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HBCU Career Center Staff and Faculty Partnerships

Career Center Staff and FacultyWhy should there be well established career services faculty partnerships on college campuses?  Because both groups of professionals are, in most cases,  deeply committed to student success. Working together, faculty and HBCU career center staff support successful transitions for undergraduate or graduate students into the workforce.

Here are a few examples of career center staff and faculty partnerships that could work to support students.

Partnership Opportunities

  • Faculty can invite career center staff to conduct workshops during classes. If faculty have to be absent from campus, instead of cancelling class invite career center staff to meet with the class at the already scheduled class time.
  • Faculty can encourage students by awarding extra credit assignments to participate in career center activities such as career and internship fairs or career workshops.
  • Faculty should make their research interests known to career services staff who can facilitate connections with potential industry partners.
  • Faculty should be open to hosting industry professionals in their classrooms and for discussion panels or speaker events.  Employers are usually very impressed by college career centers that have good partnerships with faculty.
  • Faculty should refer students to career centers for the latest, current and relevant information on how students can professionally transition from college to work successfully.
  • Faculty and career center staff should both encourage conversations with students about their future goals. Faculty are aware that not all college undergrads want to go to graduate schools and often refer those students directly to career services staff.
  • Faculty and staff must be able to speak about industry employment trends with students as well.  Career services often have access to industry data impacting employment and can definitely be a resource for faculty with industry data.
  • Faculty can identify alumni and employers who want to come to campus and participate through seminars or career center activities such as On-Campus-Recruiting.
  • Faculty can definitely work with career centers to develop graduate school resources for students.
  • Faculty members can serve on advisory boards for career centers.

Career Resources for Faculty and Staff :

There are many HBCU Career Centers that provide career development services to faculty and staff at their universities.  This is important because it is well known that faculty and staff that are committed to their own personal professional development are better able to assist students reach their goals.

Here are a few faculty career resources that career centers may have access to or collaborate to cost share for organizational membership.

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Posted in Career Advice, Career and Industry Awareness, Grad School, HBCU Career Programs, Professional Development | Leave a comment

20 Pieces of REAL Advice for a College Freshman

From the desk of the Dean…(Updated for the Class of 2023)

College Freshmen AdviceIn a few weeks, summer will end and you will become a college freshman.  You won’t be alone. Thousands of new college freshmen will file onto college campuses and populate college residence halls.

Most college students will enter college with tons of advice from parents, teachers and college counselors.

With all the advice out there, it is hard for college students to separate the advice that will lead to long term success.

If you are a new college freshman or know one, let me share with you my 20 favorite tips with real advice. These tips are not just based on my own college experience or that of my kids, but are the result of 18 years in higher education, working with college students.
Not all of these tips will apply to every new college student. Usually I advice students to select 5 to 10 that will fit on a note card or 8 x 11 sheet of paper.

Keep those 5 to 10 accessible and work on them one at a time.

Real Tips for College Freshmen

1. You don’t have as much free time as you think you do! If you find you have time to burn; something is probably wrong. There is something you should be doing and you probably need to get help figuring out what that is ad how to manage your time.

2. Keep in mind that you write your resume every day, with every action and every choice you make. Yes. you are just starting out, but after being in four college career centers and running The HBCU Career Center for a decade, I know this – If you haven’t done it by the time you get to graduation; it can’t end up in your resume.  So having a resume ready to apply for internships, jobs, scholarships or grad schools is an early priority in your college life.

3. Begin good career habits early! Find your campus career center in the first semester and follow them on Twitter or Instagram for relevant career, major, job search and internship information.  Follow us too on Twitter (@HBCUCareerCntr) and IG (the_hbcu_career_center).  Remember, this is why you are on campus.  Get career ready!

Presidents Must Support Career Centers4. Do some personal exploration to learn more about who you are. Don’t leave college without knowing your V.I.S.A. (Values, Interests, Skills and Abilities).  I have worked with too many college graduates who fear the next steps because they have no idea what their V.I.S.A. is and what these things mean to them. Exploring these things will make the college experience way more valuable.

5. Plan to participate in at least one Internship, Study Abroad, Alternative Spring Break, Volunteer or Campus Leadership experience the summer after your freshman year.  There are three things I think every college student must do to create a competitive resume: Internship, leadership and an international trip.

6. No matter how big the class will be; a professor can still know you by name, if you participate in class, ask questions and/or go to office hours.  It is never an excuse to say the class is too big for my professor to know and care about me.

7. Find and use these study-resources on campus – Academic Advising office, First-Year Experience Program and/or Writing Center.  Yes. Everyone knows where the Financial Aid and Student Accounts offices are, but these other offices are just as important to keep you in good academic standing.  You might have to seek them out.

8. College freshman year is FULL of decision-making points. Take responsibility for your own actions and learn how to make decisions.  Can’t stress this enough.  Offices like Judicial Affairs, Campus Police or Title IX exist for a reason.  They are about keeping students safe.  However, they can’t be everywhere.  You must make good decisions.

Advice for Incoming Freshman9. Find wise people to have conversations with and ask questions.  It’s super tempting to hang around with just your new roommates or people in your major.  Think broader.  The world will need more interdisciplinary thinkers so don’t stay in a cocoon.

10. Keep connected with your off-campus support group. All those people who helped you get to college are still available for you. Don’t keep challenges to yourself.  It is great to handle things on your own as a sign of maturity, but please, please know you have a ton of supporters back home.

11. Don’t be worried if you change your major.  Don’t panic and most of all, tell your parents not to panic. Most college students change majors. However, the smart thing to do is to get advice on how to do it.  Don’t sit in the wrong major for too long. Your GPA, your finances and your psyche could really suffer.

career center12. Don’t jump into career decisions. Think more about what you want to DO when you graduate, instead of what you want to BE. The career direction you ultimately choose might not even exist now.  There is so much unfolding in the future of work, keep an open mind.  Get email alerts from our internship board so you know what is out there!

13. Watch your social media habits. Keep your reputation online positive. Like never before, YOU are responsible for your own brand. A good name is a good thing to have, easy thing to lose and the hardest thing to get back. College campuses get really small when your reputation is destroyed.  Lots of social media activity – stalking, drinking – ends up in the Dean’s office.

14. Do all you can to develop your teamwork skills, your communication skills and your ability to analyze situations. Not only are these skills that employers really look for in new graduates, these are just great skills to develop for “adulting” purposes.

15. Expect to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Whether you are living on campus or living at home; The college freshman year will bring a lot of changes.  I mean a lot of changes.  For many, it is the first time away from home, managing your own schedule and making choices at this level.  Counseling services is there for you!

16. Make good choices about how to spend your money.  In some ways, the semester will fly by really quick.  In other ways, it will seem to drag on.  Being broke in college is a reality for a lot of people. If there is any kind of program for college spending – take one early.

17. Make good choices about the food you consume.  Yes. I think some college students think about alcohol like food and I am here to tell you that being sick at school is no joke.

18. Read your syllabus and know when things are due. Mid-terms will come before you know it.

19. Time management MUST become a priority. Use tools like day-planner, stop watch on your telephone or alarm to keep you focused on priorities.  Ask your Alexa, your Siri or whatever personal bot you use to help you stay on task.

20. “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.” Keep this as one of the mantras you try to live by as you discover your way through college.   I love to see these positive stories about students who live together and ultimately graduate medical school together or reach a goal together.  That is rare. Pick your “ride-or-die” team members carefully!

Your campus years will fly by really quickly.  Make all your experiences count!

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Posted in Career Advice, Choosing a Career, Choosing a Major, College Life, Leadership, Professional Development | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

So You Missed Your Job Interview

 

Missed your Job Interview

Missed your Job Interview

So you missed your job interview.  It happens.  Just know that recruiters hate an empty interview chair!

The fact is that it is harder to make a good impression at the job interview, if you don’t show up for the job interview.  Then it is even harder to recover after missing the interview.

Having said that, there are many reasons that you could be a no-show for a scheduled interview.  It happened to me once.  My train broke down and I sat on an Amtrak for four hours one winter and missed an interview.

I know no one needs to remind you why it’s important to not miss the job interview.  However, being aware of how to recover is important.  First, you should know that recruiters in the same industry often run in the same circles and talk to each other. Not showing up for interviews, especially if you are on your college campus can really put you, your college career center and entire university reputation in jeopardy.  I have seen this.

So, if you missed your job interview or think that you will miss the interview, here is how you could handle it.

Be proactive. Contact the recruiter to reschedule if you have a personal emergency like illness of yourself or family member, child care or elder care issue.  These are all legitimate things to explain.

Reschedule or delay. Weather delays are common in some parts of the country.  Pay attention to the weather report and call to reschedule or delay a meeting if possible.  You went outside, your car doesn’t work and you have to call a car service or take public transportation.  Contact the recruiter if you think you will be late and let them know you might be late or need to reschedule.

Suggest a change in the interview modality.  You may have had a face-to-face interview planned and changing that to a phone, video or FaceTime session would work better.  Go ahead and make the suggestion as soon as you are aware.

Misunderstanding about time.  This happens. Everyone is moving quickly and a lot of information coming our way could cause us to make this mistake.  Follow up honestly and try to reschedule.  Sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t.

Sample Apology Message for Missed Job Interview

If the worse happens and you missed your job interview, connect as soon as possible with a simple text message, email or direct message like this: (Use whatever method you have used before.)

“I sincerely apologize for missing our interview meeting today.  My absence was unavoidable and related to childcare, transportation, personal illness or whatever (please do not include unnecessary details).  I understand your time is valuable and would like to reschedule if possible because I remain interested.  However, if you have already selected a candidate, I understand and I thank you again for the opportunity.”

Posted in Career Advice, Job Interviews, Life After College, Millennials at Work, What Employers Want | Leave a comment

National and Federal Job Opportunities for Week Ending May 24

Federal Job Opportunities

Join Professional Associations

This information on federal job opportunities is provided to The HBCU Career Center by the White House Initiative on HBCUS. We share these opportunities to increase the distribution to the HBCU community.

U.S. Securities Exchange Commission

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) is writing to inform you of a job opportunity with the SEC Feel free to share with members of your organization who may be interested and qualified.  Applicants have specialized experience in appellate work or done a substantial amount of appellate work, critical motions writing, or opinion writing.  Qualifications: For SK-13 level, applicants must possess a J.D degree and be an active member of the bar in good standing (any jurisdiction). In addition, applicant must have two years post J.D. experience as a practicing attorney, one year of which was in the specialty area of the position to be field.

Please submit a cover letter and resume to GCResumes@sec.govIf you have any questions, feel free to call Allan Capute at (202) 551-5122.

U.S.Department of State

Technology Facilitates Interconnected Diplomacy

The U.S. Department is making it easier for you to apply to become a Foreign Service Information Management Specialist (IMS).  Join us now and help safeguard information systems and implement new technologies to improve the business of diplomacy.  You will apply modern IT tools, approaches, systems, and information products to support the advancement of U.S. foreign policy and ultimately contribute to U.S. national security.

When you become an IMS, you will have access to continued training and career development programs, health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, and generous paid leave. When serving overseas, you will receive paid housing or an appropriate housing allowance, and paid education for dependent children K through 12. Visit pearsonvue.com/imst and apply at any time.  To learn more about the new application process, check out our new infographic.  U.S. citizenship is required.  An equal opportunity employer.

Office of the Director of National Intelligence

If you do it, we need it. Science and technology. Business and mathematics. Foreign language and human resources. The United States Intelligence Community (IC) employs thousands of professionals in a wide variety of occupations. And we are currently looking for qualified candidates to fill key openings.

On Thursday, May 30, 2019, you can meet representatives from nine U.S. intelligence agencies during the 2019 Spring Intelligence Community Virtual Career Fair. Reserve your spot today!  For more information, please visit: http://www.icvirtualfair.com/

Department of Interior: Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

Planning and Environmental Specialist

Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Bureau of Land Management Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): 1 vacancy – El Centro, California Salary: $36,356 to $47,264 per year Series and Grade: GS-0301-07 Open Period: May 13, 2019 to May 28, 2019 Position Information: Permanent – Full-Time Who May Apply: U.S. Citizens

Planning and Environmental Specialist

Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Bureau of Land Management Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): 1 vacancy – El Centro, California Salary: $51,440 to $80,912 per year Series and Grade: GS-0301-09/11 Open Period: May 13, 2019 to May 28, 2019 Position Information: Permanent – Full-Time Who May Apply: U.S. Citizens

Natural Resources Specialist

Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Bureau of Land Management Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): 1 vacancy – Dickinson, North Dakota Salary: $49,081 to $94,434 per year Series and Grade: GS-0401-07/09/11 Open Period: May 13, 2019 to May 28, 2019 Position Information: Permanent – Full-Time Who May Apply: U.S. Citizens *Relocation expenses may be reimbursed.

Forestry Technician

Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Bureau of Land Management Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): Few vacancies – Oregon Salary: $33,949 to $58,196 per year Series and Grade: GS-0462-05/06/07 Open Period: May 14, 2019 to May 28, 2019 Position Information: Permanent – Full-Time Who May Apply: U.S. Citizens

Administrative Support Assistant

Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Bureau of Land Management Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): Few vacancies – Las Cruces, New Mexico Salary: $33,949 to $49,200 per year Series and Grade: GS-0303-05/06 Open Period: May 15, 2019 to May 28, 2019 Position Information: Permanent – Full-Time Who May Apply: U.S. Citizens

Land Surveyor

Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Bureau of Land Management Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): Few vacancies – Anchorage, Alaska Salary: $57,319 to $74,510 per year Series and Grade: GS-1373-09 Open Period: May 20, 2019 to May 28, 2019 Position Information: Permanent – Full-Time Who May Apply: U.S. Citizens

Cartographic Technician

Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Bureau of Land Management Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): 1 vacancy – Anchorage, Alaska Salary: $37,829 to $54,823 per year Series and Grade: GS-1371-05/06 Open Period: April 30, 2019 to May 29, 2019 Position Information: Permanent – Full-Time Who May Apply: U.S. Citizens

Biological Science Technician (Wildlife)

Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Bureau of Land Management Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): 1 vacancy – Boise, Idaho Salary: $37,223 to $53,773 per year Series and Grade: GS-0404-06/07 Open Period: May 16, 2019 to May 29, 2019 Position Information: Permanent – Career Seasonal – Full-Time Who May Apply: U.S. Citizens

Program Specialist (Wild Horse and Burro Specialist)

Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Bureau of Land Management Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): Few vacancies – Milwaukee, Wisconsin Salary: $53,623 to $84,347 per year Series and Grade: GS-0301-09/11 Open Period: May 15, 2019 to June 3, 2019 Position Information: Permanent – Full-Time Who May Apply: U.S. Citizens

U.S. Department of Labor

Vacancy announcement MS-19-HRC-BOC-174  is now posted on USAJobs.gov for a Small Business Advisor GS 12 with potential to GS 13.

MS-19-HRC-BOC-174

U.S. Department of Interior

Below are positions with the USFWS posted May 15, 2019.

To view the complete list of positions currently available with FWS visit www.fws.gov/ humancapital/.

You may also view listings and links on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ USFWSJobs.

Supervisory Fish and Wildlife Biologist http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/533678900 Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): 1     vacancies – Honolulu, Hawaii Salary: $91,242.00 to $118,612.00 / Per Year Series and Grade: GS-0401-13 Open Period: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 to Wednesday, May 29, 2019 Position Information: Permanent – Full-Time Who May Apply: Open to the public

Program Support Specialist http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/533747600 Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): 1     vacancies – Honolulu, Hawaii Salary: $52,912.00 to $68,781.00 / Per Year Series and Grade: GS-0301-9 Open Period: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 to Wednesday, May 29, 2019 Position Information: Permanent – Full-Time Who May Apply: Open to the public

Range Technician (Invasive Species) http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/533752800 Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): 2     vacancies – Burbank, Washington Salary: $33,949.00 to $44,130.00 / Per Year Series and Grade: GS-0455-5 Open Period: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 to Tuesday, May 28, 2019 Position Information: 13 Months – Full-Time Who May Apply: Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL), Open to the public

Maintenance Worker http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/533855600 Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): Few   vacancies – Soldotna, Alaska Salary: $22.88 to $26.67 / Per Hour Series and Grade: WG-4749-5 Open Period: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 to Thursday, May 23, 2019 Position Information: Temporary – Full-Time Who May Apply: Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL), Open to the public

Fish Biologist http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/533796800 Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s):  Many vacancies – Multiple Locations in NY Salary: $51,440.00 to $66,868.00 / Per Year Series and Grade: GS-0482-9 Open Period: Thursday, May 16, 2019 to Friday, May 24, 2019 Position Information: Term – Full-Time Who May Apply: Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL), Open to the public

Social Services Assistant http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/534059600 Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s):  Many vacancies – Multiple Locations Salary: $33,949.00 to $44,130.00 / Per Year Series and Grade: GS-0186-5 Open Period: Friday, May 17, 2019 to Friday, May 31, 2019 Position Information: Temporary – Full-Time Who May Apply: Open to the public

Maintenance Worker http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/534284700 Department: Department of the Interior Agency: Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): 1 vacancy – Dexter, New Mexico Salary: $18.52 to $21.56 / Per Hour Series and Grade: WG-4749-7 Open Period: Monday, May 20, 2019 to Monday, June 3, 2019 Position Information: Permanent – Full-Time Who May Apply: Open to the public.

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Posted in Career Advice, Career and Industry Awareness, Diversity Recruiting, Employment Trends, ReSkill America, What Employers Want | Leave a comment

Robert Smith Jr. Shocks Morehouse College Graduates

Robert F. Smith Jr.

Robert F. Smith, left, laughs with David Thomas, center, and actress Angela Bassett at Morehouse College.Bo Emerson/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP

It has been a phenomenal graduating season for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

Every year at this time, these campuses come alive with tired but excited students and university faculty and staff who have worked hard to get their graduates ready.  Stages overflow with administrators wearing vivid academic regalia reflecting the colors of their disciplines and cords, hoods and bars reflecting their accomplishments.  The stages welcome special guests to be recognized for service to community and society with honorary doctoral awards.  Commencement speakers show up to help give the graduates that one last motivational lecture designed to help them hurdle that big transition from college to real work.

Through this commencement season some of those receiving honorary doctorates include Reverend Al Sharpton from Medgar Evers College, James Prince recognized by Texas Southern University and Sonia Sanchez, poet and activist, recognized by Spelman College

All that is good news. 

Morehouse College graduates showed up today at their commencement expecting more of the same.

Then the great news happened.

Robert F. Smith Jr., technology leader, philanthropist and one of the few Black billionaires in the world, stepped up at Morehouse College ceremony to give a commencement speech and receive an honorary doctoral degree.  Yes, Mr. Smith came to the stage as commencement speaker and honorary doctorate recipient, but he left the stage as a benefactor, pledging a grant to eliminate the student debt of the entire Morehouse College class of 2019.

To say the very least, Mr. Smith is a giver.

Before his generous gift to the Morehouse Men of 2019, he had pledged $50 million to Cornell University, his own alma mater, $20 million to the African American Museum and a $1.5 million gift to Morehouse College earlier in January 2019.

My hope is that his generosity incites rampant action among others of means.

When I say means, I am not assuming that only those of tremendous wealth can give back to the mission of these HBCU institutions that were built to educate the forgotten, the overlooked and the aspirant professionals who could go nowhere else.   I am thinking of the Morehouse Class of 2019 and beyond.  In fact, I am thinking of the entire graduating HBCU class of 2019.  I am sure there are many of the graduates who had not heard of Robert F. Smith Jr. before today.  Well now they have and now they see that kind of generosity, I hope they think about what is possible with the hard work, risk taking and innovative thinking exercised by Mr. Smith.  The saying is that to whom much is given, much is expected; and these Morehouse Men have been given much.   This opportunity of professional and personal growth without the encumbrances of college debt, should be the enabler of good things for all these Morehouse graduating students.

Many of us have given to these schools over the years and will continue to give.  I won’t lie, the significance of this gift does inspire me to look deeper though and think harder about what more I can do and where I can help beyond TheHBCUCareerCenter.com.

In conclusion, I want to say two things about the gift.

First, take note that Mr. Smith did not graduate from a HBCU.  I have often said to people who questioned my giving to HBCUs, that one does not need to suffer from diabetes to give to diabetes research.   I hope this encourages others to see value in these institutions and see them as the engine that drove economic uplift for the Black middle class in America.  Second, please note that Mr. Smith gave a smaller gift to Morehouse in January 2019.  He must have been satisfied with the relationship with the administrators thus far to take this next step.  I am not sure how the gift will be administered, but nevertheless, it certainly demonstrates confidence in the Morehouse mechanism to develop diverse professionals.  As someone who is always thinking about the workforce and professional development angle, this gift could probably draw an even straighter line from the Morehouse campus to Silicon Valley.  All kinds of things are possible.

Yes; Giving begets giving and good stewardship of funds, encourages more giving.  Congrats again to the Morehouse Class of 2019 and know that we as a #HBCU community, are expecting good things from you.

We did before.

That just got amplified!

Dr. Marcia F. Robinson, Founder of TheHBCUCareerCenter.com (mrobin@thehbcucareercenter.com)

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Posted in Career and Industry Awareness, Employment Trends, First Year on the Job, HBCU Career Programs, Leadership, Life After College, STEM Careers | Leave a comment

10 Skills New Grads Need to Be Ready for Work

Do Stuff - Be Ready for Work

Do Stuff – Be Ready for Work

From the Desk of the Dean…

New graduates in the Class of 2019 are going into the best job market in more than a decade.  With a 3.6% unemployment rate, the Job Outlook report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows that employers plan to increase hiring of new graduates by 17 % in 2019.

For the 1.7 million new graduates with bachelors degrees and the 1 million with graduate degrees, this is good news.  Yet, there are a number of recruiters lamenting the lack of talent coming out of colleges right now.  Apparently, some new grads just don’t appear to have what it takes to be ready for work.

There are many reasons why recruiters say that graduates are not ready for work.  Some say that new grads don’t have the majors they need, others will say that new grads are confused about the next steps and still others say that new grads aren’t ready to seriously commit to work.  In fact, Gallup polling shows that only 13% of Americans strongly agree that new graduates are well prepared for success in the workplace.   That’s not good news.

There is no guarantee that as a new graduate you are going to love your first new job right out of college.  Please know that this first job won’t necessarily be an indicator of how you will do in future jobs and how much career success you will probably achieve.  All that being said, it is really important that as a new graduate you show that you are ready for work.

Here are some of the ways to do that:

1. Learn how to think.  Once you are out of college, there is no spoon feeding of knowledge like you might have had in the college classroom.  You will need to learn how to think independently, use judgement wisely and apply analysis to your work.  Yes, you have earned a degree, but you will now need to think about how to actually apply what you have learned.  You need to be able to think critically to apply what you have learned.

resume mistakes2. Discover your skills.  There is no one job that is tailor made for any new grad specifically.  For example, a graduate with a degree in marketing is probably going to roll right into a job that doesn’t even have the word “marketing” in the job title.  As a new grad you will have to shape shift your experiences and education to fit the job role.  Remember, only 27% of graduates have a job directly related to their college major.  So as a new graduate, you will need to stop focusing on your college majors and start focusing on your skills.

3. Know what YOU value.  As a graduate, you are concerned about how you are valued in a pay check by an employer.  You should.  However, I urge you to think about what you personally value.  Once you are in the workplace, it may be tempting to start chasing financial value.  Trust me when I say that it will take a while to figure out what’s important to anyone just starting out in a career.  As a new graduate you should focus early on understanding what you actually value in order to find meaning in your work.  People are often amazed at the difference in one’s performance when people find real personal value in the work they do.

4. Change how you use social media.  So far, I am guessing that most of your social media has been about your college life, socializing and photo-sharing.  You need to take your social media activities to the next level. This doesn’t mean reach out and ask people for jobs, it means research companies, industries and careers.  Look at what professionals in your field are talking about so that when you land in an organization, you know what you are getting into, what is expected and you are ready to work.

5. Know how to actually work.  Too many recruiters and hiring managers say that new graduates just don’t know how to work.  What do they mean by that?  Knowing how to work means, knowing how to show up on time, how to access the tools and resources to do the work you have been assigned, how to manage your time, how to ask questions and how to stay focused for the required number of hours in a work day.  Yes; workdays can be quite a bit longer than college days.

you can do it6. Start off confident and keep it up.  Confident about what you might ask? Well, it’s a given that you don’t know the job until you learn the job.  You have to show you are confident enough in your ability to learn new things.  Managers are trying to discover your pace and your style.  They will move at your pace in terms of assignments, but only at first.  They will expect the pace to pick up.  If you fold, cower or underperform every time they put a serious assignment in front of you, that could be sending a message that you have no confidence in your ability to learn new things.

7. Quickly understand work flow.  Managers don’t want to do your work and theirs.  They really can’t.  You have to learn how to carry your own weight quickly.  You must know how to have your output ready for when your manager needs it.  Your work doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  It is possible that someone else’s activities drives your output and your work drives someone else’s output.  Don’t leave people hanging.

8. Learn on your own time.  You won’t always get it done within the work day. Why?  You might have to learn supplemental skills before you can complete your assignments. For example, you may need to learn how to do Pivot Tables in Excel, before you can finish the spreadsheet assignment.  Much of that learning will have to be done on your own time.  Stay late, arrive early and do what it takes.  This will show that you are ready for work.

Understand your V.I.S.A.

Understand your V.I.S.A.

9. Explore your V.I.S.A.  Every new graduate needs to start the exploration process to understand, what I refer to as the real V.I.S.A.  Not your credit card.  Instead this V.I.S.A. is about your Values, Interests, Skills and Abilities.  Start paying attention early to what, for you, will fit into each of these little boxes.  Create a career journal where you can start tracking what is important to you, where your professional interests and curiosities lie; what skills you want to build and what abilities are necessary to succeed in a desired field.  Also, figure out how you will build on your innate abilities. Knowing these things will be worth more to you in your career success than you even understand right now.

10. Figure out how to research and filter.  It doesn’t matter where you land that first job, we are all swimming in a sea of information right now so knowing how to find relevance and filter accordingly, is key.  You will hear statements and buzz words in your workplace that you have never heard before.  Know how to research quickly and quietly.  Yes, you probably grew up with Google at your fingertips and the Urban Dictionary as your go-to research spot.  You will need some new resources.  Hand in hand with the research is knowing how to sort the important stuff from the really important stuff and figure out what you will need to discard.

If you are a little scared by this list, then I have done my job.

Graduation is an exciting time.

However, I know the excitement wears off and the reality sets in; sometimes like a cold sweat. Unlike when you entered college and everyone told you to expect four years of work before graduation; no one is telling you how long it will take for you to get comfortable in your new role as an employee.  That’s because we can’t.  It’s your call. What I do know is if you go into your professional life ready to work, you will find yourself clarifying your V.I.S.A. over time and becoming the professional you want to be.

Sincerely, Dr. R

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Posted in Career Advice, Career and Industry Awareness, College Life, Diversity Recruiting, First Year on the Job, Life After College, Millennials at Work, New Grad, Professional Development | Leave a comment
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