Congratulations! You graduated! Take some time to celebrate! Now it’s time to land that first job. It may feel a bit overwhelming right now and you may not be sure where to start. Rest assured, you are entering the workforce at a time when your skills and knowledge are in demand. 

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Here are a few tips to get you started off on the right foot: 

Research Jobs and Employers 

What are you passionate about? Do you enjoy helping people, being the face of a company and providing customer service? Maybe you love animals or want to help the environment? Would you prefer a behind the scenes role in data entry or administrative work or do you love interacting with people? Take the time to review various job descriptions online. Learn what skills are required for these jobs and how you can set yourself up for success. There is so much information available right at your fingertips that can help you understand any role and what is required. You can even check out videos on various social media sites for more insight. Once you’ve selected a specific job, learn more about the company. What is their mission? What is it like to work there? What are the growth opportunities? Learn what you can about a role and a company before you apply and especially before your interview. 

Build Your Professional Network 

Now is an important time to start building your professional network. If you do not have one already, create a LinkedIn account. Add classmates from school, teachers and others that may help you along your professional journey. When applying for jobs, connect with every person you talk to on the phone or in-person. Any positive interaction can possibly lead you to your dream career. Building strong positive professional relationships will help you now and in the long term. Don’t forget to also get together in-person to continue to grow these relationships. 

Keep an Open Mind and Be Flexible 

You may have your perfect job in mind but don’t forget to keep an open mind and be flexible. Your first job out of school may not be exactly what you pictured.  Maybe it’s a short-term temporary position or more entry-level than you expected. Be open to what you can learn in each and every opportunity that comes your way. Connect with co-workers and colleagues in all levels of the company. These relationships you create in the beginning of your career are important. 

Continue Learning and Improving Your Skills 

A growth mindset is one of the most important soft-skills employers seek. You may have earned that degree but learning never stops, especially in today’s constantly changing market. It’s important to continue learning and improving your skills. 

Give Yourself a Break 

It’s a lot of pressure to find your first job out of school. This process can take time. So be kind to yourself. If you start to get frustrated, take a day off to relax and re-evaluate. Most importantly, stay positive. A positive attitude during this process will get you far with each conversation you have.

You got this!

Author: Daria Orozco is a franchise owner for Express Employment Professionals.