Parenting for the Launch What I Wish I Knew at 18 What I Wish I Knew at 18 What I Wish I Knew at 18 What I Wish I Knew at 18 What I Wish I Knew at 18 What I Wish I Knew at 18

Finding That Job!

8/30/2013 7:47:44 AM

One of the greatest unknowns for college students is predicting what the job market will be like when they graduate. After all, it’s four years down the road and lots can change in the meantime. The answer will be based on the state of the economy and the supply and demand picture for their career choice. Unfortunately, these factors are simply outside of our control.

Even if a young person’s path doesn’t include college, they’ll still be facing this kind of uncertainty. If the unemployment rate is low, chances are they’ll have little difficulty landing a good job. If it’s high, who knows how long it could take? Plus, they’ll have to work that much harder just to get their foot in the door.

So, how can all of us help? What are ways parents, educators, mentors and friends can help young people find the jobs they’re looking for—and progress once they find them?

Young adults need to be savvier and more competitive than ever to find, land, and advance in the jobs of today’s work place. Here are some suggestions  you can share to help position them for a thriving career:

1. Use your existing networks. No matter how talented we are, we all need people who will go to bat for us, both personally and professionally. Their invaluable assistance can take the form of introductions and connections, references and advocacy, decision-making in our favor, an information source, or general help. They help us gain access to strategically important people. It’s like having our very own sales force!

The employment recruitment process has changed night and day since I was younger. Nowadays, it’s all about online applications that seem to disappear into the proverbial black hole—it’s SO impersonal and frustrating. Somehow, some way, our application needs to stand out. No doubt about it, the best way is to have an insider advocating on our behalf. It adds a measure of dependability and reassurance to the hiring manager, and that’s huge. It may not land us the job, but it helps get us into the game.

2. Broaden your base of employment prospects. Spread your net wide.  Talk to others in your field. Read trade journals and industry bulletins, blogs, and newsletters. What’s going on in your industry of choice and where are the jobs? There are likely companies for which you could work that you haven’t even considered. My editor’s son is a land use planner who works for a county government. He recently discovered that a large aircraft manufacturer in our state regularly hires land use planners. He was surprised; he’d never even considered the thought of working for a company like that. Now that he knows, it’s an avenue he plans to pursue in his next steps.

3.  Be flexible with respect to location. This point is short but important. Many times you’ll have to go to the job; it won’t come to you. The more flexible you can be about this, the more marketable you are.

4. Develop your competitive edge. Our world is much more competitive than ever before. Our economy has become service-oriented and knowledge-based, which has changed everything. Now, you have to demonstrate something special (i.e, skills, experiences, and achievements) in order to land the job and advance in your career. Together, these make up your competitive edge. Consider what would stand out about you to future employers during your eventual job search. Go the extra mile to become better qualified through experiences and continuing education. If you’re lacking a skill or a professional qualification, attack it with full force! Demonstrate an attitude of continuous improvement and a commitment to excellence. Show results and impact. Create great personal stories that will inspire employers.  If you don’t, remember that someone else will—and they’ll wind up with your job or promotion!


This is only part of the picture! Join us next week for part two of this blog: How to Market Yourself and Move Ahead in Your Career Field.

How have you found and moved ahead in your job(s)? Do you think things are easier, harder, or the same for young adults in today’s job market?  How can we help encourage students in finding and landing the right jobs? We’d love to hear your thoughts?


Tagged as: career, college, employment, job search, networking

Permalink | Leave a Comment (1 Comments) | Print Blog Post

Comments On Finding That Job!

Michael Shipman - 9/4/2013 8:33:03 AM
My son graduated from college with the appropriate level of education in his chosen career field. The challenge for him was that the potential employers were requiring actual job experience. He was competing for jobs against others that had that experience. This frustrated him and so he began to seek advice from more senior acquaintances and family members. He made the decision to knock on doors of potential employers, introduce himself in person, and ask for the opportunity to work at no charge to the employer in a internship role for six months. Within two months of of implementing the strategy, he was offered a six-month intern position. Three months into the internship, he was offered a full-time position at a base salary much greater than he'd ever dreamed of. His career has skyrocketed and 10 years later he couldn't be happier.

He has since advised others that going back again and again, being courteous, professional and asking for opportunity even after the potential employer says no multiple times can lead to an offer.

Employers like to know that you won't give up. Employers like to know that you're professionally aggressive. Employers eventually will ask you why you want to work for them. It's good to have a solid answer that articulates the value of the Company versus being about "me".

It's my experience that most youth coming out of college are highly skilled. Given 3 to 5 years in their career role, they will amazing work for successful companies.

Reply by Dennis Trittin - 9/7/2013 12:43:19 AM
What a great story of such an enterprising young man who is all about initiative and excellence. You have much to be proud of. Thanks for sharing, Mike! And, give your son a "high ten" from me the next time you see him.

Please leave your comments for Finding That Job!.

Click here for Bulk Orders

Schedule Dennis to Speak at your Event or Organization

King 5 News - New Day Northwest - Giving Your Kids Wings, Not Strings: Parenting strategies to help us let go

Wings Not Strings
What People are Saying

What I Wish I Knew at 18
What People are Saying

Parenting for the Launch
What People are Saying

Welcome New Partners!

Email Dennis Trittin

Friend Dennis on FacebookFollow Dennis on Twitter