By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops
So you're approaching graduation, or at least approaching the time to start thinking about graduation. And now this goal you've been working toward for, let's face it, your entire life will soon be reached. You'll wear a gown and mortarboard, party hearty for a few nights and high five a lot of people. You'll sit back and sigh, it's over and I'm now a diploma bearing, bona fide college graduate.
And then it'll become completely meaningless. The top will become the bottom.
You'll graduate with hundreds of your closest friends and like those ridiculous robots in the last three crappy Star Wars movies you'll all move forward at the same time, muttering softly to yourselves and then explode. Ok, maybe not explode but you'll look around and realize you're one of many and you're all looking for a job. Suddenly you need to be different from all of them, unique, attractive, sought after and ultimately employed.
So how do you do that when for the most part you ARE just like all the others?
First of all you should stop reading now and give me the finger. I've just taken all your hard work and effort and thrown it in the potty. I've just made you feel what you may be suspecting already. But I'm wrong and so are you.
Now is the time to start thinking about just how very different you are from the people you sit beside and see in halls every day. What do your friends see in you? Why do they seek you out? Ask them. What do you spend your free time doing and how have you spent your summers? Do you like to be alone or if left alone do you just put on some Death Cab and cry in your pillow? What bad habits do you need to fix and seriously, be honest with yourself. Ask your friends this as well and give them a pass on whatever they say. This is a great time to discover your human elements. You will focus on your job skills or promote your internships later but let's just try and figure out what makes you special. Not only will this help you when you write your resume but will help you narrow down where you want to work and how you present yourself to a potential employer. Knowing who you are will give you a boost in confidence, help you define your first steps and even make talking to strangers a bit less horrifying.
So just who do you think you are?