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Job-hunting tips for new college grads

I wanted to respond to a few of the points from this article on, “Job-hunting tips for new college grads”. The author touches on some questions I often get asked by my clients who are job searching, so the issues addressed I find very relevant.

Here’s my take on some of the questions she addresses:

Should you follow a boyfriend/girlfriend to a new city if you don’t have a job?

I don’t think this is a good idea. It depends on so many factors for the individual of course. I would suggest first finding a job if possible before moving anywhere. By moving to be with a partner, you’re really banking on/counting on that relationship, and what if it doesn’t work out? If you decide that moving to the new city will provide you with more job opportunities, you may want to consider the move but make a plan for yourself and with your partner. How will you each pay your bills?

  • Make sure you’re not solely relying on them.
  • Decide how long you will give the move to get a job for yourself before you re-consider and broaden your search.
  • Start networking well before you make the move to find a job when you get there as soon as possible.

The key is to become as independent as possible as quickly as possible so you are focusing on YOUR goals and your career-not just moving for someone else’s.

Is it a good idea to take an unpaid internship and for how long?

This very much depends on your situation. If you’re a recent college grad who has little to no work experience and your parents can help you, or you have some way to support yourself short term, an internship (although unpaid) can give you the experience you need to get your foot in the door of your industry. However, don’t choose this unless you have some way to remain financially stable. Can you get a part-time job on the side that pays your bills? Is the internship really something that’s highly regarded as THE way to get into your industry? Evaluate your options, and I would only suggest staying in an unpaid internship for 3-4 months max. At minimum, you should ask the employer up front how quickly it could take to turn into a paid opportunity.

Does it make economic sense to acquire a graduate degree?

It can, if getting a graduate degree is the best way to get into your chosen field. If you know what you want to do, and graduate school is the fastest or most effective way to get there, I would consider it. Be sure to consider all these major points:

  • How much does it cost?
  • How long will it take to pay off?
  • Will that degree move you towards your goals?

For example, to be a business consultant, my client Karen decided she needed to go back to school to get her MBA after researching and talking to people in the field. She realized that almost the only way to become a consultant in the field she wanted to be in was to get an MBA. Then she would financially be able to pay off her loans after she graduated. It made very good sense for her to get her MBA, because it would allow her to achieve her long term career goal in the fastest way possible. Plus she wouldn’t sink from paying back the loans after school.

If you are a new college grad who needs help with your job search, contact us for a complimentary consultation.

Hallie Crawford
Certified Career Coach