So, originally, I had planned to meet with Career Services this week and then write an article about what information should go in a resume, or something of that nature. That, however, didn’t happen.

The thing about planning ahead is that you have to plan for something to go wrong. Sometimes, it could be a massive snow storm that shuts down all of campus (and a good chunk of Clarksville) for a week, sometimes it could be that the company you just know you are perfect for decides to go with someone else. It is always important to have a back-up plan.

When you are applying for job fresh out of college, it is important to remember to stay open-minded to details like location and pay. For example, let’s say you want to stay in Clarksville and work for a company with a local office. Well, that is a nice idea, but what if only one business is hiring at the time? Are you only going to submit one application and just hope to get hired? Opening up your search to include Nashville and Hopkinsville might yield more results. Yes, the commute will be farther, but now you have options.

Pay also works this way. That statistic you read once on that job aptitude test website that says professionals in your chosen career path have a $250,000 salary? Yeah, that is an average, which means that only half of the people with your ‘dream job’ are going to make that, or higher. Furthermore, those statistics usually include individuals who have dedicated decades of their lives to the field already.

Does this mean you should be afraid to ask for a decent salary? No, but if you apply at 10 companies, instead of one, and get three job offers, you can then pick the offer best suited to you.

Another thing this affects is the particular job you are applying for. Let’s just say you’ve worked all through college to become a virologist, you just want to study viruses, but there are very few openings for virologists. There are, however, several openings for research assistants at a prominent virology lab. Don’t just assume you will be able to jump directly into your actual dream career. Sure, you can apply to those few openings for virologists, but applying for the research assistant positions could yield better results, and would give you an opportunity to train with someone who already works in your job. Someone who, later on, could be a valuable connection or reference.

I guess what I’m saying is, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. There’s a very likely chance you won’t get hired the first, second or even twentieth place you apply. And try not to be picky when you first start out in the real world: we’ve all got dues to pay.