Parents & Family

Taking Action: Smart Moves to Get Started

With new opportunities on the horizon, your student may be getting excited about career possibilities. While there are no guarantees, there are strategies your student can use when seeking employment. Among them are considerations pertaining to salary expectation, relocation, entrepreneurship and more. Now is the time to get started.

Don't Delay

Sometimes students put off a job search due to lack of time or motivation. But starting early is key. Among the many things your senior should be doing are:

  • Utilizing BW Career Services and online resources often
  • Having a polished resume, curriculum vitae and cover letter
  • Putting his or her phone to use by storing key information, dates and contacts in a place that is easily visible and accessible
  • Making new contacts and sustaining established ones with internship coordinators, past employers, BW faculty and alumni, and friends. They should employ traditional face-to-face, phone, email and social media communication
  • Having a game plan and making weekly progress

First Job is a First Step

On the average, a person will have 10 career positions in his or her lifetime. Therefore, a student shouldn't fret if a first job is mediocre. Entry-level jobs are often filled with long hours, low pay and hard work. It's one step in a series of several.

Students also can struggle with whether to accept a first job offer or to wait for something better. Others wonder if they should negotiate salary, benefits or job responsibilities.

There is no set answer. Financial obligations, a person's comfort level with risk, type of work offered, office dynamics and potential for advancement all weigh heavily in the decision-making process.

Seek Stable Career Fields

At one time, some career fields seemed recession-proof. Today, there are no guarantees. Nonetheless, some industries are more stable than others. When considering job opportunities and compiling lists of organizations to contact, students should weigh financial and management stability.

To learn more about career fields, students can utilize Career Services resources. In addition, they can glean information from reputable online sites.

Consider Moving

Relocation is a huge factor in the job search process. Some career advisers believe out-of-state candidates for entry-level positions receive less attention from employers. Other advisers differ in opinion.

Nonetheless, new graduates willing to relocate to different cities, states or even countries can boost their employment odds by virtue of an expanded search. Working abroad is particularly beneficial because it tells potential employers these individuals are adaptable, adventurous, flexible and open-minded. In addition, employees willing to work overseas can gain valuable cultural, global and business insights that help them throughout their career.

Become an Entrepreneur

A budding businessperson with an eye for opportunity and the stomach for risk may consider starting a business. A recent study found that an increasing number of college students were side-preneurs—individuals who started their businesses while working toward their degrees. The study also found several entrepreneurs started their businesses after finishing college because they couldn't find a job.

For some students, starting a new business can be advantageous. But before making any financial commitments, take time to do in-depth research. Talk with industry experts, financial advisers and a good lawyer.