If you’re reading this, you are either a recent college graduate or graduating within the year. First off, congratulations to you if you have graduated! Such a huge accomplishment followed by a tremendous amount of stress…getting a job. With the pressure of landing a position immediately and the increased competition in financial planning, the reality of being on the job hunt can become somewhat discouraging so we’ve come up with five things to do if you don’t secure a job directly after graduation.
- Widen your search
You may want to work for an office that offers free donuts, has ping pong tables, and uses bean bag chairs instead of the normal ‘boring’ office chairs. While this may be a millennial dream come true, this may be interfering with your search in terms of finding a good fit. Those are added perks but make sure you are paying attention to what kind of responsibilities you want to have, what type of career growth opportunities you are interested in, what kind of firm you want to work with, etc. Be open to different opportunities because sometimes accepting a job you didn’t originally imagine as your “dream job” could be a better fit for your skills.
- Do some research
You may be setting yourself up for failure if you do not do some research before applying. We’ve talked before about researching a firm’s website, pulling a firm’s ADV, reading company reviews, etc. That still may not be enough. Make sure you’re looking at the cost of living for the area, pricing out housing costs, researching average salaries for the industry, and establishing your own budget. Gathering important details like these can help you refine your search.
- Nail a routine
Looking for a job IS a full-time job so make sure you are treating it like one. Don’t wait for opportunities to come find you. You’ve got to roll up your sleeves and take the initiative during the job search if you want to find a good fit. Make it a habit to set aside a few hours to dedicate to your job search. Being active in your search will definitely increase your chances of finding an opportunity that is complementary to what you’re seeking.
- Build on your skills (or learn new ones)
I know, I know. You’re done with school, or so you may think. If you have some time to spare after graduating, take advantage of it by learning new skills. Especially if it’s a skill that is required on a lot of the job descriptions you’ve been interested in. Launch a blog, take a free online course, start studying for the CFP® exam. How awesome would it be if you get to tell your future employer that you’ve either passed the CFP® exam already, or already have a scheduled exam date?
- Work with a recruiter
Why not work with someone who will listen to your career wants, discuss expectations, and help identify jobs that could compliment your skill set? As an added perk, find a recruiter that specializes in your field. In our case, New Planner Recruiting was founded by two financial planners who’ve hired industry veterans to serve as recruiters. Working with a recruiter can be an invaluable experience, especially if you need someone on your side who will be honest about expectations.
Remember to stay positive. Finding a job on your own can be a daunting task. That’s why we’re here to help. Feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] if you’re ready to find a good fit in the financial planning industry.
Paulina Walters, MS