As you near the end of your program and graduation is in sight, you are no doubt thinking about your next move ... pursuing a new job! You have this degree that you worked so hard for, so you should have no problems getting that high-salary dream job, right? Well, not exactly. You might be sure of the direction in which you want to take your career path, but first, you need to look back at where you have been and consider entry-level positions. These starting roles are an important step up on the career ladder.
Start by asking yourself: What experience do I have that will help me reach my goal? What courses have I taken that directly relate to what I want to do? What soft skills and hard skills do I have? Which skills are transferable into a new career? What are employers looking for in candidates?
If you don't have a lot of experience in the field you are pursuing, don't worry. Everyone has to start somewhere! Starting off at the entry level doesn't have to be a bad thing. It may not be your dream job, but it will give you the foundation that you need to reach your career goals. Consider the following benefits of getting your feet wet in your field:
- Use this as an opportunity to build on your experience and knowledge while also learning new skills.
- Being professional and meeting new people around you helps you build your networking contacts. Networking is essential in learning the ins and outs of the industry you are targeting and may also help guide your path.
- Learn more about your work style, what areas you excel in and what skills could use some work.
- Seek out additional training or certifications to help enhance your knowledge/skills. Job postings will typically list what certifications/training are required or preferred.
- You may come to the conclusion that this job/field is not for you and decide to go in another direction for your career. If this happens, it's OK! This is a learning experience graduates go through. It's OK to change your mind and change it again – pursue something that makes sense for your and your goals.
The important thing is to do the best that you can and work your way up to the goals you set out to reach. Although it may be hard to start over in a new industry if you are already established in a field, remember that everyone has to start somewhere!
Not finding a job right away? Don't let this get you down. Continue to be positive and utilize available resources. AIU's Career Services Department can assist students and alumni with resumes, interviewing skills and even locating job opportunities in your area.
Interested in more posts on job search related topics? Check out our Career Development blog.
If you're a current AIU student or alumnus looking for more career advice, please contact the Career Services Department at 877-221-5800 Option 5 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.