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Do you have any job searching advice on how to successfully find a career?

#jobsearch #communicationstudies #collegegrad #career #career-counseling #career-path

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Subject: Career question for you

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18 answers


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Jeffrey’s Answer

Hi Gabby,

I think you first need to ask yourself questions like: What do you enjoy doing? What do other people say you are good at? What are you good at? What do you think you have to offer the world or just other people? You might also ask your friends or family what you are good at. They might point to positive ways you relate to people. Or activities you are good at such as things you do with your hands or the way you analyze problems.

I highly recommend the book, "What Color is Your Parachute." It is a classic in the job hunting field. If you are not already familiar with it, the book leads you through a series of fun exercises you do over a few days or even weeks to help you identify where your talents and interests lie. Once you get a better idea of what you want to do, the book helps you market yourself to employers.

Good luck.
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Tom’s Answer

My answer is : talk, talk, and talk ... whether online or in person. Gather as much advice as you can from 'speaking' with other people about the work they do / plan to do / or used to do. From this activity , you may also get valuable leads on other people to speak with. Keep notes, and it would wise to write down questions before you go to ask them, so that you will be well-rehearsed before getting into conversations. That's not to say there's no place for spontaneity ; listen carefully to what the person you are speaking with is saying, and begin to create the next question you will ask.

Tom recommends the following next steps:

Ask five people a series of questions about their career or career plans.
At the end of those conversations, ask for help connecting with five additional people who are in jobs or sectors you're interested in
Develop a good LinkedIn profile and submit interesting article, news, or questions.
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Miyoshee’s Answer

Indeed is a great search engine for finding a job. Make sure to look for job fairs that may be in your area. Good luck to you!
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Genesis’s Answer

Hi Gabby,

Linkedin truly is a great place to find jobs as well as trying to network with as many people as possible. I, myself have had great luck with attending job fairs that my school was throwing where I got the opportunity to network with many different people and different companies. Indeed is also a great job searching site - I have had several replies from Indeed in the past. Also, don't be afraid to use google from time to time. Sometimes job postings become available straight from the company's site before hitting the job searching websites.

Good luck on your search!

Genesis
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Stephen’s Answer

The best suggestion I could give you is networking. LinkedIn can be used for this, but It is always best to make personal, face to face connections.

It looks like you are a college grad, so perhaps you have an alumni network already built you could access? If you didn't build your own network, does the University offer Alumni networking opportunities? Are there any local young professional groups where you could attend a meeting?

Having a strong personal network will always help open the door to new opportunities, or get your foot in the door someplace and separate you from the sea of faceless resumes.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hey Gabby -

This is a great question and I'm sure very relevant for lots of folks on here.

1. LOOK ON LINKEDIN and filter for school & 1st and 2nd connections. Message alumni from your school who are working in the jobs that you're looking at to schedule a coffee chat. More often than not, you'll hear back.

2. RE-FRAME THE PROBLEM - what is making you hesitate on finding a job? Instead of a "career" is there a company you've always dreamed of working at? What are you good at versus what are you interested in? What skills have you developed over the years?

- When I graduated college, I got some advice from one of my professors that still sticks with me today: "The first job I had out of college was probably the LEAST important decision I've made in my life." In the grand scheme of things, trying to find the "perfect" job for you straight out of college is at best, optimistic, and at worst, mentally harmful/pigeonholing yourself into a career that you may or may not enjoy.

- So, pick a path! Even if you're not sure, even if you're afraid of making the right decision - pick one and dive headfirst into it and enjoy the ride.

It's a confusing, but most importantly, exciting part of your life. Good luck :-)
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Dennis’s Answer

Create a list of what your expectations and benefits would be from the field you want work in. Do you want to travel, or be located in a specific geographical location within the US, or international location. This will provide you the ground work to structure your wants and needs to focus on job searching.
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Gina’s Answer

Linkedin was my best friend while I was searching-- and a good profile is key. Make sure your profile is open to recruiters, too. But also I would find a company i desired to work for and locate opportunities on their website. Find out who the hiring manger is and connect with them via phone, email or LinkedIn. Networking is so important. The more connections you make, the easier it will be. And don't be afraid to start from the ground up. When I switched careers I took a bit of a pay cut-- lower salary, but two years later I'm in the best position ever. Good luck!
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Katie’s Answer

Hi Gabby - There are some fantasic online job search sites, including LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor. I encourage you to create a professional profile on LinkedIn to start the process.
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Richard’s Answer

Hi Gabby,

It's great that you have a forum like this to get so many diverse opinions on the subject.

I would try different things in school to see that things you are most interested in. I found over my career that I often did well with pay and promotions when I was passionate about the things I was working on.

I started out in college as pre-med. After my first semester, I realized it wasn't for me so I started taking a bunch of different electives. One of my dormmates told me about a computer science course he just took so I signed up for it next semester and fell in love with it. I immediately switched my major and finished just 3 years later!

I did well and had several execllent offers to choose from. For a long time, I was happy and remained extremely passionate about the work. Then as often happens successful people are promoted and eventually become managers. I wasn't as happy managing people instead of doing the work so I looked around for other things that might be interesting but still as the same level.

Many of those career changes took me down different paths. Some I enjoyed and some I didnt. But, I kept an open mind and realized nothing is permanent. I switched jobs, companies and industries. Eventually, I gravitated back to a position that allowed me to blend everything I learned throughout that journey to a position I completely enjoy now.

The other thing I learned is my employers had very good tuition reimbursement programs that allowed me to continue my education and obtain advanced degrees.

One final thought. Networking, that is talking to people who know people you can talk to, who know more peopled you can talk to was invaluable to me in learning about different career options as well as helping to find the next position. Become comfortable with networking. Ask questions. Ask how you can assist the folks you are talking do. Don't be afraid about not being able to assist. You'll be surprised what you learn along your networking journey that might help someone you talked to already.

Use the search engines plugging in the keywords that you like (maybe it's math, or science, or cooking) to see what the jobs entail. Keep an open mind. Try different things. Establish a mindset of life long learning. You can and will continually re-invent your self and your first career certainly won't be your last!

Enjoy the journey!
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Kristi’s Answer

Indeed and Careerbulder, I think are both great job search engines to use. However, if there is a curtain company that you would like to find a job with always go to that Company's website and look at their open career search. That to me is the best way to search not only a good job but one that you want!

Best wishes with your Future Endeavors!
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Tom’s Answer

I agree with other answers, that networking is key. Be bold, and ask everyone you know, especially those who know you well, what THEY think your top strengths, skills, and abilities are. Then ask all of them if they can refer you on to another person ; one who might know how your s/s/ and a. might be best suited to a career.
There are skills assessments and personality profiles online that you can try ; some free or low-cost. Speak to a careers adviser. Most importantly, keep building your skills, and enhancing those key qualities which are needed in every job : teamworking, showing initiative, timekeeping, communications...
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Dee’s Answer

What do you want to do for a career? Write down goals that you have or jobs that interest you. Take time to research those fields and the companies that offer the type of job you're interested in. LinkedIn, Indeed.com, Google are all great places to start to look for jobs that you may be interested in.
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Heather’s Answer

Networking is key to finding a job you will love. Using Linked In is a great resources as well a just using people you know. Having recently graduated you could speak to some of your college professors and ask them if they know someone that you could link up with and they can point you in the right direction. Good luck!
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Veronica’s Answer

I would recommend a lot of research. It looks like you are a communication major. So was I! Hopefully you have had some dicsussion with your advisor or professors on potential job opportunities.

I would recommend checking into an internship with a company that interests you. This is an excellent way to get a first hand look at various jobs in the field. Once you become an intern you are free to learn about the various opportunities. Most companies are happy to let you shadow a person or department for a couple of hours to learn about what they do. This also gives you a chance to learn about the teams various career paths.
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Terence’s Answer

Hi there,

Some good info here around job search and finding jobs, but I'll focus on "figuring out a career path".

My approach is building a career path has been to work with my team members and figure out where their skills, interests, personality overlap.

There's a number of jobs you can do given one's background, let's say 15 technically inclined jobs at a software company. Of that group, you can tighten it up to a smaller set when you blend in how they line up with your interests and personality, say 7-8 that require interaction with customers and team members. From that group, we can further narrow them down when you look at the jobs beyond those immediate ones, for example you want to work towards product management or similar higher level roles. Now the 2-3 jobs that're being considered are the basis of a career path, as they're likely similar in nature and require like skills.

The approach I have when I work with my team members to figure these things come from discussions around what YOU LIKE TO DO, WHAT YOU DON'T LIKE TO DO, and WHAT YOU'RE GOOD AT. I don't mention "What you're NOT good at" because these are skills that can be upgraded or improved.

- WHAT YOU LIKE/DON'T LIKE TO DO: these are more personality based, for example "you're highly detailed oriented and can't stand disorganization" (vs. figuring out unstructured problems), or "you love to interact with people and work on a team" (vs. working by yourself and figuring out detailed problems). These are fundamental to how you'll approach work as they are more part of your core personality.

- WHAT YOU'RE GOOD AT: these are more job related and skills based, like "working with massive amounts of information and making sense of it for others", or "presenting complex information to people in a simple manor".

Blending your personality and interests with your professional skill set is a great way to form that career path. It also allows you to find the roles that maximize your growth and your future potential.

Terence recommends the following next steps:

Take inventory of what "you like to do" and "don't like to do", these are more around your personality
List out the things "you're good at" workwise, these are professional skills like teaching people, building spreadsheets/numerical models
Talk to others, see if these ring true so you have an accurate assessment
Continue to assess these throughout your career as you develop
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Jim’s Answer

Before you begin your job search write down different careers that would interest you. Then look at what your career goals and expectations are. Then write down the work environment you would want to work in such as, only working 9-5 or working different hours around the clock, work in a large or small company, do you like to travel or stay close to home, do you like to work by yourself or in a group? All of these different topics can help you narrow down the career you would like to do. Remember, you can always change careers later on if you do not like the one you choose at first.
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Robert’s Answer

The tools noted are useful (linkedin etc.)

However it depends on where you are in your life. I'll assume you've studied for your communications degree and so now you're looking at the world and saying ....what does this Diploma translate into for a role I can have in an office or elsewhere. Remember most Degree's do not specifically align with a job. Many jobs require you to learn skills outside of the Diploma.

You can help yourself by narrowing down the focus. Start with deciding what environment you want to be in -- Large Corporate office? mid-sized privately owned company? Or would you want to be a consultant with multiple clients that you help enable to spread a message (Ad agency / brand consultant) which could be anywhere on the spectrum. You could also work with the government (Federal, State, County). You'll also want to think about where physically (City? Suburbs?)

If you work in a corporate office you'll have a more regular schedule typically working with the same colleagues and maybe some external consultants. If you are a consultant you'll work with a variety of clients and internal team members.

Once you've narrowed down some of these qualitative factors then you can go to those websites and think about which of these job offerings met your needs. I suggest applying to many places and interviewing at as many companies as possible. You will find that each has a different way of operating and communicating with you and you will clearly dislike some and hopefully really like one.

Once you have the job you make a career by slowly building credibility in your network of connections and in the skills you bring to the table. Every project you work on will be a credential you take with you that evidences to future employers of what you bring to the table.


Start with the Job (any job) and if you continue with it, commit to it, and build on it you will suddenly have a career - which is just the long arc of you working life.

Cheers and good luck
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