Updated: Aug 24
BY ETHAN CLARK
The excitement of high school graduation can quickly turn into uncertainty and anxiety when it comes to navigating the job market. While some graduates may have a clear career path in mind, others may feel lost and unsure about their options. Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, Ethan Clark from Find Our Fitness shares several important considerations that can help you make informed decisions about entering the workforce.
Evaluate Your Skills and Interests
Before embarking on a job search, it's crucial to take stock of your skills and interests. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What motivates you? These are essential questions to answer, as they will inform your job search strategy. Consider taking a self-assessment test to identify your strengths and weaknesses. You can also tap into resources such as guidance counselors, mentors, or career coaches for guidance on how to match your skills and interests to potential careers.
Investigate Job Market Trends
Navigating the job market effectively requires a keen understanding of its ongoing trends and shifts. As you research potential opportunities, it's vital to align your passions and strengths with the roles that are in demand. While it might be tempting to gravitate towards the highest paying or most popular professions, finding a balance between what you love and where demand exists will lead to a more fulfilling career. To keep a pulse on these trends, consider tapping into established industry associations and exploring various career-centric online platforms
Continue Your Education or Training
While a high school diploma is a significant achievement, it may not be sufficient for certain job opportunities. Consider pursuing further education or training that can give you an edge in the job market. This can include obtaining a college degree, earning a certification, or completing an apprenticeship. Research various educational and training programs to find the ones that are relevant to your skills and interests.
Build Your Online Presence
In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for job seekers. This can include creating a professional profile on professional networking platforms, building a personal website or blog, and maintaining a positive social media presence. Be mindful of the content you post online and ensure that it aligns with the professional image you want to project. Creating a digital portfolio showcasing your work samples and accomplishments can also be a powerful way to stand out to potential employers.
Create a Resume and Save as a PDF
A polished and professional resume is essential for making a strong first impression on potential employers. Be sure to tailor your resume to each job opportunity and highlight relevant skills and experiences. Once you've created your resume, consider digitizing it into a PDF format. PDFs are more accessible and widely accepted across different job portals and email platforms, and they ensure that your formatting and layout remain intact. You can try this listing.
Participate in Job Fairs
Job fairs are excellent opportunities to connect with potential employers and learn about job openings. Research job fairs in your area and prepare accordingly by bringing copies of your resume and dressing professionally. Engage with employers and ask questions about their company culture, job opportunities, and hiring process. You may also want to attend seminars or workshops offered by industry professionals to gain valuable insights and network with peers.
The move from graduating high school to finding a job is clearly a difficult and intimidating experience for many people. To address this challenge, it is crucial to have a well-thought-out plan that accounts for the necessary steps and resources needed to excel in the job market. Taking the time to craft a detailed resume, leverage job fairs, and utilize free resources can make all the difference and set you up for success in finding a fulfilling career.
Create a budget
You will also need to learn to be responsible for yourself financially. This can take some doing. Creating a simple budget is a good first step toward financial well-being. The 50/30/20 rule is worth following: Assign 50 percent or less of your post-tax income to your needs (move your lifestyle down if you have to), use 30 percent for wants, and invest 20 percent.
Find an affordable place to live
Rent will be one of your biggest expenses, if not the biggest one. As such, you should put time and effort into finding an affordable place to live. You could move far away, get roommates, rent a smaller place, or rent a room. You could upgrade to a bigger or better place after you start making more money. Filtering by cost on rental listings is a good way to find affordable apartments.
Create a career plan
Having a career plan aka professional development plan (PDP) can give you clarity on how to move forward in your chosen profession, as well as help you feel more secure about where you are right now. A PDP involves tangibles like a clear self-assessment, timeline-based career goals, and a resource assessment.
Consider starting a business
Starting a business straight out of college might seem like a wild gamble – but it can and does pay off. There isn’t much difference between running a small-scale business or freelance work and full-time employment. Also, it takes surprisingly little seed money to get started. There are benefits to this approach – you are your own boss, and you define your own success. Forming an LLC can reduce the risk and offer some advantages like tax benefits and easier paperwork. Learn more about how to start an LLC in California.
Don’t ignore your well-being
It’s imperative you look after yourself. If you’re struggling mentally, don’t ignore the problem. Bust stress actively, meditate, think positive thoughts, and seek professional assistance if you have to. Looking after yourself physically with regular exercise and eating good food is also essential.
Go easy on yourself. You may not take to work (and adulthood) overnight – and that’s okay. It takes time to build up new habits and routines (and a professional support network). Success is less of a destination and more of a lifestyle. Whether you’re finding a new home or starting a business, for the best results, be persistent, believe in yourself, and continue to grow and learn.
Ethan Clark is an average joe who is passionate about helping people find a fitness routine that works for them. Ethan discovered his love for fitness in college, taking free kickboxing classes at his campus’s fitness center. As he got healthier, his love for helping others get fit grew. He helped his parents find a fitness routine that they both enjoyed, and since then, they’ve gotten healthier…and happier. Today, with Find our Fitness, Ethan wants to help others find the fitness focus that can give their lives a boost.