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How long after graduating college did it take to land your dream job?

#collegestudent

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Subject: Career question for you

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Rebecca’s Answer

I'm still looking... and that is not meant to sound negative! My advice to job searching is to be open minded and take each job offer as an opportunity to gain experience that will lead you to your next stop in your long career.  I graduated college 8 years ago and have had 3 professional jobs. Each one was an experience that gave me skills, knowledge and the ability to maneuver within my chosen career field. Landing your "dream" job right out of college doesn't happen but you can land a great job.  

Job searching when you are unemployed can be really draining- stay positive!! This is huge. be open-minded to doing all kids of work. Use you enthusiasm as a recent grad to your advantage and be willing to take on tasks you never thought you would do because you really don't know where it can lead you! In terms of getting a job after graduation, I started my first job at the end of August after graduating in May and I still know plenty of people who took a bit longer to find something that fit. The biggest thing while job searching is stay positive and don't compare your journey to anyone else!

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Wendi’s Answer

Greetings Winifred,


This is a brilliant but tough question to answer. It really depends upon how you define "dream job" and if you have aligned your passion, energy, motivation and studies in pursuit of that dream job. Personally, in college I did not have a "dream job" in mind but more of an interest in a certain field (accounting yay!). However, as I studied and learned more, I realized that it wasn't exactly the direction that ignited my passion and fueled my desire. So, I tried Psychology only to be met with the same results. Finally, some 15 years after my first foray college, I found my passion in Instructional Design and was able to devote my energies into the pursuit of excellence. It wasn't long after, perhaps a year that I landed my "dream job."


In truth, landing that "dream job" is less important than discovering those areas which inspire you and motivate you towards excellence. If you have figured that out, congratulations! You are ahead of most people, in my experience. If not, that's okay. College is about discovery. Try difference fields of interest, speak with your advisors, talk with students of various majors, chat with professors. You will uncover that which feeds both your soul and bank account in time.


Good luck and continuing asking brilliant questions!


--Wendi

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Gloria’s Answer

It took me 17 years to get my Bachelor's degree. So that meant that I was in my 30's and already in the workplace. After getting my Bachelor's degree, I continued into my Master's degree in order to get more information on that specialty that I wanted. I actually got my dream job while I was working on my Master's. I would say that you need to work with purpose to get your dream job. Apply for the job when you do not have all the skills solidly in place. Network with people who have that job and make those connections ahead of your own job hunt. When people say, think like you already have your dream job, those are not just words. It can be powerful to already think like you are in that job. it changes the way you carry yourself, how you dress, the career choices you make to get there.

Good luck on your job search.
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Terence’s Answer

I'd adjust your perspective from that singular "dream job" to your "ideal career". The slight difference being your "dream job" would be more of a singular goal and destination, vs. the "ideal career" being an evolving career path that develops as you gain more experience and perspective. It could be that you determine early on that your "dream job" is exactly right for you, say a Doctor or Teacher. Lucky you!

I think in most people's cases though, you get to that job and discover - "hey, there's a lot more (or less) here than I thought, actually THAT over there is even more interesting!". Once you become that Doctor or Teacher in the example above, you learn that there are more specializations or roles that fit your current and future interests more.

So how do you navigate towards that "ideal career"? I highly encourage taking the time to really understanding what interests and motivates you, what things you like to do, and don't like to do. You may have a field of interest (medicine or teaching, in our example above), but what other factors about yourself do you need to think about? Do you like working with people 1-1, working with teams, or working in isolation? Do you thrive in "new challenges", or do you like having routine and structure? What really inspires you when you're doing something?

These are highly personal and specific preferences, tied to your core personality. If you're able to marry these with your professional field of interest, you'll be able to narrow down a major field (medicine or teaching), down to more specific areas (say "working in medicine, patient facing" or "teaching STEM materials"), which then can lead you to even more ideal disciplines or roles that align with your ideal career ("pediatric medicine", or "college biology professor"). As I mentioned above, these factors all grow an evolve as you gain more experience, so I tend to think of things as a continued journey.

Good luck!
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Taja’s Answer

It took me two months. However, I had a high needs degree, education. It will depend on your degree and the demand in the job market. If you’re searching, be patient and continue to apply to positions that fit your career desires. Be sure to tune up your resume and cover letters. Make sure they are tailored to job openings. Also, volunteer to get more experience, if needed.

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