May 26th, 2011 Jamie
A few weeks before graduation, I started looking frantically for a job. Most of the listings I found had specific qualifications–they wanted 1, 2, 3, or even more years of job experience, not to mention a clear knowledge of their field. Lucky for me, I had already logged several years of job time by that point, and if you’re gearing up to go get that dream job after school, one of the best things you can do now is build up your job experience. Here are a few ways to start.
If your primary objective is just to get some work experience under your belt, you don’t need to worry too much about choosing a career field–just putting in the hours is a great place to start. You can try:
Working On Campus. College campuses are usually a great place to find a job–they work hard to hire students, and you can do anything from driving a campus mail truck to doing security detail or just working part-time in the caf. Campus jobs don’t always pay well, but they are often relatively easy to get and usually very flexible about working with your school schedule.
Working for Mom and Dad. Or a relative, family friend, or other acquaintance–whoever you know who has a business that might be in need of your skills. Ask around, and be sure to flaunt (but not exaggerate) your technical prowess, typing speed, or any other talent that will help you stand out. (But p.s. — Even if you’re working for the ‘rents, you still need to take your job seriously!)
Volunteering. Most employers don’t care if your work experience is paid or unpaid, so if you can’t find (or aren’t interested it) an entry-level job, you can always start by doing some volunteer work. This will not only get you in the habit of fitting work into your schedule, but also gives you the opportunity to secure references for future job apps.
If you already know what your long-term goals are, you might be interested in getting some experience in the field you’re pursuing. If this sounds like you, try:
Getting an Internship. Talk to your professor or the faculty advisor for your major, or stop by your college’s career center and look for internships in your area of choice. Not only will this give you some familiarity with the subject, it is also a great way to gauge whether you really want to pursue a similar career.
Entry Filed under: jobs & working