Navigating The Real World: Employed Life After UVa

Iris Magazine and the U.Va. Women’s Center teamed up to host “Navigating The Real World” a lunch seminar geared towards offering tips and advice on landing that first job out of college and pursuing a successful career path. Many of our interns have voiced concerns about their career options and it certainly is a hot topic for any student who is approaching graduation. Graduating from University for many students means the completion of a lifetime goal. Once attained, many graduates may feel lost or fearful about what to do next.

This needn’t be the case was the common theme of today’s discussion. In sharing our career stories it became evident that everyone had a unique narration of jobs that pushed them into all different directions. They all have taken on jobs that they didn’t like, quite jobs they found unfulfilling, changed career directions (sometimes several times), tried on different hats to find out what their passions were – and yet in the end might still be unsure of what the next step will be. The common theme seemed to be that life was more of a journey rather than a destination. Plans are good and they offer stability, but plans can be broken and changed as many times as you want, because in the end it is your journey and yours alone to make.

Our guest speaker for this discussion group was human resource manager Kyle Massey of the University of Virginia’s Temporary Search Group. She wanted to stress that despite the economy there is gainful employment to be had at the University. Here at U.Va. they are constantly looking for people to fill new positions but that the trick for getting your foot in the door is through temporary work. The Temp Search Group is essentially designed to work for you and find the right position to suit your preferences and abilities. Very often (once in) these temp jobs allow you to network and access internal jobs that can later become full-time and permanent jobs. Temp-work is also a great way for recent grads to really get a feel for the many career paths out there and discover jobs that they might not have considered before.

Choosing a career today is more than just analyzing education cost, equating salary, job security and availability. The real questions you should be asking yourself is “is this your passion, do you love your job, are you good at it and how do you make money doing this.” A common theme among successful people is that they pursued a passion that later became a business or career. If you are unsure of your passions go out there and get involved. Take up a hobby, join a team or club, volunteer, network and ask around. Very little can be accomplished alone so take risks, make mistakes and live your life. Life tends to pull you into all different directions so it is important to always find and stay grounded constant in your ambitions and goals.

For information about the U.Va. Temporary Search Group follow the link provided.


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