Developing Your Career

Recent Grads: Got Grit?

By Greg Simpson on June 5, 2013

Recent college grads face a host of challenges as they begin their job searches: a less-than-robust job market, minimal professional experience, and fierce competition from the millions of workers in the job market.  Cultivating resolve and determination can be a key to success.

Here’s why that’s so important. Throughout their high school and college years, students normally find employment in high-volume, entry-level positions where the hiring process is a relatively easy exercise – apply, interview and get hired (sometimes all on the same day). And if they weren’t hired, there was always a new opportunity (literally) down the road.

As a result, expectations for a post-graduation job search are often unrealistic. After submitting countless resumes without receiving much response, new grads are apt to become discouraged and frustrated. A job search for a professional position in a highly competitive market requires tenacity, focus and strategic planning.

Grit and perseverance can be more important than talent.  So dig in with three tips that will sharpen your game plan:

  1. It takes a network. Look to expand your traditional and social networks by asking mentors, former or current co-workers, parents, friends, and extended family for introductions. Take advantage of your college placement office and tap into alumni networks via social media.
  2. Think long term. Even with a college degree you’ll be starting at or near the bottom. When targeting organizations for employment opportunities, select those that offer meaningful development and management training programs. You want to work for an organization that will be invested in your growth and achievement.
  3. Cultivate tenacity. Assess the results of what you’re doing. What’s working? What isn’t? If what you’re doing isn’t working, re-evaluate. Solicit advice, read articles on job search best practices, break away from job boards and focus on networking.

Although a post-grad job search can test your endurance and drive, grit and perseverance are traits that will serve you well throughout your career as you face new challenges and opportunities in the years ahead.

One Response to “Recent Grads: Got Grit?”

  1. Peter Doris

    Your blog post is well done. Years ago I worked for a career transition consulting firm that sponsored a one day college seminar for the sons and daughters of client company decision makers. Upon request we offered the program directly to client organizations. A current Bloomberg on-camera correspondent credits that one day program with launching her career. I hope your readers will broadcast your handiwork far and wide.


Leave a Reply