- Maria Sabo
Do You Find Transitions Challenging?- My transition from college student to the work force.
As a recent college graduate with my bachelor’s in Psychology, I struggled along with many other college graduates regarding what I would do after school was done. With many of my friends already having a plan, I felt a bit lost. I had many questions go through my mind. What should I do now? What kind of job should I look for? What will give me the best experience? What will make me stand out for when I want to go back to school?
Well, I started, and dove straight into the pool we call a job search to try and gain experience. Due to the pandemic, the job market was still recovering from a high rate of unemployment. While there was a demand for employees, that did not necessarily make it easier to get an opportunity. Out of college with a new degree, I was lacking the work experience others had and I was not getting a great response rate. In fact, I was not getting interviews.
Eventually, things fell into place, and I accepted my job position at Integra HR as an Administrative Assistant. I knew right off the bat the most important thing to me was getting some “real-world” experience. I did not take a Human Resources (HR) course as a Psychology major in college. My only interaction with HR happened during the onboarding for my summer jobs. In my new role, I have been learning more and more each day with the help of my co-workers. I have been able to interact with many different clients, not just through an email, but working directly with the clients at the client site. In addition, I have been able to start to build my professional connections and do a fair amount of networking because of my role at Integra. Each day is different, and I am learning more skills that I can put on my resume and talk about in the future. Many of the skills, will be transferable regardless of the work I do in the future. I have been learning new software, developing forms, creating professional videos, designing social media posts, and organizing files. All incredibly important and impact the operations and/or the image of the company.
Like me, many college graduates struggle with what the next step should be after graduating from school and I have some advice. First, is that it is okay to not know what the next step is. Things will fall into the right place when they are supposed to. Second, do not be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone. Do not just limit your search because you only have experience in a certain field, or it was your major in college. Exposure to different fields counts too! Again, I majored in Psychology in college. Most of my prior jobs were working in human services and supporting individuals with developmental disabilities in a direct care environment. I would have never thought that I would be working behind the scenes for a Human Resources consulting group. I have learned different technology platforms with no prior experience. Because I took a chance and considered options outside my field, I am working and getting incredible experience. My last bit of advice is to keep updating your resume and your profile on LinkedIn. You want to be sure you are always ready when the opportunity arises, and your professional connections make you aware of that next career move.
In closing, the transition from being a full-time student to what is next can be tough. The process of finding a job may be harder than you think. However, many other college graduates have been in the same position too and they have been able to find their career path. Going into the job search with wider lenses can help you. Through my experience, I have been able to make connections with people within the greater Capital District, and I am corresponding with so many businesses. Having social media as part of my day-to-day projects, I have learned to build up my own LinkedIn profile. What I know to be true, is that the job search can be difficult; however, you will figure it out and you will be where you are supposed to be at that time.