Preparing For Life After College – It’s Never Too Early To Start!
Most students begin their college experience without a clue as to how to truly begin setting themselves up for successfully finding a job in their major. It’s not good enough to have a great GPA, earn your degree, and begin to seek out employment opportunities right before or immediately after graduation.
Far too many college grads are either unemployed or can’t find a good paying job in or outside of their college major. In 2012, 44% of college graduates were working in jobs that didn’t require a college degree. Only 36% of that group were in what the researchers called “good non-college jobs” — those paying around $45,000 a year. (www.newyorkfed.org)
According to bestselling author and retired Special Agent Kevin Crane, who has run his own successful non-profit and several small businesses on top of having over 20 years federal service as a U.S. Special Agent under his belt, college students need to start planning for their future careers on day one of college. To assist students in beginning their career goals immediately, Agent Crane has implemented a simple guideline that he calls the “S.U.C.C.E.S.S” Strategy for College Students.
Select a major that is in demand and that you are most likely to find a job in. Too many students select majors that offer few jobs or are low paying. A poorly selected major could mean you’ll be working in a poorly paying job after graduation. This aspect of your career search is the most important so seek help from college staff that specialize in student career services.
Understand that success stems from hard work. Always go to your classes and get good grades, but also work hard to completely learn about the career field you want to enter.
Committed mentors can provide a wealth of advice and guidance. Having a seasoned professional in your career field as a mentor will help tremendously as well as become a great reference for possible job opportunities in the future.
Contact various “HR” folks at jobs that interest you and ask questions! For example, what are the needed qualifications and education requirements, do they provide internships or co-op programs, can you come in to visit the company, etc.?
Evaluate all of your options when it comes to where you want to work. In addition to private sector jobs, don’t overlook government jobs, the military, and even non-profits. They may not pay as much, but you can gain experience and possibly qualify for “student loan forgiveness”!
Second languages learned in college, such as Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, will help raise you above your competition. The military will teach you a foreign language for free!
Support systems such as clubs and organizations of “like-minded” students with similar career choices can help you reach your goals while providing encouragement throughout college. Always keep yourself in the company of good people who inspire you!
About Kevin Crane: Retired Special Agent Kevin Crane began his career as a U.S. Special Agent in 1985 with the Defense Investigative Service which became the Federal Investigative Service under the Office of Personnel MGNT. During his 21 years of service to our country, Kevin conducted thousands of in-depth investigations for U.S. government security clearances. Prior to his retirement in 2006, Kevin had worked 8 years as an Assistant Special Agent in charge of the Wrightstown, NJ, Investigative Field Office. He is the bestselling author of Access Granted, which offers help on gaining clearance for government jobs.