Every college graduate’s ultimate goal, once they finish school, is to find the best job or career for himself or herself. This typically means one that pays well, has good benefits, good location and commute time and one they will enjoy to the fullest. But what is desired is not always the case with every graduate student. It can be quite difficult to find a great job directly after you graduate, given the job requirements (including previous experience minimums) and amount of young people vying for jobs. As our parents always told us, you have to get out there and grind, send out your resume, cold call various businesses and companies, and don’t quit until you find that coveted position that you always wanted. But what exactly do college graduates plan to do to find the jobs they want and need? What resources are they planning to use to find their first position once they graduate?
As a student at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, I am in the midst of beginning the job search in a few years when I graduate myself, and the most asked question I get is, “what do you want to do after college?” I always think about it for a moment, before answering. But the follow-up question that is almost never asked is, “how do you plan to get that job?” That is the million-dollar question that no one quite knows how to answer. But it is the most important, because if you don’t have a plan as to how you will acquire the job you want, you will never quite get your feet off the ground. The best way to start planning the path to your desired career is to brainstorm some jobs you could see yourself doing years after you get your diploma. This is best done a year or two before you finish school, so you have enough breathing room to have “trial and error” when looking for careers or applying for internships.
Being at a university for almost two years now, I have had many conversations with upperclassmen who have given various answers for one simple but very important question: what resources do you plan to use to find your first job after you graduate? After interviewing a few of my fellow Sonoma State classmates, I was able to gain some insight into the inner workings of the college student’s mind and their overall thought process when it comes to their job search. Ryan, a junior computer science student from Danville, California, had a clear and straightforward answer when asked which resources he would use to help him find a job: “I would probably use Google, LinkedIn, and talk to some friends who already have great careers in the programming and coding fields.” When asked specifically which individuals he would speak to regarding his career choices, he talked about his brother, Nick, who is a computer programmer at Workday Inc. in Pleasanton, California: “My brother has been working at Workday for about two years now, and from what he’s told me, he really enjoys being a programmer there and gets paid well, and his commute time each morning is manageable.” It is pretty evident that having connections in certain career fields can be very beneficial to college students and soon-to-be-graduates, such as Ryan.
It was evident after speaking to some other Sonoma State students that they had similar ideas in mind when it came to which resources they were planning to use once they received their diplomas. Senior Chelsea from Livermore, California, who will be graduating in May with a BS in Environmental Science stated, “I will most likely talk to people I have met at both of my internships, as well as LinkedIn and Google. I’ll probably Google job opportunities, but I’m not quite sure which sites I’m going to use yet.” Danielle from Martinez, California, a junior Communications major, explained, “I’m going to use LinkedIn first, and talk to people I know in the field, as well as some of my professors in the Communications department here at SSU.”
Some students were more unsure about which resources they would use after their college career is finished, but sophomore Cameron had some solid ideas: “I would use some connections that I have made throughout my few years at State, as I think that’s the best way to get the best job. Using people you know really well in the field you want to work in is, in my opinion, the easiest way to find the career you want. Another resource I’d probably use would be some job websites online.” Cameron is a double major in Geology and Criminal Justice with a minor in Paleontology, from Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Another sophomore, James from Oceanside, California stated, “my plan is to use the internships that I have before I graduate as resources to find the career I want.” As a Kinesiology major, James wants to become a physical therapist someday, so he will use the people he has worked with in his various internships to find the best position for himself.
Overall, there seemed to be a steady trend with these Sonoma State students in regard to what type of resources they plan to use once they graduate college. From LinkedIn to internships to job search websites to simply connecting with people in your desired career field, there are many successful ways of gearing yourself up with resources to find the best job possible in the field where you know you can shine. All of these college students have a good idea of how they will get where they want to go in their lives after graduation, and as for myself, I know I will use many of the resources mentioned here in this blog. To reach your career goals, you have to take the first step into the job market by talking to people and putting yourself out there, whether that means sending out your resume a dozen times or chatting with a former employer. Do what is necessary to succeed and you will never go wrong!