Moving from College to the Workforce: 10 Steps to Success

You’re graduating soon and you realize it’s time to start thinking about finding work in your field. Now what?

Here are ten steps you can take to help you transition into a working professional (and remember, for each step an Employment Services Advisor can help you).

  1. If your program is something like Business or Fine Arts with no defined job at the end, take an assessment to help you narrow down your likes/dislikes, areas of strengths/weaknesses, and find career paths that align with your interests.

  1. Understand your needs and wants. If you need to pay off student loans or want to work somewhere that has job security, make note of these goals, and don’t lose track as you begin your job search. Creating a budget is helpful for assessing your needs because even though you may be aiming to have a higher income, you may also have more expenses such as higher rent, increased bills, purchasing a vehicle, and buying work clothes.

  1. Your digital presence matters. Review your social media accounts to make sure any public posts are work-appropriate and anything that you wouldn’t want a hiring manager to see is private.  Create a LinkedIn profile or online portfolio if you don’t have one already. If an employer decides to look you up online, you want your online presence to make a good first impression.

  1. Create a targeted list of job boards to check every week to help you find jobs that you qualify for, capture your interest, and meet your goals. You can also create job alerts for many job boards.

    For recommended job sites, check out our post: Looking for Work? Look no Further!

  1. Research your target industry and companies that appeal to you. These could be organizations in an industry that you’re interested in (e.g. tourism or accounting) or that hold similar values to your own (e.g. you both strive for sustainability or believe in work-life balance). Check out WorkBC to find labour market information and helpful resources to help you find work.

  1. Whether virtual or in-person, be on the lookout for networking opportunities and career fairs. This will help increase your chances to meet employers where you can learn more about them, and they can also learn more about you.

  1. Develop a targeted resume when submitting job applications. You want to show the employer how you’re a good match for their job and company. Generic, untargeted resumes show minimal effort, while a targeted resume communicates your fit and enthusiasm for a role.

  1. Even if you haven’t received any call-backs (yet!) you want to prepare for an interview. Interviews can be nerve-wracking and the only way to ease this anxiety is to prepare, prepare, prepare. You can work with an Employment Services Advisor to do practice interviews and discuss strategies to answer tricky questions, as well as create your own insightful questions to ask at an interview.

  1. When you land your first job post-graduation, remember that this job will likely not be your last. Think of it as a starting point rather than a final destination. It’s a place where you can gain skills, connections in the industry, and simply be a stepping-stone in your career path.

  1. In the workplace, listen, learn, and don’t be afraid to speak up or ask questions. You might be the newest hire or the youngest employee, but they chose to hire you for a reason. Understand that there’s a training period involved and while you may not be an expert in the field just yet, your coworkers will be interested in hearing your fresh perspective.

As always, if you need assistance an advisor from Student Employment Services is happy to help. Book an appointment via CareerCentral: