Ninety thousand. That’s amount of hours the average person spends at work over a lifetime. Whether you decided to enter the workforce right after graduation or decided to continue on to grad school, starting a career somewhere down the line is inevitable. If you are going to spend 90,000 hours of your life working, why not enjoy what you do?
Hallie Crawford (@halliecrawford), certified career coach and founder of Create Your Career Path, gives three quick tips on finding not just a job, but making the right career move for long-term success:
Get your feet soaked in the real-world pool. Diverse, real-life experience — outside of studying and being lectured in a class — is invaluable and can give you a sense of what it’s really like to work. Putting yourself out there to learn more and more— especially new things— and actually doing those new things is the key. It can give you a sense of what you might like and dislike about a job and what different working environments are like. Also, knowing what you don’t like can help you determine what you want to have instead.
Get that boss moves plan in motion: Crawford recommends taking time and effort to think about the career you want. Use the resources your college career center or alumni association offers! Learn as much about yourself and what’s important to you at a job as you can. It’s okay to just get out there and get a job for an income and experience, but while you’re there, invest in yourself by thinking about what you want to have for the long haul and conduct informational interviews with people in the fields you’re considering to learn more about them.
Look inward and invest: Ask yourself these questions: Does this job align with my values and priorities? Will it utilize my talents and skills? Is the work environment right for me? What is the long-term growth potential and if this entry level position isn’t exactly what I want, will it get me there-to my long term goals? Will it pay me enough to cover my bills and allow me to be independent?
Remember that no job is perfect. Jobs are like relationships; even the best ones have their ups and downs. As a fresh college grad, now is the time to discover the career that’s right for you.