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The New Path to Employment for College Grads

How did you spend this time? How to maximize downtime while preparing for the world of work. 

For college graduates, this would normally be the time of year of starting new jobs for the first time, going through orientation and launching their career. But the world has changed countless hopeful plans with a global pandemic that has halted work for so many people. 

For new graduates, this means delaying their start and figuring out how to navigate the weeks and months ahead productively. But ultimately opportunities will come, and that’s when interviewees should be prepared to answer the question: What did you do when you were out of work? Here is what to do now so you can answer that question with confidence. 

Network through volunteering
You should be able to provide something of value to others when you network, which is why volunteering can be such a valuable benefit to everyone involved. In addition to helping you meet community leaders, volunteering can be an opportunity to experience another work sector, develop new skills and take on a leadership role as a trial next step within your organization. Volunteering can be good for the community and for others, but it can also help you meet others and grow. 

Adjust your timetable 

No one knows exactly when the global workforce will go back to normal. So rather than an expiration date, plan to use each day to learn and expand your skill sets. Start with an inventory of your current skills in one column, and skills or abilities that you would like to grow in another column. Develop an estimated plan for how long it will take to learn and become proficient for each skill and set a schedule for what it will take. 

Continue to learn 
Future employers will know that all graduates during this time have encountered major obstacles. What will set the high performers apart is how they handled getting knocked down, and how they got back up again. What did you do with this time? Plan to use each day for learning opportunities in the second column until you move all of them over to acquired skills. To help bridge this learning gap, ManpowerGroup is offering 60 days of free access to Percipio, for those interested in online learning. 

As Brene Brown said in her graduation message to new graduates, the world, unfortunately, will not conform to your timetable. There is also no career or life that didn’t experience setbacks, disappointments and unexpected detours. The key, she says, is being resilient to learn, grow and prepare for the next stage. When it arrives, you will be ready.