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Graduation Time!

College graduates face a daunting task and I hope my advice makes life a bit better!

With my daughter becoming a college graduate this weekend, my thoughts tend toward advice to share for all grads about to face the reality of the job market regardless of their field of study. Many, many parents have reached out saying they do not feel their son or daughter is adequately prepared and that their attitude needs a jump start.

My advice will fall into two categories today, one for parents and one for the graduates themselves. None of this is meant to be complete and the parts are interchangeable based on each individual case.

First, to all parents out there, your child needs to own their job search. If you enable them by submitting their resumes and scheduling interviews, they will sit back and let you do all the work! You should encourage them at all times to stay positive and focused, definitely forward leads to them say they may do the follow-up, and serve as a sounding board whenever they ask for your help. Please do not try to direct their search process as each candidate really needs to develop their own connections and set the parameters which work best for them.

To all 2012 graduates, step up to the plate now!! Do not take the summer off as competition is extremely fierce and you must dive in and immerse yourself in the search process immediately! Only you know what types of jobs and employers you are best suited for and only you can tell employers why you are the best candidate for the job! Definitely do not be bashful. Should you need outside coaching, ask for it. If you have not contacted your college career services center, do so immediately. Devoting several hours per day to running your search is essential to being successful. Finally, if anyone offers you a job even closely related to your course of study, strongly consider grabbing it!

One never knows what doors might open for them at any time! No one will ever force you to stay at one job for your entire career but you need to be in the mix before moving onward and upward. Times may be extremely tough right now but you really need to get moving. To all 2012 graduates out there I wish you nothing but great success!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Laura Madsen May 12, 2012 at 01:09 PM
I'm not opposed to giving kids a push to start their job search, too, by asking them to start taking care of some of their own expenditures that many parents handle for their children. Perhaps telling them they should start paying for their own cell phone bill or paying to put gas in their car, or even making their own car payments if they are not doing that already is not such a bad idea. If they realize that they have bills to be responsible for, there's nothing like that to spur them to start searching for a job and considering taking the not-so-perfect position.
Harold Levin May 12, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Laura, our daughter has been filling her gas tank all through college and I fully agree about taking on responsibilities!
Steve May 14, 2012 at 02:37 AM
My advice is to take any job you can learn from and not to worry about the pay at first. I took a job for not much more then minimum wage programing CNC milling machines. That experience led to bigger and better jobs.
Harold Levin May 14, 2012 at 10:25 AM
Steve, I totally agree. My first job was as a retail management trainee and I spent many months unloading trucks and building merchandise displays for very little pay. A little hard work is good for everyone!

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