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Don't panic! First steps take time

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OK, Class of 2014. You've been out of college for (gulp) over a month now. You walked across that stage on May 9. Why, you're yesterday's news! And you still don't have a job or even the faintest clue what to do next. So what's the first thing you should do? 

Don't panic! Believe it or not, history is on your side. As shown in this infographic with outcomes data from the Simmons Class of 2012 Employment Survey, while only 36% of students had their jobs by graduation, fully 60% of those in full-time jobs were in them by three months out, and 82% were employed within six months of graduation. The latest data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers for this year's graduates is trending in the same direction. 

There is more good news for you fortunate Simmons grads. We know that 40% of your predecessors found their jobs through the most tried and true method --- networking -- and when they landed at their first destination, 90% of them were in a position related to their major.

Lucky you: the rebounding job market is also on your side. Not too long ago the US unemployment rate was over 10% and jobs were hard to come by, especially entry-level positions. But this year, as previously reported in this space, the market is in your favor and the hiring outlook for new college grads is up. Companies across a range of industry segments are growing and seeking new talent again.    

The job market in New England, where over 80% of you choose to stay year after year, is also looking stronger. While the national unemployment rate is improving and was last reported at 6.3%, Massachusetts is looking even better at 5.6%, the the lowest monthly rate in six years and the first time since July, 2008 that it's been under 6 percent.

We also know, however, that mounting a job search takes time - on average, six months from initial steps to landing a position. So those employed Simmons new grads who went before you were probably getting underway with their search by now.   

Even if you are throttling back and taking some time off this summer after you busted your you-know-what for four years, you can still harness the power of the Career Education Center to aid in your next steps. The CEC website is packed with helpful tips and information to get you started, including the wealth of career guides maintained by the experts in Beatley Library. There are over 60 of them, most of them discipline-focused, and numerous others on helpful topics such as "Job Hunting Online."  

So, whether you're Bio or Comm, English or Poli Sci, Nursing or Psych, there is an online guide for you. And once you've poked around in there and found some items of interest you might want to think about connecting with a career coach in the CEC. Even if you are not local and cannot meet face-to-face you can set up a phone appointment. Heck, we've already Skyped with a Simmons grad on the other side of the world this spring!

You'll also want to check out another recent blog entry from one of our CEC coaches with ten tips for new grads.  

Once you commit and take those initial steps and get a plan going, then start to reach out to target companies and begin to network your way in, pretty soon it will be you negotiating with an employer, getting to yes, and getting that coveted handshake. And when you've landed, you can share the good news with us in this year's first destinations survey - e-mail the CEC and we will send you a link to the survey.  

We're here all summer long -- for you. Let us know when you're ready to get going.