Career Tips for the College Graduate: What I Wish I Knew When I Was Starting Out


Perhaps the first tip should be to acknowledge that going through college successfully is no mean task and it should be celebrated. Yes, you are now walking into the big bad world where it may be tough getting a job but please remember to congratulate yourself on finishing college.

That being said, the facts are that out here it is quite tough to land a job. The job market is a lot more competitive these days and there are more college graduates than there are jobs sometimes. It may take you a while and you may have to do jobs that are rather ‘below your caliber’ but as long as it’s an honest day’s work, there is no shame in it. Plus, it will teach you humility or push you to be creative and start your own business. Either way, it is an opportunity for growth.

When you get the job…

  1. Be gratefulgratitude

Remember to be thankful when people around you do something nice for you. An email, a handwritten note or just a smile will do. It will leave a lasting impression on them and create pretty positive working relationships.

  1. Remember where you came fromRemember where you came from

If you have some kind of professional history make sure you maintain cordial relationships with those people. That means that you should be civil and professional when you quit regardless of how poorly you were treated. You may cross paths again and you don’t want to have the past become an issue in getting a great opportunity.

  1. Be your own advocatedevilsadvocate

There is a saying that goes something like: the wearer of the shoes knows where it pinches. You are the only person who truly knows and understands your needs and goals. As such, you are the best person to push your own agenda. People may have good intentions of helping you but only you know how to navigate that help to meet your needs. The buck stops with you.

  1. Choose your friends wiselychoose your friends wisely

This applies both in and out of the job. You need to have people that have your best interest at heart and are not afraid to call you out when you are being dumb. Find people that push you to be the best version of yourself in all ways and cut off people that do the opposite. It may have been fun in college to act a fool all night but now it’s time to grow up and get it together; which may mean losing some old friends and getting new ones.

  1. Be confidentbe confident

…or at least look the part until you are really feeling it. Some vicious people are present in the job market that like to take advantage of people who don’t look too sure of themselves. Create the façade of confidence to keep these ‘wolves’ at bay while constantly encouraging yourself to believe in yourself.

Plus, employers prefer confident employees and trust their work more so make sure to give off that air. Make sure not to come off as arrogant though, okay?

These general career tips should help you enjoy your job, whatever the sector. Good luck!

About the Author: Michael Joseph writes debt consolidation reviews but also gives career talks at colleges and we are glad to host him on our blog today.