Advice for the New Grad

Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA
Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA

I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a number of new grads recently about their career prospects in the age of the Corona Virus Pandemic. 

While most of them regret the opportunity to finish their senior year and attend graduation, several of them swallowed really hard when we started talking about their immediate career prospects.

These are smart young women and men and they know exactly what is happening and like the rest of us are amazed to see how, in a matter of months, they went from having great job prospects to being relegated to the wait and see pile.

But in the face of a global crisis, there are plenty of opportunities and actions that can be taken. Most of the advice they tell me they have received is to work on their resumes and social media posts, reach out to recruiters, fill our applications on job sites, check out their college’s recruiting office for support and if need be, take whatever job might be out there right now if you must begin earning an income. I’ve told several not to worry if you are not in your chosen field, everybody understands these circumstances.

All good ideas but those actions will keep them solidly in the middle of the pack and when businesses start to rehire, they’ll want to be out in front so you they can be easily seen.

I’ve been telling these new grads that they must be very aggressive about getting their name and ideas out in the public square. Creating some professional thought leadership will set them apart from others who are sitting at home and sending in letters to job sites.

Building thought leadership is about creating and putting ideas out that are relevant and informative.  It may be an article on LinkedIn about the challenges of finding work as a new grad. Perhaps, starting a video blog about how the Pandemic may change your chosen field. How about setting up a Zoom webinar featuring some of the leaders in the field responding to what new grads can do and having a few of your friends respond to their suggestions?

In last week’s New York Times, there was a story written by a 13-year-old, Veronica Mintz, in which she shared why she is learning more at home than at school since she doesn’t have to deal with disruptive fellow classmates and students who do not want to learn. Here article was powerful and may influence decision makers in thinking about whether to offer continued on-line learning to New York City students after schools reopen. How would any student (or adult) like to add that reference to their resume!

Your Challenge this Week: What is your thought leadership about and what are you doing to get it out in the public forum….whether you are a new grad or not.

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