Tips for Seniors on the Job Hunt

graduatesAh, springtime: Warming temperatures, fresh air, blooming flowers, and high school or college seniors everywhere panicking about what their next step is going to be.

It’s about that time in the year when graduation is looming and the pressure to find a job or pursue a different educational path is high. Even though graduating, whether from high school or college, can be exciting, sometimes that joy is tempered by the difficulty of finding jobs and the uncertainty of the future.

So for those who are on the job hunt or trying to just figure out what their passion may be, here are a few tips to kick off a fresh round of applications, interviews, and the exciting season that is looking for a job.

  1. Are you looking in the right place? Lists titled things like “Best Places for Recent Grads to Find Jobs” aren’t there just for fun, or because someone thought making a list would be nice– it’s because there are real statistics that could help jobseekers find opportunities. If you’re sticking to a specific geographical area, maybe widen your search to include cities that are legitimately known for their quantities of jobs. As of now, Lincoln, Madison, and Minneapolis are all noted for having jobs as well as housing affordability that makes living easier. And keep in mind that companies aren’t only clustered in major metropolitan areas. For example, Lincoln is the city with the lowest unemployment rate, thanks to major employers like the state government or the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It’s no New York City, but it’s actually easier to find jobs there thanks to the climate.
  2. Keep an Open Mind: There’s nothing more dangerous for a job hunt than fixating on a certain profession or idea. Entry-level jobs can be a door to what you truly want to do, and there’s no rule that says the first job you have out of college is one you’ll have forever. Our favorite blue-collar hero, Mike Rowe, even says that following your passion is too fickle to be guided by: “Today we have millions looking for work, and millions of good jobs unfilled because people simply are not passionate about pursuing those particular opportunities.” If you aren’t finding a job, try expanding your horizons and taking an opportunity that you aren’t so sure about. You’ll either fall in love with it, or realize that there’s another path for you– either way, it’s a learning experience. For example, maybe you’ve never thought about welding as a career, but there are so many welding jobs that need to be filled: Why not try it?
  3. Keep Your Eyes Open: Events like the Teen Job Fair at the Omaha Public Library designed for teens to find summer jobs or part-time jobs happen across Nebraska all the time– there are employers who need workers, so this is a two-way street. Check local event calendars and listings, and stay in touch with what area employers are looking for. You never know what you might find from trying something new.

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