You may remember first hand what it was like to try and find a college. Or perhaps more recently you've been a part of the college search process with your children.
I remember how terrified I was at having to make such a large decision. I was comfortable with my previous life. I had a pool of great friends and my family surrounding me. Yet, there was something kind of exciting about it all too.
With those emotions running in the background, I met with my high school counselor who gave me a long list of colleges to look into. I began researching them using the top college guides for insight on what it would be like to attend and what educational programs they offered. Never once, well, maybe once, did I ever consider, what happens when I am finished with this degree? What will I do next, what will it mean, what will it really prepare me to be? I was focused on the how to make the most of my next 4 years.
After researching the long list, I pared it down to a short list of schools to visit. I interviewed with admissions representatives and toured campuses. I even spent the night once to try and envision what life would really be like at that school. I spoke to family friends who had attended those schools to find out their experiences too.
I fell in love with one college. I really wanted to go there. It was PERFECT for me (at least that's what I thought). I applied through the early decision process, hoping that that would surely show how eager I was to attend this school. My wise counselor recommended that I apply to several others and so I did. I developed a second choice and a "safety".
When all was said and done, I graduated happily from my second choice. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I couldn't image having gone to a school more perfectly suited for me.
Hopefully the similarities are obvious to the job seeking process.
A wise man said last night "good decisions flow out of good exploration". Don't forget the importance of exploring!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.