College Seniors: 3 Tips For Using Your Holiday Break to Jump Start Your Career

College Seniors ready to ,get a head start on your career?

College Seniors, most of you your exams are finished and you are headed home hoping for some relaxation (sleep) and fun. But if you are a college senior, and you are not certain yet what you will be doing when you graduate I also believe there is lurking anxiety and stress associated with that question. To make matters worse – there are well-meaning people who care about you (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, parents of friends – basically everyone you will run into over vacation) who will find a way to ask you some version of this question: “Ryan you are going to be graduating – how exciting! What are your plans after graduation?” I know, I know – most of you would rather wash my kitchen floor than have to deal with that question. Here are some steps to take that can help.

1. Prepare for those questions. You don’t have to have a job secured to answer this question. You don’t even have to have a rock solid, locked down direction – but you do need a working hypothesis. Are you a marketing major? Think about the types of businesses or non-profits you would enjoy working with most. Is it high tech? Are you more interested in online retail? Is there a specific nonprofit direction you would like to bring marketing skills to? Maybe you are a film major – what part of creating a film are you most interested in? Is it editing, directing, production, set design? Do you want to be an occupational therapist? What populations are you most interested in? Where do you want to start getting your experience? Is it working with children? Is it working with people with traumatic injuries?

Consider this as an example of an answer to that question: “Well I think you know that my major is Film and Media Culture. I am planning on moving to NYC after graduation to find work working with a small film company doing editing work. I had an amazing internship with Florentine Films last summer which helped me get clear which aspects of film making I was most interested in and gave me some solid experience with key editing software.

2. Now – seek these conversations out over the holidays. Tell people what you are interested in, ask them about what advice they might have for someone like you just starting out. Listen to what they say. Ask them if they have anyone in their circle that they think it would be helpful for you to talk with. Ask if you can stay in touch with them as you move towards graduation and maybe get some feedback on your resume. Ask if you can connect with them on LinkedIn (of course this means you need to be on LinkedIn – so the third suggestion is…)

3. If you aren’t on LinkedIn – get on it and start connecting with other people. It is pretty intuitive and simple; and very important.

So Happy Holidays All! The best way to get rid of this lurking career stress is to get into an action mode. If you are having trouble getting going feel free to reach out to us at sue@launchingu.com for a free 30 minute conversation.