The school year is about to begin and I am pushing May/June graduation.

What’s up with that? But is a blink, you will have completed your 4th year of school. (More if you did Graduate Studies)

Either way, you have put in a lot of time. You have spent a lot of money. You did all your due diligence by working hard (hopefully had some fun too) and now you have a degree in something that hopefully becomes the KEY to opening a door that launches your career. This door that you want to, need to open is one of the most meaningful doors in your life – Your first job and/or internship.

It can, no doubt cause a great deal of stress as you begin to think about what I call, the Career Sequence. It is a series of events that get you started.

Graduation is and should be an exciting time. But aligned with graduating is your ‘what’s next’ and the anxiety of finding a career, a profession, employment….A JOB can mess with your mind.

Typically, after graduation day, the months that follow bring out about 2 million College Grads into a competitive marketplace and that can be daunting and create some stress in your life. You are not alone. Remember there are millions of you. But ‘misery loves company’ isn’t going to make the process of landing a job any easier to deal with. We don’t want to focus on the 1,999,999 others. No, we are focused on you.

What are YOU going to do? How will you prepare? When do you begin to get this process in motion? Who do you reach out to? What is the best way to look for a job?

There are so many questions to ask and finding answers is what makes the job search, sometimes a stressful experience.

You are going to need to educate yourself. School might be over, but EDUCATION is a continuous and transient exercise. It’s all about planning, preparing, researching and learning as much as you can about the industries and markets you are interested in.

Once you stop self-education, you are toast and you reduce possible opportunities that are available. This is a significant part of the Career Sequence.

Simply put, the more you prepare, than the more prepared you are. Information is the MASTER KEY.

Don’t be afraid to use your resources, your network, your friends, your school advisor, your professors, your alumni association and social network. Everyone out there knows someone else and that’s how you create and build a worthwhile network.

Talk to people – It will help you develop a solid narrative and create a storyline that hopefully projects a message about you that becomes attractive to the hiring community.

The more you plan, the more you prepare, the better your chance(s) of minimizing or better yet, eliminating the stress factor.

You cannot control many of the things that lie ahead, but you can control your attitude, so, hang in there, stay calm and, if you need it, ask for help. Reverse the stress factor by keeping your head in a good space and embrace the road ahead. It should be more exciting than stressful.

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