Kylie Kendall shares advice on how to navigate the 6 most common quandaries a new graduate may face when entering the job market:
- Two job offers and neither thrills you! Remember that your first job will not be your only job. Look at the two offers and break them down to see which provides a better work environment, colleagues with whom you think you will connect, the better location and hours, etc. Try to project which job will give you skills that will help you long-term in meeting goals. See your choice as a stepping-stone and not a dead-end.
- One job offer – what about salary? It is always fine to try to negotiate your salary, but it may not be possible because many companies offer the same salary to all entry level positions, requiring managers to adhere to this policy. If your new boss is not able to budge, though, don’t hesitate to look for other benefits. Can you work from home some days? Can you go to specialized training or conferences? Think about what will make your work life easier.
- No job offer – what about temp work or an internship? Temporary work can expose you to a variety of companies and occupations, and temp jobs sometimes do turn into full-time jobs. See temp jobs as a way to explore and to also build your resume. Internships are great, but be careful not to get into the unpaid internship cycle for too long.
- You have a job offer and your parents don’t approve! Before just caving to what your parents are asking, find a trusted adult mentor to discuss your options. They will be more objective and may be able to help you reason with your parents. Remember, though, this is your life.
- You have a job offer, but it pays less than the jobs your friends have with the same college degree? First, don’t always believe what your friends share about salaries – people exaggerate. Do your research to see what is the industry standard based on the hours you will be expected to work. Use this as your guide. This is also good information to have on hand if you decide to negotiate.
- Two months in and you don’t like the job! Give it time. Analyze what it is that makes you unhappy. Are you bored? If so, meet with your boss and say you would like to take on more challenges. Don’t like the people with whom you work? Look for a way to just interact professionally. Finding the job too hard? Ask your boss for a mentor. It is best to complete at least one year at a job in order not to raise questions on your resume.
Every newly-minted college graduate will face a few quandaries. Turn to a mentor for help and feedback, and don’t despair – each challenge will give you the skills to better navigate in the future!