Tag Archives: college grad

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. (more…)

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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? (more…)

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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. (more…)

Posted in Career Advice, College Student, Job Search, Resumes & Cover Letters | Tagged , , , , |

Is Your Job Search as Busted as Your March Madness Bracket? 8 tips for getting back in the game.

Luke Maye

Photo by Kevin C. Cox

It’s March Madness when everyone becomes a basketball fan, if only for the office bracket pool. If your job search is feeling as busted as your March Madness bracket, take a few lessons from your favorite team to re-ignite your search. Below are 7  tips to help you get back in the game.


Posted in Career Advice, College Student, Job Search | Tagged , , |

Life Lessons Learned on the Iconic Tour de France Climb

life lessons learned on the iconic Tour de France climb

life lessons learned on the iconic Tour de France climb

Life can throw amazing lessons at you, especially when you aren’t looking. The life lessons I learned on the iconic Tour de France climb might help you conquer the challenges of searching for a new job.

Our trip included cycling up Mont Ventoux, a bucket list item for many avid cyclists. Nicknamed “The Beast of Provence,” the climb boasts:

  • winds that blow an average of 90kph (56 mph) most of the year
  • a mountain summit of 1,912 meters (6,269 feet)
  • 21 km (13 miles) of continuous climbing at grades averaging 9 percent.


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50 Frank Tips for New Grads Working In The Real World


This post was also published in the Bangor Daily News on 6.13.16

Transitioning from college to career is a major life change and successful navigation is not guaranteed. The cultural shift from campus to corporate is a big one. Understanding office protocol and its unwritten, often unspoken, rules can make a big difference in how easily you assimilate and ultimately, how well you do.

Here are 50 things you need to know about working in the real world. These tips will help you hit the ground running as you launch your career. They also might help you avoid major embarrassment, or worse. (more…)

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Money 101 for New College Grads – A Guide To Understanding Your Pay, Benefits and Expenses

money 101

You are about to embark on your post-graduation life. The future is full of possibilities, options and opportunities for you to make your mark. Having strong financial fundamentals is a critical skill you need to make a successful transition to independence. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely your college curriculum included Money 101.

The transition to adulthood comes with new territory to navigate, such as paying taxes and rent, and buying food, all things you’ve likely taken for granted until now.

Learning these few simple tips about understanding your pay, benefits and expenses will help you make better choices and develop money-wise habits early in your financial life. (more…)

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Surviving the Job Search Rejection Blues

unsuccessful job applicant shuttle service dumpster truck
photo by David Blackwell via Flickr

photo by David Blackwell via Flickr

Surviving the job search rejection blues requires a thick skin, a very thick skin. For recent college graduates, the job-hunting experience likely may be the first time you have faced rejection, at least in the quantities that job searches tend to produce. This also includes the silent rejection that comes when your resume enters the black hole and never resurfaces. Nearly half of all applications never make it past the initial screening process.  (more…)

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8 Job Search Tips from the NFC & AFC Championship Games

New England Patriots at Washington Redskins 08/28/09


Athletics and sports have always produced individuals with traits that employers love to hire: leadership, competitive drive, strategic thinking, coachable, adaptable, determined and team players. This weekend’s NFC & AFC championship games between the Seattle Seahawks/Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots/Indianapolis Colts provided a number of great job search lessons about the importance of motivation, work ethic and determination to success. Below are eight lessons that you can apply as you launch your career.

1. Never Give Up. (more…)

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6 Job Search Lessons from an Unlikely Muse

If you have just graduated and are looking for your first “real job”, there is so much to learn that it can be overwhelming. You’ve come from the world of academia, which has certain values and norms that serve it, and students, well. One of those values is that higher grades are better, with perfection being the target. Flunk a test or a course and it can be a major setback. Unfortunately, what works well in college does not necessarily work in the real world and that is true also for finding your first job. A job search is anything but perfection in action. In reality, it’s a whole host of everything from minor setbacks, to a string of rejections to outright failure. That is, until it’s not.

Below are six job search lessons that will help you get going and get more traction with your job search. And the muse? (more…)

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