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Leave School With A Strategy

Leave School With A Strategy

The completion of your degree in your chosen subject is certainly cause for celebration.

So, what are you planning to do next to finally get your career off the ground?

You're full of pep and drive, like a young racehorse in the starting gate, and you can't wait to grasp fresh professional prospects. Are you prepared, though? Do you realize what must be done? Do you have a strategy to make the most of these openings? You should obtain one if you don't already have one.

The traditional saying is that a direct line between two points is the shortest way to travel between them. It's the same when you're just starting out in your profession; you need to have a plan and follow through on it slowly and with diligence. Though you'll need to make several sharp turns, try not to stray too far from your intended path.

Identifying the kind of work you would like to do initially is a good place to start. Depending on your topic of study and degree, you may have a wide range of career options to choose from. A registered nurse with an advanced degree may find employment in a variety of settings, including clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, daycares, schools, private practices, and even the field. Then, within those kinds of facilities, you may choose to practice in specialties like pediatrics, obstetrics, or general medicine. And then there is the possibility of change.

Assume you decided to try nursing and discovered it wasn't for you.A career change into pharmaceutical sales is always a possibility.Even more adaptable are professions like corporate management. The most important thing is to choose a path and immerse yourself in that area of study.

You hate to say it, but after all that effort and expense, you're still undecided. You have a vague notion of what it is you want to accomplish, but it is still unclear. You haven't found any ideas worth getting enthusiastic about. You are feeling so down and irritated that it seems ridiculous. It's all right. To be honest, it's not that horrible. You shouldn't feel like you have to devote yourself to one company or start at the very top. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself. Perhaps you simply need a little piece of initial success to build confidence and go forth with full force. You may use that first year to figure out what it is you really like doing. You'll have a more optimistic outlook and an open mind if you do that. Don't squander your time. Schedule your objectives for the week. Put that year to good use by actively exploring your options. Next, get yourself ready to really do it, and do it properly.

Doing your own research is a great place to begin if you want to investigate potential careers without the aid of a job coach or career counselor. Let's suppose you're a graduate of a criminal justice or police academy. The choice between a career in corporate security and private investigation is yours to make. And yet, how do you choose? The Occupational Outlook Handbook ( is a great resource for learning about the landscape of employment opportunities in your profession if the career center at your school is unable to do so. Participate in online discussion forums geared toward your field of work. Check out several organizations' online presences. Participate in the discussions going on around you. Inquire extensively. Consult with people you know and trust, such as relatives and neighbors. Inquire about their background and experience.

Request an informational interview with someone currently working in the field you're considering to see whether it's a good fit for you. An informational interview is a chance to ask an expert questions about a potential job's requirements and responsibilities. Many individuals won't be able to meet with you, while others will jump at the chance. Don't take it personally if someone chooses to ignore you. Stop trying to connect with that person and go on to the next one. When communicating with your new contact, it's important to be kind, well-organized, and professional. Take careful notes throughout the informational interview. When you're through, be sure to express your gratitude for their time and consideration. Get their full name and address so you can send them a thank you note.Make a good impression on them since they may have a position vacant.

When you've reduced your options down, it's time to put your resume out there on big job sites like,, and and see what happens. Look through the available job postings and read the descriptions carefully to get a feel for the work environment and the requirements of the position. In any case, your resume writer will want you to accomplish so that they can have a solid grasp on the kinds of positions in which you're most interested. If you have taken this step and would want to discuss the results with your resume writer, you should do so proactively.

So you've settled on a career path and polished your resume and cover letter. So, what do we do now? You've certainly heard the old adage, "it's not what you know, but who you know," which emphasizes the need for networking. Not usually, but it doesn't hurt to know the proper person. You should therefore make it known to everybody and everyone you meet that you are currently seeking employment. To be ready to give out resumes at a moment's notice, keep a recent copy in your vehicle (away from liquids and creases). Attend job fairs, network with recruiters, and obtain leads to send your resume and cover letter to by researching companies online (post your resume on their websites), in the library, and even in the yellow pages.

This last plan works well. For example, let's pretend you're a recent MSW grad. If you look in the yellow pages under "Adoption Agencies," you may find the addresses of several organizations providing social services. If you want to submit a resume and cover letter, you should call the receptionist first to find out who to send them to and what department they are in. One option is to make a web résumé that can be seen online and has formatting and interactivity. If you are unsure of how to proceed, you should either learn the process yourself or have it done for you. Obtain business cards printed, and include your online resume's URL on them.

Temporary work is another excellent way to begin a career. Choose your temp assignments carefully.If you want to further your career, you should only work for the most prestigious firms. Also, if you want a permanent job, this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your abilities to potential employers. You shouldn't spend too much time as a temp since it might raise questions from a future employer about why you haven't found a permanent job yet. If asked why you temped, you may easily say that you wanted to broaden your experience in the sector. Don't feel the need to apologize!

Whatever you decide to do, be sure to take detailed notes and keep track of your progress. Gather the necessary contact information, including names, companies, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses, and URLs, and compile a list. Always have the list of businesses to whom you have submitted your resume and cover letter handy when you pick up the phone. That way, when you get a call for an initial or follow-up interview, you'll recognize the voice on the other end. If you are going on a series of interviews, this is crucial. You will seem unprofessional and waste time if you aren't well organized. An excellent resume and cover letter can help you get the attention of potential employers right away. Rather than using your little sister's sweet voice or a melodic welcome, John Smith may be contacted at 555-5555, or any such businesslike greeting. 

I'm unable to meet your needs right now. Put in your name and why you're calling, please. I promise to get back to you as soon as I can. Wishing you a wonderful day! Replace with if that's your current email address. Get a mobile phone so you can be contacted at all times, no matter where you are, especially if you are always traveling or if you have family members who do not understand English. Don't bother putting "cell" before your number; just use that one. Please specify which of the two numbers you have listed is your home phone and which is your mobile phone. It's more likely that they'll try calling your house. You should be on your toes to answer your mobile phone in a businesslike manner if several of your pals are constantly calling you, but you should put your phone in the glove compartment before heading out for a job interview. You definitely don't want to be interrupted by a phone call during the interview.

Arrive on time (or a little early) and prepared to impress during your interview. You should prepare for many interviews in a week and have multiple outfits ready to go to each one. Do your best to look your best in your interview outfit. If you play it safe, you can't go wrong. You may dress with more flair or even casually if the business is creative, but don't go overboard. Give the recruiting manager a stack of resumes (but not your cover letter) to share with other executives in the company. Get some interview experience under your belt. Consider having a buddy play a part in a mock scenario. Invest in a book that has sample interview questions. It's not enough to just know what to say and do; you also need to know what to avoid saying and doing. Within a day, write thank-you notes to interviewers, making sure to touch on a key point from the conversation and emphasizing your qualifications.

Always maintain a professional demeanor and look, show interest in the business and the job (prepare 10 questions to ask that have nothing to do with you), and do your best to keep the conversation entertaining, no matter how brief your experience may be. Don't forget that you, too, are interviewing them if you need a little perspective. No, you wouldn't want to work for just anybody. Make that point clear. You shouldn't come across as arrogant, but rather as a valuable commodity, rather than a scared, desperate person looking for work. If you adopt such a mindset, you'll radiate confidence since you'll know that you can handle everything that comes your way. Your professional life will soon get underway. Best of luck to you!

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