The more expensive college gets, the more students (and parents) wonder whether it’s worth it and how it prepares them for life after college. These questions are particularly apt now that the most common home address for recent graduates is their parents’ house, thus cementing the reputation of Millennials as the “Boomerang Generation.” But college isn’t just about books and classes. You shouldn’t wait until you have a diploma in hand to think about your career. In fact, there are loads of things that you can do right now, as a student, to prepare for post-college life.
Here are six tips:
1. Build Your Network
Here’s a secret: 70 to 80 percent of the job market is hidden—that is, it’s never posted publicly. The vast majority of hiring is done by friends and acquaintances hiring other trusted friends and acquaintances. This means you need to get to know people.
The vast majority of hiring is done by friends and acquaintances hiring other trusted friends and acquaintances. This means you need to get to know people.
So build your network, but don’t call it that. People aren’t transactional resources just to help you get jobs. They’re made in God’s image for his purposes. Get to know who they are—their interests, their families, and their stories. Love them as yourself (Matt. 22:9). Love them as Christ did (John 13:34).
In college, you can build your network without even stepping off campus by befriending your classmates. Get to know upperclassmen who are entering the working world before you. Then keep in touch. By the time you’re a senior, you’ll know people who are two or three years into their careers.