A study produced in August 2012 by the Economic Policy Institute makes for bleak reading for college graduates looking for entry-level jobs. According to that research, 28 percent of workers will be in low-paying jobs and some people predict this scenario to last all the way to 2020 (authors note: I personally see things better much more quickly). The question then for college graduates, regardless of timing, will be: “How can I stand out from the crowd and break into my chosen career?”
For those seeking college graduate jobs, this news does not necessarily have to mean giving up on applying to your dream job, but it may mean having to revise the path to your career. The long-term key is to keep your eye on the ball, consider your long-term goal, and look for creative ways to achieve it. With such stiff competition these days, those who succeed will be those who create opportunities for themselves rather than those who wait for opportunities to open up for them.
Use entry-level jobs to gain experience and boost your professional skills, including those soft skills that all employers value: communication, critical thinking, leadership, teamwork, negotiation, attitude, motivation, and time management.
How to Get Where You Want to Go
Boost your skills by taking a proactive approach. Consider a lateral move within your organization. Lateral, or sideways moves, can expand your skill base, providing greater or new experiences that will boost your resume.
Look for opportunities to volunteer to take on a new project or role, even if it appears to be outside your core career path.
Seek out a mentor for your current role. If your organization does not currently encourage mentoring, ask about setting up a mentoring program so less experienced workers can learn and benefit from more experienced employees and the key decision makers in the company. Even by submitting the idea, you will stand out from the crowd as someone who is driven and enthusiastic to learn.
Be prepared to go where the jobs are. Sean Little on Google Plus