Freshly brewed coffee in the morning, a workplace filled with innovative ideas, and an office with a scenic view of the city. Does this sound familiar? It may remind you of the kind of professional life you aspire to or perhaps yours is more active, bursting at the seams with challenging business endeavors. Whatever your dream job is as an entry level professional, hold onto that image; you have more autonomy than you think.

Your college years are unlike any other time in your life. You’re in limbo between dependence and independence, in the last stages of training for adulthood. Most young adults in college or fresh out of their undergraduate degree are supported by their family. In other words, not working for a small amount of time is not detrimental. This provides young professionals with the power of choice in their job search. With less experience than seasoned professionals in your aspired industry, it can be difficult to find a job that will employ you and be willing to support your growth. Job applications, especially as an entry level worker, are never as simple as they seem. Despite the competitive entry level field in almost all industries, young adults need to use this knowledge to their advantage.

Job Satisfaction

Job Satisfaction is at the top of my checklist for job searching. Although it cannot be easily quantified, it reveals its vitality in every aspect of the job experience. There are a few definitive ways to gauge this before you accept a position: The job description, a quick search of the company, and communication during the recruitment process.

  1. Check the job description, yes, read it word by word. Is that what you want to do? That’s great. If it isn’t mostly what you are looking for, it isn’t worth your time even if you did receive the offer. This is often overlooked because we just want a job. But the question is, do you want that job?

  2. Research your company. What are their values and mission statement? Try to find images of the inside of the office if you can to try to picture yourself in that environment. Social media pages and their website are a great place to start. This not only prepares you as a candidate but allows you to take a look inside.

  3. Take a look at which people in the company are communicating with you about your application and how they speak to you. This is a good example of how communication will continue to be if you were hired and provides a way to see what your potential co-workers could be like.

These three tips are extremely simple but it is important to look between the lines. The goal is to only send your resume to the businesses that fit your needs as an employee and as a student in the industry.

Patience

Patience is a tough skill to practice. If you could have a candy bar now or two later, the one right now still sounds pretty good. What needs to be acknowledged is the value of waiting; practically the unit of job applications. Coupled with job satisfaction, patience should be prioritized. The first job you apply for most likely won’t be your best choice.

Be cautious. Turn down jobs that don’t closely overlap with your career goals and communities that aren’t willing to support your professional growth. Even if it means waiting another week for the next offer, what you’ll gain with the right job is far more valuable than taking the first offer you get.

Success post-undergrad is indubitably competitive and frustrating. A proactive career is the most successful because you are aware of the experiences you want to pursue. Emphasizing your own satisfaction in the job market is the key to keep in line towards your professional aspirations. It’s a two-way street.