Career Planning & Job Search Guide 1994: Making the Transition from College to the Working World

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Part IV

There are four key areas to consider as you position yourself for effective career planning and job searching. These include researching and ultimately being able to answer the following questions: 1) How do I conduct a personal self-assessment and construct a job-winning resume? 2) How do I prepare for and excel at on-campus interviews? 3) How do I excel at on-site interviews and choose the best job offer? and 4) How do I make a successful transition from college to the workplace?

Positioning Yourself For The Transition--What You Need To Know

Your job offers came in. You selected the position that best fits your career goals. First, remember that you've taken the offer that best fits your short-term and future career goals. The main thing to remember is to do your job well. Jobs aren't for life any more. Anticipate that this will be the first of many positions in the life of your career. In the work world, there are many factors that lead to success. You need to work hard to ensure that you are viewed as productive to the bottom-line and that you are adding value to your company. Higher pay, promotions, and advances are important; but remember to start at the beginning. Get a focus on what your role is in the bigger picture. Develop a "Career Transition Portfolio," a folder or system to keep track of your job description, notes on how you feel about your transition, and any other information that you think will help you. Review your portfolio, and make note of your successes and areas needing improvement as you move along your work-world path.

Work Values and Goals

All organizations, whether large or small, are designed to achieve specific goals. Each year, executives and leaders within those organizations are required to set up target goals for the next year and often for the next five years. The longer goals are generally part of a strategic plan. When these plans are approved and coordinated, the organization gears its resources to achieve those goals. Inherent in these goals are values that are either being nurtured or ignored by the focus of the company's energies. Those values affect employee satisfaction. (See The Game Called Industry by Thomas Lawrence and Michael A. Sheppek, PhD for more information on work values and career behaviors that companies value most.)

Each of us has our own set of values that are affected by the people, activities, and environment around us. These values are both influenced by and influence our participation in the working world. As part of making your transition to the work world, determine which of your goals and values are supported by your work and which are not. You will then be able to look at ways to maintain a balance or establish a new balance. Review the following work values and decide whether they are essential in your work/career, very important, somewhat important, not very important or not important at all.

* Help Society - To have your work contribute to the betterment of the world you live in.

* Affiliation/Friendships/Teamwork - To have strong, close relationships with people and team members or co-workers on the job.

* Make Decisions - To have power to decide courses of action, policies, etc.

* Influence People & Institutions - To be in a position to influence attitudes or options of others.

* Power and Authority - To be in a position to control the work activities or destiny of others.

* Status - To be regarded as someone with expertise, power, skills or knowledge.

* Recognition - To be acknowledged in some visible or public way.

* Creativity - To create new ideas, programs and structures.

* Opportunity - To learn and grow professionally.

* Change and Variety - To have work responsibilities that change over time, in content and setting.

* Stability - To have work routine and job duties that are largely predictable, that do not change much over time. …