Keeping Your Expectations Realistic

by sysop in From Campus to Career, Looking for a Job

by Liz Hine

How do expectations stack up to reality?  Susan Adams recently published an article for Forbes online focusing on a study that discussed College Graduates’ Expectations in their job search. The study focused on the contrast between expectations and reality on a number of fronts including graduate degrees, starting salary, training/professional development, probability of finding a job in their chosen field, and much more. The job search process can be frustrating for anyone at any stage, especially if you have unrealistic expectations. What are some ways you can make sure your expectations are realistic?

  1. Do your research into the industry and regional area. Build your expectations around data when you can find it, but make sure it’s relevant data.
  2. Speak to people currently working in that industry. Ask what they think is a reasonable salary or career path for the type of role you’re looking at.
  3. Compare apples to apples when looking at different jobs – Are they both non-profits? Are they in different states?
  4. Talk to recruiters or the hiring manager before proceeding to an interview – Make sure that you have a good understanding of what might be realistic.
  5. Aim for roles where you meet the qualifications or have a little bit of stretching to do to get there – Don’t shoot for the moon and try to jump multiple levels of responsibility without proving yourself and building that trust.

Keep in mind that employers will look at your previous experiences as an indicator of how successful you’ll be in your next role. If you can’t demonstrate previous successes with small things, don’t expect to be given large projects to manage. Regardless of where you are in your career, be willing to build your track record and put in the time.