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Diploma in hand? Now what?

Congratulations if you have just received your diploma and have graduated!  Hopefully, you are planning on taking a little time off and pampering yourself, but don’t let too much sand grow under your feet (that’s in reference to the upcoming summer at the beach. :-) If you haven’t begun planning for your career or looking for a job, put some time into your future as soon as possible, so you won’t find yourself becoming a permanent beach fixture. While the job market is easing up a bit, it’s still a challenge if you don’t focus, plan and prepare.

As you are laying on the beach, think about what you like to do (enjoy doing) and what you hate doing.  Imagine what you would be doing if you had an ideal job that would match your skills, abilities, interests, education and experience.  The biggest mistake that people often make after graduating is to “find a job – any job,” taking that job without considering what they would like to do. That lack of focus makes a job search extremely difficult and often lands people in life-long careers doing what they don’t particularly like doing.  While W-O-R-K is a 4 letter word, many people have found that they can enjoy what they are doing, all the while getting paid. I say SCORE!

An approach that recent graduates often use is “peppering the job market” with their generic resume expecting to receive an immediate job offer.  After all, they are thinking that “they now have a degree and are highly educated, so who wouldn’t want to hire them?” Reflecting back to when I first graduated from college, I had this same expectation only to find that looking for my ideal job wasn’t quite that simple. As a matter of fact, now that I am a little wiser, a little more experienced, I realize that the job hunt and resume preparation requires tenacity, a curious mind, diligence, follow-through and more. Putting the time and effort into finding and following your dream is rewarding, however, and you won’t look back with regrets if you visualize and plan for success now. Good luck and let me know if I can be of any help!

I dedicate this blog to Meribeth Allman (9/12/61 – 3/13/12; Assistant Director of Continuing Education at Anne Arundel Community College), a life-long learner, advocate of education and believer in following your dreams. She left this earth way too soon, but her star shines brightly and her legacy will live on!

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