Issa Degree! Now What? 7 Tips for the College to Career Transition

She Believed She Could so She Did

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Congratulations! You did it!

For some of us, a job offer was made before we walked across the stage this year. So proud of you! May you continue to flourish during your Blessing Season. But for many of us, we have the degree but aren’t necessarily prepared career wise. Well now is not the time to hit panic as you see your friends enjoy the fruit of their new found 60 hour work weeks. I am no career guru but I can offer you a few tips I have learned along the way to make your transition from college to career a little easier.

OATMEAL IS BETTER THAN NO MEAL

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Entry-Level

I get it. You have loans and you clearly need to pay them back. That entry level starting salary was NEVER a part of the plan. But sometimes those entry level positions can unlock doors to salaries, promotions, and references you would have never imagined. There may be a bit of a sacrifice in the beginning. But as the saying goes, It gets greater later. With the right game plan, make your entry-level position work for you.

Recent Graduate Positions

There are quite a few companies and agencies who offer internships and positions specifically for people who have recently graduate within the past 1 to 2 years. For example, our federal government offers a Recent Graduate Program. When searching for jobs make sure to check out programs specifically for recent graduates.

Volunteering within your degree field

“Sis, didn’t you just say oatmeal is better than no meal?” Hear me out. Some of you interned every summer during your collegiate career. Unfortunately, there are others who did not take advantage of internship opportunities. You are now considered a recent graduate with NO EXPERIENCE. I am not saying you will have to volunteer 40 hours of your time. But gaining experience needed within your field at 5 or even 10 hours a week looks A LOT better than no experience at all. I would suggest Volunteer Match as a great way to start. Type in a job title you are comfortable committing your time doing and you will see results closely related within you area. Some organizations offer remote positions as well.

SUCCESS IS THE SUM OF SMALL EFFORTS REPEATED DAILY

Professional Development

If you know you aren’t proficient in Microsoft Access or Excel, enroll in a class to master it. If your job field requires you to use a certain software you aren’t familiar with, LEARN IT! Professional development doesn’t have to start on the job. Never stop adding value to what you have to offer.

Graduate School

I tread lightly on the suggestion of graduate school. I do not believe in adding more debt. But I do believe in enhancing your chances of getting the career of your dreams. A Master’s degree and better is needed in some job fields. One way to alleviate cost is to work for a College who offers their graduate programs to their employees for free. There are also other companies who offer tuition reimbursement.

IT’S NOT WHO YOU KNOW, IT’S WHO KNOWS YOU

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Join a Professional Organization

It is very important to join a professional organization related to your degree and/or career choice. Most professional organizations offer recent grad and/or student rates at a substantial discount compared to regular annual fees. I would suggest CareerOneStop as a great way to find professional organizations tailored to your career choice.

Alumni Organizations

I would also suggest joining your local alumni chapter. You will be quite surprised the amount of support you will receive from people who have something so sacred in common with you. Majority of Alumni Organizations offer discounts for recent graduates as well.

Honorable Mention: A great way to network and meet people with interest similar to yours and keep you plugged in career wise is an awesome website called Meet-Up. Meet-Up offers various groups for people with similar interest.

Note: It is imperative that we do not pay fees and collect emails month to month. STAY ACTIVE! Try to make time for the monthly meetings. If there is a community service event or workshop…GO! 

IF NOT ME, WHO? IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

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A small nugget of advice for all: NEVER STOP THE HUSTLE! Companies merge, restructure, and layoff EVERY YEAR! Never become complacent at any company or position. Always have a back up plan to the back up plan. Continue to network and build an arsenal of professional connections.  Continue personal & professional development to perfect your skills. Now go claim your Blessings! Go Sis!

 

Tribe Sista of the Month: Kamille Bundy

Tribe Sista of the Month: Kamille Bundy, Founder of Young Mothers INC.

“Make sure you are passionate about your cause. It is not easy to give yourself so freely and expect nothing in return.” – Kamille Bundy

I Love You Makeover Event Kamille Bundy Executive Director & Founder Young Mothers INC

As a Clark Atlanta University student, Kamille Bundy was far from home.  She was 19 and pregnant and unsure of her next steps. It was at this moment that she began walking the path destined for her to uplift, encourage, and inspire others.

Kamille left Atlanta, Ga at 19 years old and made the decision to move back home with her mom. Unfortunately, the relationship between mother and daughter soon deteriorated.

“When my daughter was 2 years old, my mother kicked us out of the house,” Kamille disclosed. “I felt I had no solid support system. No one was there to really help me transition into motherhood.” Kamille continued.

 

Kamille Bundy, founder & executive director Young Mothers Inc.
I Love You Makeover Event

Kamille explained that it was this emptiness that led her into a relationship with an old high school friend who was 2 years her junior.

“The relationship was not only physically abusive but emotionally abusive as well,” she stated. Kamille decided it was her time to put the broken pieces of her life back together. When her daughter turned 4 years old, Kamille received a job as a government contractor.

With the opportunity of a new job and consistent income, Kamille was finally able to find stability. She began to find her inner peace finally. With resources of her own, she started to reflect on the beginning of her journey as a young mother with no support system and no resources. “I knew how it felt not to have a  support system, so I knew it was time for me to give back and help others.”

“Google Search: How to Start A Non-Profit”

In 2011, the concept of Young Mothers INC. was formulated, but the idea wasn’t implemented until 2013. “I tried to ask around and partner with larger organizations, but I wasn’t really getting any call backs. So I started with a simple Google search of ‘how to start a nonprofit,’ and the rest was history,” Kamille explained.

Young Mothers INC., is a nonprofit organization that provides a multitude of services in the Metro DC area.  “You don’t have to be a mother to receive our services,” Kamille clarified. “We offer programs for those who wish to attain a GED. If you want to build your resume, we offer resume and interview training workshops. We also assist clients with how to dress properly for interviews. If you are interested in starting a business, we have a mentorship program to assist with that as well.  Our goal is to help women in need transition to next stage in their life where ever that may be.”

I Love You Makeover Event

Young Mothers INC., provides the following programs: Education and Career Enhancement program, Mother’s and Women’s Empowerment Program, Referral and Resource Program, and a Business Mentor Program to help young female professionals start a business. Young Mothers Inc., also has licensed counselors to assist women to learn more about this dynamic organization. Please contact us by clicking the following link: Contact Young Mothers Inc.

We honor Kamille Bundy for seeing the opportunity to give so much of herself even when there were times she thought she had so little to offer. May you continue to use your light to bless others. You are appreciated!

 

The Journey of Self Validation

Whether it is a career move, a new business venture, or self-growth, we thrive on the encouragement of our tribe. Not all friends and family translate over into supporters. With time I realized that I was totally fine with it. Here’s how I dealt with getting out of my feelings while focusing on self validation and my bottom line.

DISCONNECT YOUR SELF-ESTEEM FROM THE ACCEPTANCE OF OTHERS

You had a purpose long before anyone had an opinion!  -Unknown

This task is a lot harder than it sounds. It is so important for us to receive acceptance from our tribe. When those closest to us lack interest, it is a devastating blow for many of us. What is the solution, one may ask? Self-Love. I began my journey of self-love by small simple tasks including affirmations.

An affirmation is considered an action or process of affirming something. I began reciting and believing the affirmations I spoke over my life. I began doing things that brought me peace. Sometimes an affirmation chant just won’t do it. Other suggestions would include counseling, therapy, exercise, etc.

BE YOUR BIGGEST FAN

Self Esteem is realizing you are the Dream. -Oprah Winfrey

I’m so proud of you! Life tried to knock you down, and you are still here. Still Standing! Don’t gloss over your journey. Be proud of every step you take. Increase in your credit score? All you! Are you starting your first business? Go sis!   Ridding yourself of toxic people and relationships? You did that! 3 lbs closer to your goal weight? You betta!

I noticed that I continued to progress when I acknowledged my accomplishments. One way I did this was through writing. My journals serve as encouragement and inspiration. I recently read a letter I wrote myself roughly 4 years ago about how far I had come and where I wanted to go. It not only brought tears to my eyes ( I accomplished everything I said I wanted to at that time), but it also lit the fire in me that was needed to continue on my journey of self-growth. Always remember that you are the dream. You have to take care of yourself emotionally and physically. Pamper yourself! Go to a movie or a spa. You deserve it!

EVERYONE WILL NOT SHARE YOUR VISION

I dream it, I work hard, I grind til I own it. -Beyoncé

Fun fact about me: I go after EVERYTHING  I want. I believe that strongly in my purpose set forth before me. I do not allow others to set limitations on my abilities and neither should you. Some people lack vision. They are usually not around for the labor, sweat, or the tears. It should come as no surprise when these people are there to feast on the fruits of your labor.

 

So how do I deal? I have learned over the years not to concern myself with the actions of others. It was my ‘soul sista’ who reminded me that you have to learn to love people where they are. This doesn’t mean you continue to let these same people drain you emotionally, physically, or financially. It just means you reach a place where you ‘expect’ very little from people. That way you aren’t always disappointed.

 

CELEBRATE THOSE WHO CELEBRATE YOU

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.  -Maya Angelou

This is the most important lesson I have learned! Pay attention to those who are there. We spend so much time focusing on those who weren’t there that we tend to minimize the effort of those who are consistent in our lives. Uplift those who uplift you. Celebrate those who celebrate you! Continue to nurture and water those connections. Pay close attention to the fruits of love, patience, and appreciation. Reciprocity is key for these relationships to thrive.

Sound off! What are some other ways you celebrate your successes through self-validation?