Congratulations on your daughter’s graduation! WooHoo! Another one off the payroll!
I have an unwritten rule, Bill, I usually don’t work with new college grads until they have been out of school for at least 5 to 6 months. Let ’em get a couple of bloody noses, ya know? Right out of school they “know more than anybody else”–just ask them. (And we were exactly the same, buddy.)
All that said, here are a few broad suggestions that might help her get started on her own. You didn’t tell me in your email what she obtained her degree in but first and foremost, introduce her to anyone you know who might be looking for whatever she might be offering. MOST jobs are found as a result of networking. (Note the ALL CAPS there. Yeah, I’m yelling. Did you hear me?) However, again, in my experience, new grads want to ‘do it on their own.’ (And once again–I was the same way. Who could my dad possibly know that could help me?! What kind of dunce was I?!)
- Tell her that she is a ‘First Time Job Seeker/New Grad’ only once. There is a certain amount of latitude offered to these young people. Kind of like being a freshman in HS or college. Her next job? She will be playing with the big boys by big boy rules. Tell her to pay attention to everything that happens around her this first time. In effect she IS a freshman–for the third time.
- Let her know that although her new degree is a WONDERFUL achievement it has very little value to an employer except to get her in the door. Make her realize that virtually everyone she will be meeting and with whom she wants to work with in the corporate world already has the same or even more advanced degrees. Her degree is the requirement for formal entree to the club. It does not grant her any exclusive rights.
- Explain to your new grad that it is NOT about her. And that it never will be. It is about what she will do FOR the company. The salary, vacation, benefits, etc. come second–or even third–in the discussion. Tell her to wait for THEM to bring up the discussion of money and NOT to gag when the rate of pay is much lower than she had hoped it would be. Now might be the right time to teach her poker face.
- Let her know that whatever she is thinking of as a starting salary is probably out of line. I HOPE, truly!, that she is offered a $70,000 annual base salary + a signing bonus AND an annual performance bonus + full benefits + a company car + 3 weeks of vacation + a pension…but it’s not likely to happen. Tell her to be realistic. She is not going to land that first job at the rate of pay that the university promised her in their sales brochure–er, catalog.
- Tell her to acquire an ‘accomplishments mindset’ and spend the new few days/weeks/months thinking about how she has contributed to any organization she has been with up till now. This includes college classwork, high school, internships, volunteering, church/mosque/temple–anywhere. Tell her to be prepared to express teamwork and achievement on her resume and in every statement she makes. This is not easy. It is the most important aspect of what I do for my clients. BTW, I advise my young clients to pull out their college admissions application. Can be some good stuff there for this purpose.
- Tell her to be prepared to speak to soft skills. THIS, for the most part, is what a new grad has to offer. Skills such as the ability to listen, show up on time (yup, that’s a skill!), take charge, take responsibility, contribute, pay attention to detail, present a professional appearance AND the ability to put her phone away for LOOONG stretches at a time, like, till lunch.
- Have her research the company. In the age of Google and LinkedIn this is EASY. The kid that walks into a shop and asks, “So, what do you guys do around here?” is outta there.
- Have her prepare a list of WRITTEN questions to take to the interview. Tell her to Google “Interview Questions” and her field. (i.e.: “Interview questions marketing”) There’s a ton of good stuff online. Then have her add some ‘genuine’ questions of her own to the list.
Look, Bill, even in law school you did not learn ‘lawyering.’ You learned research. You learned presentation, persistence and thinking skills. You learned lawyering on the job. Tell you daughter that her only job right now is to impress the right people enough to get a chance to prove her value.
- My point is—and I think I have made this abundantly clear—young people don’t listen and don’t feel they need to work the process. After a few months on the street on their own with no response for their efforts they come around.
- My process works. I have 4 CEO’s under my belt, countless senior professionals and hundreds of new grads all over the English-speaking world (Hong Kong, Ireland, England, Australia, Canada and the US).
- Best place for your daughter to start is RickGillis.com (click on the JOB! tab) Get the JOB! book. (Read the reviews—I don’t have 72 friends!)
- Second best place is my YouTube channel: RickGillis Job Search Expert. There is a TON of free video there in support of all aspects of job search. No cost.
- If after all of this you still want to move forward I am happy to engage your new grad as a client–in November.
Feel free to call and we can discuss further if you would like.