Ok ladies, so you’ve set the world on fire in your collegiate activities. It’s been a great ride, certainly one for the ages, but you are ready to move on! And so, now is the time to get really serious and prepared to enter the job market and your career. First, it would not be an Early Careerists article without a dash of reality. These are challenging times in which we live. You will face adversity in many forms from economic and family pressures to the overall economy and job market. As challenging as our world may seem, it is vitally important to remember that YOU have choices! Some of the key choices that you will make in the short term include where to live, how to lay out a career plan, what job offer to take, and how to act in your newly minted role…your career. From a female perspective, you certainly have unique choices and challenges because after all…you are a woman. Your prospective career path may have detour signs staggered all through it with choices about starting family and whether to accept time-consuming promotions. These are difficult decisions and choices. The good thing is, the career path is well-trodden and made available for you to include in your career toolbox. Off we go!
Here are 4 tips for female graduates entering the job market.
- Set a Career Plan. If there is ever a time to envision your path and put it in writing, now is the time. (After you read this article of course). As you enter the job market, it is necessary to pinpoint what you want to achieve and when you plan to do so…Goals! Set some specific 5, 10, and 20 year goals. These goals should be a combination of career and personal goals, because it is impossible to separate the two. As you set your plan, give thought to the aforementioned detours. Do you wish to start a family? When a fork in the road decision presents, which path will you take? What is your priority, career or family? Are you comfortable with a stay at-home husband? (We hear you snickering). What fulfills your self-worth? The point here is that no answer is right or wrong, but they are your answers and ultimately your future based on your choices. As we like to say, choose wisely!
- Selecting a Job. Our hope for you is that you have the opportunity to choose between multiple job offers. As you seek out and select your career, always make use of the career golden rule: Never ignore your gut. In your case, you not only have your gut feel but you also have women’s intuition. This makes for a lethal combination! (Are you listening fellas?). Be strategic by merging intuition with your newly created career plan. Questions that you may want to answer during this process: Do I like my prospective boss? Does he/she seem genuine? Do I identify with the company mission? Is the future bright here? How does this company view work/life balance? All key questions that you should consider when selecting a job.
- Be Persistent on Pay: As you enter the job market, someone at sometime, will place an offer in front of you. Don’t take it! Well, at least not right away. We recently drafted an article, Women Careerists – A Statistical View, that touches on gender compensation and the female mindset on career life. With regards to your job offer, always attempt to negotiate higher compensation, whether in the form of pay or benefits. All they can say is, no. After all, they want you; otherwise they would not have offered you the job. Another key point here is to recognize that it is your value that drives pay. Or, at least it should be. This should be the determining marker on compensation. And therefore…
- …Value & Results, Value & Results: You know, what really matters at the end of the day is the value that you bring to the job market and the results that you get! With this in mind, act yourself! Be intensely loyal to the genuine you as this will reveal itself to others. Keep in mind that value, results, and ideas win.
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