Jumping into the real world after college isn’t easy. And for college students that are currently rolling their eyes while reading this — hear us out. You might think that you’re already part of the real world, but you’re in for a shock. There are so many safeguards and safety nets built into college. Having a problem with a subject? You can easily go to tutoring. If you have a problem at a big time job, you’re going to have to figure out the tutoring aspect on your own. You’re going to have to discover what works and what doesn’t. You aren’t going to have a career counselor right there on the corporate campus, and you’re certainly not going to have a psychologist willing to listen to you and your problems.
In other words, there’s going to be a world of issues that you’re going to have to face on your own, which can be really difficult. You must think about everything that you have planned, and then plan around those concerns. Some classic problems as classic, and others might be more challenging. So if you’re on the verge of graduating, this guide is for you.
First and foremost, do you have goals mapped out? We’re not talking about the vague goal of “get a job”. Do you really know where you want to work? Can you visualize the ideal company in your mind? Do you think that you’re going to be able to attract them to you? There is so much involved with trying to get the perfect job that it can be really difficult to corral your thoughts. But what you need to do is make sure that you’re taking massive action. Don’t just query a few companies — query a lot of them. Write a cover letter that truly breaks out of the mold and sells you as the best candidate. Demonstrate your deeper knowledge of the company. You should be pulling clips where the company is mentioned. Study their advertisements, their media mentions, their ability to attract customers…everything. You want to make yourself an affordable and efficient resource for the company to tap into when it truly needs star talent. If you just practice the shallow research style that many college students do, you’re not going to stand out.
It’s better to also think about who can serve your needs well. If you are finding that you need more contacts that are actually in the same industry as you, you should be sending them casual emails at first. You can even make a small “free report” that you could give them that demonstrates you know what you’re talking about.
Better yet, why not build a website and give the free report away from that portal? This opens the market wide open for you. Even if you’re not going to be paid for the site, there’s still a chance to make an impression that’s positive. People in your industry can hit your website and really see that you have a lot to offer beyond the classic college student answer of “I’m broke, hire me anybody”. If you randomly reach out for companies, then they’re going to treat you as a desperate party that will just work anywhere. That’s not something that you really want to deal with.
What about the flip side of this? Is there a social element to getting into the real world after college? Absolutely! You have to think about getting involved in the community around you. Is there a way that you can get in touch with the local community through charity work? This is one of the best ways to be visible to a wide array of people. You might even get a job offer just because you demonstrated that you have a real heart for service.
Take caution, however — in the real world, people can see the difference between being manipulative, and being persuasive. People love persuasive people, because they bring a lot of value with them. However, manipulative people only think about themselves without thinking about what they can offer others.
Take care of yourself through all seasons. Don’t give up just because it’s hard. You’re not going to be the first college student to have your own fair share of problems, and you certainly won’t be the last. Once you get it all sorted out for your own situation, don’t you dare keep information to yourself. Remember how difficult it was for you when you were confused about everything? Exactly. You are much better off making sure that you focus on helping someone else navigate through the waters. Not only will you be making a difference, you will also be giving yourself a good refresher so that you don’t lose the information you’ve worked hard to obtain.