How to Prepare for Work After College

When you leave college it’s easy to feel as though the world is your oyster and the sky is the limit! You have your degree and that piece of paper you’ve been promised can help you to open all kinds of doors. Nothing can stop you!

That’s the theory at least. Unfortunately though, the reality can sometimes come as something of a shock. That’s because college can only do so much to prepare you for what it’s like to actually join the work force. At this point you have credentials and you have a lot of theoretically knowledge. The problem is that you don’t yet have the experience of actually putting that knowledge and theory into practice. And unfortunately, this really does make a big difference. What’s more is that your potential employers will also know this about you and that can make it hard to find work at all. Expect to hear the same thing time and time again – that they’re looking for someone with more experience. How do you get experience if no one will let you take a job in the first place?

How to Break Into the World of Work

If you find this happening, then a way to break in is to try volunteering somewhere first or working in a lower position while you look for the higher position you want. Either way, this will give you the experience of dealing with customers, colleagues and clients – and that alone might be enough to give you the confidence and understanding to operate in a work environment.

Another reason to volunteer someone or to work in a lower position is that this can help to show you the kind of work you enjoy or don’t so that you know whether to pursue that career or try something different.

Better yet is to find a course that offers a gap year. College degrees with gap years are shown to greatly increase the statistical likelihood of finding employment shortly afterward and this can also help you to know what to expect while also giving you that real-world experience you need. Working a part-time job during your studies can also be helpful.

Other Options

If you can’t find volunteer work, then you can always look for a graduate scheme or another position that is specifically aimed at people graduating from college. If you attend fairs at your institution in your final year, you’ll find many such opportunities in many cases.

Finally, one more option to get around this problem is to keep on pushing until you eventually get accepted for some kind of position. This is a game of numbers but while it’s hard, you just need to keep plugging away. And remember: when you’re in interviews you can acknowledge your lack of experience and demonstrate why it won’t be a problem. Explain that you’re a fast learner and that you have great confidence and people skills. This can go a long way to putting a prospective employer’s mind at ease!

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