Tag Archives: New Grads

5 Tips for New Grads in the Changing Workforce

recent_grads_first_jobs_webThe transition from college to the workplace brings many changes, but is also full of opportunity. With the five different generations in today’s workforce, it’s important to find your place in the workforce and establish yourself as a professional who can make a positive impression.

Whether you’ve landed your first job, or are on the hunt, here are five tips to help you find success in today’s ever-changing workforce.

1. Connect with other generations.
When you enter the workforce, you could encounter up to five different generations, each with their own view of the workplace. While you likely have your own, strong vision of how work should be done, it’s advantageous for you to learn from those you’re around. One good way to do this is through mentorship. Connect with a seasoned professional within your company and commit to meeting regularly.

2. Work on soft skills.
While experience and technical skills take time to develop, soft skills can be established immediately. Work on being a team player, listening, leadership, and other skills that can’t be gained from completing a college course or certification program.

3. Position yourself for future leadership.
As older generations retire, it’s important to position yourself to step into leadership roles that may open in their absence. Because of the skills gap, many employers will soon find themselves looking to younger generations to step up and take on more responsibility. So, early on in your career, start thinking of how you can prepare yourself for such roles. Take time to study your company’s current leadership, learn a new skill, find a mentor, or volunteer to help with projects. You can also take a look at the results from a recent Movin’ On Up poll to see how others are preparing for future leadership roles.

4. You control your career.
It’s important to realize that the future is in your hands. While you may end up at a company that is great about promoting employees’ professional growth, you must remember that at the end of the day, they have a business to run. Identify the strengths you bring to the table, capitalize on those, and do your best to make yourself invaluable to the company.

5. Be patient and flexible.
Keep in mind you are part of a generation accustomed to having information at your fingertips. The fast pace of technology can make it hard to wait, but know that as businesses strive to stay ahead of the changing technology, things won’t always move as quickly as you’d prefer. So, be patient and be flexible.  Realize that things will get done, but maybe not as quickly as you’d think. Part of that is generational, while another part is simply how businesses sometimes work.

Have other tips you’d like to suggest for new graduates? Let us know in the comment section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

The Recession: An Opportunity to Improve Your Life

With much of the media focusing on the negative impact of the recession, new grads looking for employment, mature workers who’ve been laid off, and individuals struggling with survivor’s guilt, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. If you’re feeling defeated in your current job search, look beyond the grim picture the media paints to the opportunities and possibilities ahead of you before you raise the white flag of surrender.

While change and the unknown can be daunting, even frightening, it can also be a chance to redirect your life, to have an adventure, or to do and become more. It may not feel like it now, but the possibilities your life holds and the roads you choose to take are endless. So, if you find yourself at a roadblock, create a new path.  Bravely step out on the road less traveled, and change your life. Choosing this mindset can make all the difference.

Not sure which road to take? Explore these avenues to discover potential alternative career paths.

Start Your Own Business. If you’ve ever wanted to be your own boss, now may be the perfect time to start your own company. While keeping your passions and skills in mind, think outside the box and develop a business that’s right for you, whether it’s a quaint neighborhood restaurant, an in-home day care, or a franchised company. Be innovative and dream big and you’ll take control of your destiny.

Gain Life Experience. If you’re a new grad or just need more adventure than an 8 – 5 desk job has to offer, consider taking some time to discover the world. Think about volunteering for the Peace Corps, or becoming an English teacher in a foreign country. Working abroad will provide you with incredible life experiences, equip you with valuable skills you can use in other fields, and help you determine your priorities and purpose.

Whatever road you choose, whether you’re just beginning or you’ve traveled great distances, take heart. As Dr. Seuss says, “Today is your day. You’re off to great places! You’re off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own and you know what you know and you are the one who’ll decide where to go.”

Mature Workers Face Toughest Job Market, Readers Say

The debate over age and the job search may still be raging, but our results are in, and according to our readers, mature workers are having the hardest time in this job market.

In fact, of the 950 votes cast in our poll, 70% of readers selected mature workers as those having a harder time getting work, while 30% selected new grads.

That doesn’t necessarily mean great news for college students who are already hot on the job hunt ahead of May graduation. The National Association of Colleges and Employers have projected employers will hire 22% fewer graduates than in 2008, and many job searchers are finding that it’s tough to land a full-time gig without on-the-job experience.

However, help and support for college students entering this rough market is available. For example, social networking career site LinkedIn recently announced a company wide initiative devoted entirely to equipping May 2009 graduates to enter the workforce. You can also read how college students can start preparing for the job search now.

There’s also help for mature workers. One great resource is the AARP’s support and guidelines for mature workers who are looking for work. Also, check out our blog post on combating age discrimination in the job search.

The age versus experience debate may never fully go away. But reality is, no matter what your age or experience level, it’s important to be dedicated to a cohesive, professional job search process if you’re looking for work. So, polish your approach today, and focus your time, attention, and efforts on landing those interviews!

Want to know what others are saying about age and the employment process? Check out the comments thread our poll generated. Have a question you’d like to share? Leave it on our Q&A page.

Related Tips & Advice

Generations and the Job Search: Who’s Having a Harder Time?

When it comes to the job market, there’s been a lot of talk about how grim things are for two different spectrums of the labor pool. Recent reports show that both new grads and mature workers are likely to have a hard time finding work right now.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that over 1 million people 55 and older are unemployed and looking for work. Many mature workers are delaying retirement due to the recession. The AARP Public Policy Institute reports that the ones who are looking for jobs will typically search about a third longer than those younger than 55.

But this year, things also look tough for the college crowd. In fact, the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ reported that employers expect to hire 22% fewer new graduates than in 2008, and internship hiring is also down by about 21%. Experts say that in an expanding labor pool, new graduates typically have less experience than others in their industry who are now also looking for work, lengthening the job search process.

When it comes to generations in the workplace, the Baby Boomer generation and the Millennial generation have different values and views, but in the job search, experts say both generations must adapt to a quick learning curve and apply every job search tactic available to bolster their chances of landing a gig. So, we want to know what you think.

Have more thoughts or insights into these two generations on the job hunt? Do you fall into one of these two groups and have a story to share with us or a question to ask? Share your feedback in the comments section.