|Experts reveal expectations for graduates’ first job|
|Written by Jenny Jackowski, Senior Staff|
|Sunday, 24 February 2013 17:06|
With a good amount of the ISU population graduating in May, anxieties about what to do after college are beginning to pile up. Many students do not know what to expect and there are some stigmas surrounding their first job. Salary, number of hours, career choices and more are all pieces of the employment picture. The general verdict is that all aspects of the job are informed by the field.
A recent graduate’s salary in their first job varies by career. A nationwide survey of students, who graduated in spring of 2012, reported an average salary at $44,000 a year.
“While some students might have unrealistic expectations, many others are focused most on finding a job that they will enjoy, or have a specific regional area that they want to move to. Those factors can be more important than the salary,” Beni Towers Kawakita, career adviser with the Career Center, said.
The amount of hours per week one works depends on the person. Some companies allow new employees to work 40 hours a week; other companies expect twice that amount. The important thing for students to remember is to only take on what he or she can handle.
The transition from student to career sometimes comes with a steep learning curve. A lot of the stress simply comes from trying something new, amount of hours aside.
Graduates have to take on a different responsibility while adjusting to the culture of the workplace.
Asking questions about employer expectations and finding a mentor within the company can be invaluable to navigating the challenges of a new job.
The way in which a student handles these challenges can have a lasting effect on the future of his or her career. Fortunately, the first of many jobs is just “Part One.” Many people change careers multiple times throughout life.
“New grads need to take the first position seriously, as they will be watched carefully in the first year to see what kind of contribution they are able to make. They have an opportunity to advance more quickly if they work really hard and make a strong first impression as professionals,” Towers Kawakita said.
The end of college does not necessarily mean the end of a social life. True, adjusting to a set schedule in which expectations are high takes determination and intentionality. Graduates should plan to work around their professional schedule and keep the job and social life in separate spheres. However, there is always some room for finding new friends in the workplace. Also, earning money opens opportunities for material pleasure.
“Students need to spend sufficient time on the job search. They should start two semesters before graduating to complete their résumés and start thinking about job search strategies,” Towers Kawakita explained. “They need to know what skills they have to offer and match them with companies and organizations. There are a variety of online (including social media) resources to find positions, and the Career Center can provide students with guidance as well.”
Towers Kawakita said networking and having a personal connection within a company is also important in order to learn about open positions. Networking can make the difference between getting an interview or job offer or not.
Being an employee rather than a student takes adjusting and personal commitment, but with time, everyone can find the perfect position.