Stepping out of school and facing the real world is as harsh and uncertain as it gets. Although college may try to prepare you for what’s outside, the reality of the situation is that there are just so many new things. New variables that you’d have to face for the first time and immediately cope up with them. Everything comes from all angles: financial uncertainty, relationships with family and friends, and even your work career as a whole. All of these are things you’d have to look out for when you’re getting into adulthood. As an adult, you’d have to take care of your finances and pay for yourself. As a family and friend, you’d have to balance out your time with different relationships and responsibilities. As a working citizen, you’d have to do your job with the utmost efficiency and productivity.
Before even stepping into a job, a fresh graduate has one of the most daunting yet rewarding challenges they’d face: applications. Scrambling up to organize your skill sets, a network of recommendations, and even resumes, there are many things you’d have to prepare for before even applying for a job. Things such as fixing your application letter with different resume formats, learning and researching the responsibilities of your potential job, and so much more. For that, here are some things you can do to prepare.
- Identify your career interest and career goals. Before you can actually start preparing for a career, you need to have a clear, solid image of what you actually want to do. Diving head-deep into something that you’re uncertain of and don’t have a real interest in would just leave you miserable. Take time from your day to think about your passions, values as a person, and skills that you really specialize in. Take all of these in, and try to see how these things might align with the potential career paths you’d choose. You could also take a career assessment or even talk to a professional about these things. Employing a career counselor to help identify your strengths and passions is something you could totally try out.
- Research the potential careers and their industries. Now that you have some idea of your goals and interests, it’s time to look at different career paths. It’s important to research the field and industry by which these career paths work since you might not find them fit for you. Try to research the experiences, job duties, qualifications, specific required skills, and even the everyday life of a worker in that field. That way, whenever you’d actually be chosen for the position, you’d already be prepared and have a good understanding of what is to come.
- Secure relevant education and training. Whatever your career goals may be, there will be a minimum set of skills that are required to reach them. Depending on what they are, pursuing further education and training might be in your best interests. For example, securing and completing a degree program or even certification on a specific skill set will bring you so far and ahead of your competition. Having a standardized national certificate that proves your skill in a specific craft would give employers one less thing to think about before hiring you. Research the requirements of your career path, and try to get ahead of the curve by learning additional things first.
- Make a strong, consistent cover letter and resume. A well-written cover letter and resume are very important whenever you’re looking for a job. Since they are the primary documents that employers use to sift through potential employees, you can not skimp out on the details for this one. Try to highlight your education, skills, and relevant experiences in order to make it easier for potential employers to see if you’re a fit for their company.