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Graduation and Career - By Rebecca M. Perkins

Graduation and Career
Rebecca M. Perkins
MidAmerica Nazarene University

Graduation and Career
There are times when students may choose to graduate a semester early, or for various reasons find that they need to delay graduating by a semester. While this may be the best choice for the student either financially or personally, it can make it difficult to find a job (Glazer, 2012). Potential reasons for the difficulty faced is that businesses frequently do their recruiting in the fall for summer openings, and others will wait until the spring to hire entry-level positions (Glazer, 2012). It is important to note that graduating either late or early is not all bad. It can allow graduates to get a jump start, make more connections, and sometimes land positions earlier than those who graduate in May. Graduates should make connections through as many sources as possible: Facebook, friends, holiday parties, LinkedIn, and "fellow alumni, even if you don't know them personally" (Glazer, 2012). Additionally, potential employers may be curious about the timing of the graduation so graduates should be ready to provide a positive response to the inquiry and be able to show how their odd graduation time can be beneficial for the company (Glazer, 2012). Regardless of why the graduate finished up early or late, the graduate should always be honest about the reasons (Glazer, 2012). During the interview, graduates should emphasize responsibility with finances, previous workforce experience, successes with handling a heavy work load, as well as internships and pertinent classes (Glazer, 2012).
Finding a job after graduation can be tough no matter when graduation occurs and needing a job soon after graduation may mean taking something other than a "dream" job. While the job that is landed may not be what the graduate has always hoped to do, it is important that he or she find something that is meaningful and provides joy in order to help maintain an overall sense of wellbeing and keep stress at bay (Rath & Harter, 2010). Common sense says that when a person does something day after day that he or she does not like, then the person's overall level of happiness decreases which can lead to all sorts of problems.
Counselors can be utilized to help address issues related to job dissatisfaction as well as a variety of other issues. Considering that job dissatisfaction is an underlying factor to other problems such as physical health, happiness, and relationships, it should come as no surprise that the use of a counselor for problems related to "the job" are beneficial (Rath & Harter, 2010). Counselors working with clients who struggle with career issues—known as career counselors—can offer a plethora of tools, interventions, and strategies to help guide the client.
Career counselors can offer assessments to help the client determine areas of interest, as well as areas of strength. Using theories related to career counseling, such as Holland's Theory, counselors can use the results of the assessment to help a client find possible career paths that might be more enjoyable. Career counselors can also help clients who struggle with asserting their wants and needs to coworkers and supervisors through assertiveness training. Other areas that career counselors can assist with include résumé writing and interview skills. Needless to say, career counseling can be useful for persons who are entering the job field for the first time, looking at making a transition, needing assistance with "moving up the ladder," or are simply just struggling with their current job placement.

References
Glazer, E. (2012). Off-season job hunting. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324407504578187832521393330.html?mod=e2tw
Rath, T., & Harter, J. (2010). Your career wellbeing and your identity. Gallup Business Journal. Retrieved from http://businessjournal.gallup.com/content/127034/career-wellbeing-identity.aspx

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Shawnda Kahl is the Administrative Assistant for the Department of Behavioral Science at MidAmerica Nazarene University

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OhBehave is the outreach blog of the MNU Behavioral Sciences Department. In matters related to Psychology, Sociology, and Criminal Justice you will find information and updates geared to keep students and professionals abreast of the latest research, professional developments, and important trends in each field. As we seek a life of purpose, the material presented in this blog is meant to enhance and deepen our understanding of people and our world so that we may intentionally reflect the grace and peace of our creator.