Life After Graduation

This weekend, over 400 graduate business students became members of the Notre Dame alumni network. This experience leaves many with mixed emotions… excitement to be moving on to a new chapter of one’s life, a feeling of accomplishment for everything that has been achieved while at Mendoza, along with a sense of unease with trying something new. Most of the students graduating will already have jobs lined up for post graduation. With new jobs on the horizon, it is easy to neglect paying attention to your career, and to just focus on the new job you are about to start. However, there are a few key things that every business person should do, regardless of their current job status.
• Update your LinkedIn account whenever you take on new responsibilities, complete a big project, receive a new certification or win an award. It is better to do it right away than to try to do all of the updates at once and potentially forget something important.
• Go on LinkedIn once a week and connect with new people. If you just had a new hire on your team or if you recently started volunteering at a new nonprofit, go online and search for the people you have recently met, and make sure to connect with them.
• Stay up-to-date on what is current, trending and topical in your industry and/or the industry you would ideally like to work in one day. Pick 2 or 3 websites, newspapers or periodicals that you will read every week. There is so much content available now, it is important to focus on a few key publications that are specific to your industry. Also, set Google Alerts for particular key words, competitors or topics. Google Alerts will send you an email any time there is a new article posted focusing on those key words.
• Share articles of interest to you. While writing your own content and sending it out to the world is probably the best way to brand yourself, sometimes creating your own blog can be intimidating, time consuming and cumbersome. However, sharing content that is relevant to your industry, company and career is a great way to continue to brand yourself on Facebook and LinkedIn.
• Go to networking receptions. Even if you are not in the job hunt, receptions can be beneficial when it comes to making connections that may help you out two or three years down the road.
• Use a professional headshot for your LinkedIn photo.
• Attend industry seminars and conferences when possible. Sometimes our jobs give us great expertise, but specific to our company. Expand your horizons by attending relevant seminars and conferences for your industry.
Staying on top of your online professional image and always networking will go a long way toward putting you in a good position if and when you suddenly find yourself in a new job search. And don’t forget to keep your contact information updated with your alumni association!

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