As I face my senior year, it is not my GPA, credits, or goodbyes that I think about most-although those things are important. I think my fellow soon-to-be-graduates would agree that the clamor for a job holds the monopoly on mental space. Obviously worry is not a productive use of time or thought, but I think it is to my fellow students' credit that we value our first steps into our futures enough to, well, worry. Contrary to popular belief, not all college students want to live at home and "veg" after four years of rigorous training. Some of us are eager to learn more and gain wisdom to pair with the knowledge we've acquired.
Over the past three years, I've learned so much about my industry and how my talents might work inside of it. I've developed skills, created aspirations, and dedicated myself to being useful. My main fear is that I will be unable to use that. Many college graduates struggle to find jobs in the field they've studied (some choose this on purpose, but most do not). Often, it is because panic sets in that they won't find a job and thus they settle too quickly. Or simply because they need the income for the oncoming bills and the job market is limited.
I do not know what the future holds for me in particular, but I've designed a sort of plan to help remove focus my problem (needing a job and wanting one in my field) and place the emphasis on potential employer's problems (what do they need done, what skills would best accomplish the job, where will they find such a person who also is passionate about their company). Thus my mindset shifts from panic to productivity.
Based on research, advice, and personal experience, I've constructed the following list for myself and my fellow seniors so that we can start our post-university career with as much readiness and potential as possible.
I know this entire process is going to get much harder before it gets easier. I know it will involve a lot of hours and we will probably get sick of ourselves and our minimal achievements by the time we've applied to 100 different jobs and explained how we are perfect for all of them. But if nothing else, this will serve as an exercise to show you that you have value. We have so much to learn, our process has only just begun, but you do have merit. You can be useful. You will find a place of purpose. Not every missed target is your fault. There are thousands of variables involved in landing a job-they will line up at some point. And when that point comes, you can be proud of the fact that you put your best foot forward for every application along the way.