Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson

You are all dressed up because you have somewhere to go. You are walking across a stage in a cap and gown, which you earned through at least four years of study and test taking. Yes, you are now a college graduate, and we are so proud of you!

Now all you have to do is put your education to use in the marketplace at a job with benefits and a promising future, with a chance to contribute to society.

Don’t expect to start at the top. In fact, you may have to get your foot in the door with a nonpaying internship. Even if it doesn’t pay, an internship can provide experience and a chance to make new contacts.

Should you be lucky enough to snag one of these positions, then be professional. Dress appropriately, show up on time, attend regularly. Keep your ears open and your mouth shut if you have nothing important to say. Learn as much as you can about the company, its goals, your job and future possibilities. Study fellow workers and learn the rules. Learn all you can about life in the business world.

Think about what you can do to add to your resume. By doing the best you can, you increase your chances of being hired, or at least recommended, by your employer for an available job elsewhere.

Don’t expect your dream job to pop up immediately. Meanwhile, keep on seeking ways to gain more experience in your chosen field. Learn, learn, learn.

It is mighty competitive out there, and the more education and experience you have, the better are your chances for success. Be prepared to face some rejection until the day the sun shines brightly upon you. Do not get discouraged.

So you now have a college degree hanging on your bedroom wall. Put it to work and make it pay you back for your years of sacrifice and hard work to acquire it! Best wishes and good luck ahead!

Jack Simpson is a former educator, a veteran, an author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each week in the weekend edition of this newspaper.