I often hear job seekers say that they simply don't have time to conduct a job search. They're too busy. They have classes. They have a part-time job. They have a social life. And all the other things happening at college that get in the way.
"I'll just wait until graduation and then start my job search when I have more time…"
Don’t fall prey to the fatal sin of procrastination. Of putting off your job search. Not only will it delay your job search, it will make it progressively more difficult. Don't wait until graduation.
Here are four reasons to find time now for your job search:
1. The longer you wait, the more time it will take.
Conversely, the earlier you start, the less time it will take. Why? Because there are only a finite number of internships and jobs that are going to be offered this year. The longer you wait, the fewer positions available and it will become progressively harder to find these remaining jobs.
2. The math works against you.
Not only is there a finite number of jobs, there are simply not enough jobs for all of the candidates. Especially in times of economic turmoil. Some new grads will end up unemployed. Four years (or more) of college with no job to show for it. Have you ever played musical chairs? There are simply not enough chairs nor employment seats. And as the number of seats get reduced, the odds of filling the remaining seats become progressively more difficult. For example, assume there are 1.5 million entry level jobs for the 2 million new grads this year (both of those numbers are approximately accurate, BTW). When 1 million of those jobs are filled, only 500K remain for the 1 million remaining grads. When 1.3 million of those jobs are filled, only 200K remain for the 700K remaining grads. Guess how many jobs remain when there are 500K grads left. Work with the job search odds while they are still in your favor.
3. The best jobs are filled first.
Those who accept jobs early have the opportunity to be more selective in their employer and in what type of job and with which department. Most large corporations have multiple entry level jobs available. The best jobs are the ones accepted early. As fewer remain they are the jobs that are less desirable. Be selective. Be early. Be first.
4. Some employers will have filled all of their entry level jobs by graduation.
Employers typically have new hire orientation starting in June and they want their hire quotas filled in advance. So if you wait until graduation, your odds of getting a job with those employers will be close to zero.
So where do you find the time? Simple. Shift your priorities. We all have the same amount of time in the day, it's a matter of how we prioritize. Yes, classes come first and they are the reason you are in college. But your second priority should be your job search. TV, video games, social media, Web surfing (yes, I know you are doing it right now, but you’re actually moving your job search forward, so congrats, you do have priorities straight), sports, extracurriculars, parties and any other activity should be a lower priority than your classes first and your job search second. And, I would argue, the grades you get in your last semester or quarter of college will be less important than your job search, so if you haven't found a job by then, job search should rank as your first priority.
Give your job search your highest time priority now. It will make your job search that much easier. And, when you do accept a job, you will have plenty of time to finally take it easy on your way to graduation and your new life after college.