By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

Life after college can be stressful

Brittany at the Wildcat Statue Courtesy of Brittany Cinderella
Brittany posing with diploma right after graduation Photo Courtesy Brittany Cinderella
Brittany giving her dog Shimmer affection Photo Courtesy Brittany Cinderella

After you graduate, toss your cap and drive away from the school you called home for many years, life can be challenging. There are no how-to guides on how to get your dream career or the best ways to find a job. In all honesty, the job market sucks right now.

My advice to you is to start expressing your interest to companies as early as possible. Tell them you’re not graduating yet, but will be, and what your major(s) and interests are. Hiring recruiters love memorable people who show they can make an effort to seek out their career.

At first, I took life post-college pretty slow and chose to sleep in and play video games a lot. It felt like a summer vacation, but without the incoming stress of classes. I finally started applying for jobs I found interesting and fit my qualifications, but found myself getting denied after my first interview since I didn’t have quite the experience they needed. You tend to hear the complaint that “you need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get said experience,” and it finally all made sense. 

I had experience working on-campus jobs and a bit off-campus, but the only relevant experience I had in interviews was from my work with the Observer. I had a variety of tasks as the former copy desk lead and experiences that I’ve found quite relevant in interviews.

“Often, recent graduates… may not have relevant experience before they apply for an entry-level job,” according to Indeed’s guide. Much like I mentioned, the job market can be extremely difficult if you’re not sure where you’d like to go next. 

I would often turn away from job applications that I didn’t feel qualified for, but Indeed offers the advice of the “80/20 rule… if you meet 80% of the requirements, apply to the entry-level position anyway”. You may surprise yourself with how the willingness to learn can take you far, even if you’re not fully qualified. 

Make sure to take advantage of your resources! Connect with the Career Services team and find someone who will be able to point you in the right direction. Ask the Alumni Association if any alumni in your field might be willing to chat with you. Ask your professors if they know anyone. You’d be surprised how much information you might find, or even a connection. If you’ve already tried those things or can’t find a good resource, do some research on internships or volunteer opportunities that might suit your needs better.  

According to Indeed, “[t]he best way to gain experience is to consider internships, freelance jobs or volunteer opportunities.” Take a summer to find something with a large company, or even a small volunteer job that keeps you busy. You never know where life will take you next.

Good luck, Wildcats.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Observer welcomes feedback and commentary on our stories. We moderate comments to ensure they are relevant and civil, but the content of each comment is the responsibility of its original author. We do not accept comments in languages other than English or which include personal attacks, unprotected speech, vulgarity, promotional material, or statements which are nonsensical or irrelevant to the article being commented upon. You may also consider submitting a letter to the editor or an opinion piece. Click on Contact Us for details.
All The Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *