Thursday, July 28, 2011
It is nearly August and you are still working in your student or summer job or have no job at all. How can you move into a job in your field of interest?
Finishing school and not being able to find a job can be very frustrating. There are a variety of resources available to help new graduates move into paid positions. Some students use the years immediately after graduation to "give back" to their communities. Many organizations offer paid or unpaid internships that can help you build your skills and your resume. One website that lists these opportunities is Idealist.org. Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), the Peace Corps, City Year and Teach for America are all part of the AmeriCorps program. These various programs offer participants a living stipend and other benefits, depending upon the program. Requirements and application deadlines vary, so check the sites.
MCPL has many books that can help with career planning. What Color is My Parachute? is a classic title that includes information about career planning and job searches. Two other books that might be helpful are College Grad Seeks Future or You Majored in What? Books like these encourage recent graduates to look at the skills they gained, rather than specific courses they completed during their educational careers.
College placement offices often maintain lists of alumni. Contact yours to see if there is a local graduate of your college or university who works in your field who would be willing to meet with you to discuss possible career paths. Career books call these networking opportunities or informational interviews. Networking with friends and family are also a good way to find out about job opportunities. Many groups, organizations and employers have their own Facebook pages.
Perhaps your schedule will allow you to get some volunteer experience. Montgomery County's Volunteer Center allows potential volunteers to search by their area of interst or location. You can subscribe to a newsletter that will keep you informed about new volunteer opportunities.
Montgomery Works offers job seekers help with their resumes, interviewing practice workshops and access to computers and printers for job searching. These centers are located in Germantown and Wheaton. Montgomery County Public Libraries also offers some career workshops. Recent topics have included internet seacrching for jobs, resume preparation, and applying for Federal jobs. Browse the Library's Calendar of Events to find a time and location that suits your needs. Prepare for an interview or resume class by borrowing one of the many career planning books from the library. Browse the library in the 650.14 section to find books about resumes and job interviews.
If your career search leads you toward the military or other path that requires a placement test, be sure to look at the library's Testing and Educational Reference Center for books, information and sample tests. Customers can use this resource from the library, or from home with a library card, at no cost. Included are online practice tests and eBooks for over 100 examinations. The database also has a career assessment tool that can help you to refine your career choices.
Our family has had three graduates working on their futures this summer. Current status: The City Year alumnus is packing for college, the college grad has joined VISTA and is looking for a place to live ,and the grad school grad learned her application for a teacher's certificate has been approved. Many more adventures are yet to come! Good luck to you as you pursue yours.