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Time is Money in a Job Search

job search, college gradTime is money in a job search. Being unemployed, or underemployed, carries a hefty price tag.

If you just graduated from college, without a job, I have bad news for you. While the economy is strong and unemployment is at its lowest in years, the number of companies planning to hire new college graduates declined this spring. Clearly not the graduation gift you wanted.

According to NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average college graduate spends 7.4 months searching for their first post college professional role. That’s nearly as long as an academic year at almost the same cost.

A recent liberal arts graduate with a good GPA can expect a starting salary in the range of $45,000 to $60,000 or more, depending on major, field of work and job location.  So 7.4 months of unemployment equates to an average financial loss of over $32,000 dollars. That’s roughly equal to the average college debt a student carries upon graduation.

When you factor in the compounding effect of starting your career late, graduating without a job will cost you even more over your lifetime of earnings. Being underemployed (waiting tables or working as a barista at your local Starbucks) also has an impact. That’s because those seven months of lost earnings, or low earnings, put you behind in terms of pay raises and promotions.

So while you may be enjoying your first summer “off” in years, it’s costing you a lot of money.

Here are 9 thingsyou can do to kick-start your job search.

If you have not yet graduated, the best tip I can share is to start your job search early. As in the moment you step back on campus. Use this summer to update your resume.

Explore career options if you are unsure of your post graduation path. Meet with people who work in careers of possible interest to you. You can tap into your alumni network using LinkedIn’s alumni tool to set up meetings.

Contact your career office on campus to get a schedule of career fairs. Career fairs are a great way to meet several employers in a convenient, on-campus setting. Besides, campus career fairs are usually staffed with recent alumni from your college who are eager to help you.

Above all, don’t delay starting your search. No need to worry about getting it perfect, just take that all important first step and start.

And, as always, if you need help getting started, or re-booting your job search, please contact mefor a complimentary 30-minute coaching call. Sometimes, having an independent advisor give you a few tips is all you need to be off and running.

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The College Graduate’s Job Search Checklist – 9 things to do to kick start your job search

College Career Coach

College graduation is in the rear view mirror for the class of 2018. The road ahead offers endless career options for recent graduates – perhaps too many. In my work as a career coach, I see daily the paralysis that too much choice brings. Bright, motivated college graduates who are so anxious about what’s next they have no idea where to start.

In his TEDTalk, psychologist Barry Schwarz discusses the “paradox of choice”: why too many options can be paralyzing. Anxiety often results when you think you have to figure everything out alone. Not knowing where to start can be daunting, yet the most important step in any job search is starting.  That’s why I created the college graduate’s job search checklist: to ease your anxiety and help you kick-start your job search. Continue reading

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2018 Job Market for New College Graduates

2018 College Grad Job Market

There is good news: the economy is the strongest it has been in 17 years and wages are up. The bad news? According to the Job Outlook Spring 2018 Survey by NACE (the National Association of Colleges and Employers), employers are planning to hire 1.3% fewer recent college graduates than they did in 2017.  This is a 5% decrease just from this past fall, when employers were predicting to hire 4% more recent graduates.

So what has changed?

  1. Slowing GDP growth
  2. Uncertain global economy
  3. Significant decreases in planned hiring by the insurance and retail industries.

While overall hiring of new college graduates is forecasted to decrease, it is not true across all industries.

Which jobs are hot?

Continue reading

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5 Ways to Stay Focused Between Now and Graduation

5 ways to stay focused between now and graduation

Graduation is just around the corner and staying focused is becoming increasingly challenging! There is so much to do and so much to cram in before you don the cap and gown. How will you ever get it all done? You tell yourself you’re going to have a productive day and then before you know it, you’re climbing into bed with an unfinished to-do list.

It might seem impossible to ignore distractions and accomplish your goals. Not to worry – you can do it!

Here are 5 ways to stay focused between now and graduation.

  1. Break down your work into segments.

You’ve probably heard that humans can only focus for so long and it’s true. Your brain needs a break to avoid becoming overwhelmed and fatigued. Therefore, if you schedule breaks, which seems a little counter-intuitive, you’ll actually be more productive in the long run.

  1. Reward yourself for working hard.

If you have something to look forward to, you’ll find yourself staying focused because you know something “good” is going to happen. This doesn’t mean a Starbucks mocha frappe every time you cross off a line item on your to-do list, but it might mean you take five minutes to text your best friend or 30 minutes to play ultimate Frisbee in the quad.

  1. Find the right background noise.

Noise meaning music, television, people talking, coffee mugs clinking, or nothing at all. Everyone has a background noise that works for them when trying to concentrate and it’s important that you find the one that works for you. If there is a certain kind of music that really gets you working, then turn up the volume and have at it. But, if you work better with the sound of silence, find a quiet space pronto and hunker down.

  1. Go incognito or (gasp!) leave your phone at home.

In other words, stay away from social media and social settings. Hide out in the basement of the library or study somewhere new for you. Unfortunately, Snapchat (or any social media platform) and our own friends can be the biggest distraction. Love them as you will, but staying focused sometimes means being anti-social for a short time. If you are concerned about your ability to stay unplugged and focused, refer to # 2 above.

  1. Remind yourself of the bigger picture.

While it might be tempting to put your to-do list aside, don’t forget how that might impact your life after graduation. Whether it’s simply making the most of the last few weeks of your college experience or buckling down for an important exam, everything you’re doing now is part of the end game. Let that motivate you so that you stay focused and stay on track!

Good luck! And, by the way, if you need help focusing on your resume and cover letter, let’s connect so it’s one less thing you have to worry about. I offer a free 30-minute consultation to get you going on your next chapter – life after graduation. Contact me today to get started!

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14 Tips to Ace your Second Interview

second interview
Congratulations, you made it to the second interview. Now what? Getting to a second interview is confirmation that the company generally feels that you have the qualifications to do the job. You should be pleased that you made it to the next round. That does not mean, however, that the job is yours. Most likely you are competing with two to three other finalists, candidates about whom you know nothing. They may even be more qualified than you, at least on paper. Now most definitely is not the time to sit back and coast. These 14 tips will help you prepare for and ace your second interview. Continue reading

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How to Learn the Skill (& Art) of Good Decision-Making

decision-making, career coach

Good decision-making is a critical skill that has an enormous impact on your life. Whether they are decisions about your career, relationships or everyday life, developing skill and confidence in your decision-making will pay huge dividends. Good decision-making is learned – learned from practice, from trial and error, from taking risks and by (gulp) making mistakes.

As a career coach working with college students, recent graduates and young professionals, I see the anxiety many of my clients face when making a big decision. The first major decision most undergraduate students have made is where to attend college.

For a significant percentage of college freshmen, that decision will have been a poor one. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, of those attending four-year public universities, nearly 30 percent will transfer after freshman year, compared with a 25 percent freshman transfer rate at four-year private colleges. Either way, those numbers are high and can be costly.

An article in the Graziodo Business Review (Pepperdine’s School of Business and Management), cites decisiveness and the ability to make challenging decisions as a critical trait of great leaders. Developing strong decision-making skills requires emotional intelligence, the ability to manage uncertainty and limit choices, and good intuition.

So, how do you develop better decision-making skills and reduce the associated stress and anxiety? Continue reading

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6 Ways to help you determine whether to say “yes” to the job offer

career coaching

When job searching, there are many things to concentrate on from writing the perfect cover letter to nailing the job interview. Many job searchers focus too much just on getting the job offer. Equally, if not more important, is to determine if the job is a good fit for you.

Here are 6 ways to help you determine whether to say “yes” to the job offer. Continue reading

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How to Survive College Acceptance Season

 

c2c college to career

Photo by College Humor

December 15th  is a date that inspires both hope and fear in students and parents alike, along with February 15th and April 15th (the latter not just because it is tax day). Why? It’s round one of college acceptance season. For some it will be merry, for others, it may come with a dose of bah humbug and coal. Here are 8 tips to help you survive college acceptance season. Continue reading

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15 Things to Do on Winter Break

winter break

There’s nothing quite like endless papers to write and final exams to set you dreaming about winter break. That said, sleeping in late and lounging on the couch binge watching Netflix is not the best use of your time off. Nor is it likely to impress your parents.

Ramping up your job search over winter break will help you make the most of your senior year. Having a job lined up before graduation or better yet, by spring break, is the best way to really enjoy your final time on campus.

Here are 15 things to do on winter break to make the most of your senior year. Continue reading

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My Favorite Holiday

career coach

For a host of reasons, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Coming from a large, blended family, Thanksgiving was my family’s “anchor” holiday. We prioritized getting home from wherever we lived, whether it meant flying cross-country or driving through an early snowstorm.

The holiday always focused on spending quality time together, with cousins, aunts, uncles, great aunts, grandparents, and family friends. We numbered so many that the kids’ table stayed a kids’ table well into our twenties. Continue reading

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