your university’s career center as a student or recent graduate. Career counselors can offer advice on your resume, cover letters, help you prepare for interviews, and direct you in your job search. Your campus is a great place to find a job opportunity as many colleges host career fairs and welcome recruiters.
Get out and meet people! Reports indicate that about 80% of jobs are not advertised so talking to people will help you discover those untapped opportunities. Attend networking events, meet up with alumni, and join an official organization associated with your particular field. These groups often organize conferences, mixers, and learning opportunities where you can meet potential employers or a possible mentor. Also try reaching out to people in your community — classmates, professors, past employers, and anyone else who has seen you in a professional environment. Let them know you are on the job hunt and if they know of any opportunities that would be a good fit for you.
Create a LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is a great place for networking and finding work as many recruiters search for candidates there and post jobs. Fully set up your profile on the site and start connecting with others, like alumni, fellow classmates, peers, former employers and co-workers, and professors. Follow business profiles and be part of LinkedIn groups related to your chosen industry such as advertising. Having a LinkedIn profile helps build up your personal brand and showcase your skills, experience, and education.
Once you have connected with a professional in your field, try to arrange a job shadowing opportunity. This is where you can get an inside look into the particular company he or she works for and see if you are interested in working there. You will also get a glimpse of the day-to-day activities of the job, the company’s size, and see if it is truly something you want to pursue.
Make a website
Create a professional portfolio online for promotional purposes. This can be done using content platforms like Wix, WordPress, or Squarespace. Having a website that presents work samples neatly, highlights your skills, and allows you to blog about your expertise impresses employers. You can also consider turning your hobbies or interests into a career. Charutha Bandara founded the company Creston Solutions before he started college. Creston Solutions offers marketing and technology consulting to small businesses. Bandara turned his passion for computer science into a career on his own. Starting your own business shows potential employers that you are ambitious and have a solid work ethic.
Acquire health insurance
As you enter the professional world, you will undoubtedly be thinking about how to take care of yourself on your own — and that includes a health insurance plan. You can stay in your family plan until the age of 26. But after that, you will need to sign up for your own medical plan. As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), companies are required to provide full-time employees with essential health benefits. But if you are still searching for a full-time job, then no worries!
You can compare insurance companies’ health plans on healthinsurance.com to see which fits right for you in regard to deductibles and monthly premiums. You can find quotes for Obamacare, short term health insurance, medicare, and even dental insurance on the site. For most states, open enrollment for Obamacare’s 2020 coverage is from November 1 to December 15. If you don’t sign up during that time, you may qualify for a special enrollment period.