New Grad? Job Search Tips for Generation Y

New Grad? Job Search Tips for Generation Y
By Brandon Miller
Monster Contributing Writer

When I graduated at the end of last summer, I thought life would be all roses and no thorns. Turns out, I was wrong.

Like many of my Generation Y peers, I’ve found out that a dream job isn’t something that just falls into your lap; it needs to be earned. It might be an unpleasant reality check, but you’re going to have to put in some time before that mystical fantasy position comes calling. No worries, there are ways to minimize the pain and maximize the benefits of your entry-level career.

All experience is good experience

Don’t turn down a job because it doesn’t have the fancy title that you expected. Everyone has to start somewhere, and every position you have on your resume makes a difference. No matter what the position, there are always skills to take away and boost your employability. Never shy away from temporary or part-time employment. If you’re good enough, it just might turn into a full-time arrangement.

Mind over money

As a young professional, you probably thought you’d be making a fortune in your first cushy position post-university. Well, you were wrong. The reality is that most people start with a salary that leaves much to be desired. The trick here is to remember the simple facts: you’re young, you’re inexperienced and you’re the newest kid on the block. There’s plenty of time for raises and bonuses, so stop worrying about your salary and start showing your boss why you’re worth more money. And stock up on Ramen noodles.

Keep your eye on a prize - any prize

Even though you might not be starting off in your dream circumstances, setting smaller goals will keep you motivated. Plan for something that will make it all worthwhile – a new car, a swanky vacation or, better yet, a move out of mommy and daddy’s house. If you focus on something bigger than the day-to-day, it will frame a larger picture in your mind.

Learn as much as you can

Find mentors and pump them for as much knowledge as possible. They were all in your shoes at one point in time and likely remember what it was like to be starting out. Observe how they approach certain tasks and ask questions about how they moved up in the ranks. Companies love to promote from within, too, so take advantage of internal postings and keep an eye out for ways to go above and beyond your call of duty.

Focus on yourself

It’s easy to look at your friends and acquaintances and try and compare your career to theirs. Don’t. Somebody out there will always have a better job or a higher salary. The simple truth is that everyone’s timeline will be different and you will only put more pressure on yourself if you keep focusing on other people’s career opportunities instead of your own.