9 Biggest Career Mistakes College Grads Make

By Valencia Higuera

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Columnist Valencia Higuera takes a look at several common career mistakes new grads can AVOID to become successful at work and land their dream job.


At the end of the 2017-18 school year, “colleges and universities are expected to award 1.0 million associate’s degrees; 1.9 million bachelor’s degrees; 790,000 master’s degrees; and 183,000 doctor’s degrees,” according to the National Center for Education Statistics. While some of these students will continue their studies, others will start their career right away.

Class of 2018 graduates will take the skills they learned with them as they start climbing the career ladder.

However, the journey to the top can prove more challenging than expected, especially when a graduate becomes guilty of common career path mistakes.

These are career mistakes new grads should avoid to become successful at work and land their dream job.

-Believing first jobs have to be dream jobs
If you’re eager to find work and start living the American dream, you might only pursue positions that can support the lifestyle you want to live. However, many people don’t find their dream jobs, or the highest-paying jobs, on the first shot. Your first job out of college is just that, your first job, and it’s a steppingstone to something better.

“It’s fine to have an end goal in mind when it comes to your working life, ambition will motivate you,” said James Rice, head of digital marketing at WikiJob. “But the reality is that you’re unlikely to walk into that role straight after university, so don’t pass up on great roles that will give you the skills and experience you will ultimately need to land that dream job.”

-Waiting until graduation to network
Many job seekers fail to appreciate the importance of networking prior to graduation.
According to Elizabeth Venturini, college recruiting manager for SolReliable, some students mistakenly feel that they have to wait until they graduate to network for possible internships and jobs, in actuality, they should start networking as soon as they enter college.

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