I Just Graduated…What Should I Do Now?

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As a recent college graduate, I know firsthand that leaving the comfort and safety of college and beginning the search for your first “real” job can be an overwhelming process. If you are like me, you have a lot of questions:

Where should I apply?

What type of job is right for me?

What type of company do I want to work for?

Excited to jump in and be in the “real world”, I quickly accepted a good job when I graduated. However, as I spent more time in the role I began to realize that the position was not a great fit for me for a number of reasons. I quickly decided it was time to begin my search all over again.

During my months of searching, I went to interview after interview looking at jobs that really were not right for me. I applied to anything and everything I could find. I had no real strategy for my search; no clear idea of what type of job would fit not only my skills but also my personality and my career aspirations. I was winging it. 

Through good fortune and great friends, I landed my current role working with an organization that specializes in talent management. Here I was introduced for the first time to career assessments, tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Harrison Assessment for work preferences. After taking these assessments and receiving feedback from individuals certified in the instruments, I learned a very important lesson:

Utilize career assessments as early as possible in your career journey.

Career assessments are extremely valuable to someone entering the workforce for the first time. They help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses, your preferences (what you like and don’t like), and how you tend to act or react in certain situations.

This insight is invaluable and helps you:

  • Find specific occupations and career paths that leverage your strengths, match your personality and align with your career aspirations
  • Target your job search to positions where your skills and strengths are a good match
  • Identify companies with cultures that match your preferences and fit your personality

This knowledge also helps as you settle into your first job and begin to plan your career path. If you know what you want to achieve and understand how you work best, how you interact with others, and which skills you need to grow, you are prepared to achieve success!

Taking a career assessment like the MBTI prior to my graduation would have helped me to develop and implement a focused job search and be prepared when starting my new role. If you are new to the job market or going through a career transition, there are many resources such as career assessments that can help you as you get started in your search. The insights you gain will help you throughout your entire career!

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