Starting Your Career

Starting your career at a large Fortune 500 company can be a great move.

Big companies often provide opportunities to move around within the company, so you can gain experience in different areas as your career grows.

  • Learn from established business systems; benefit from job training and career coaching
  • Meet a wide audience of potential mentors and sponsors
  • Large companies are more likely to be fine with your limited experience, since they plan to train you
  • You’ll have a marquee employer name on your resume, if you choose to work elsewhere later on

As a recent graduate or young woman early in your career, how do you find a job at one of these companies?

  • Check your LinkedIn connections. Find someone you know who works at your target companies, or who is willing to make an introduction for you. Ask what the company culture is like, what the company looks for in employees, and if they know groups who are hiring.
  • Get active in your industry organization. Volunteer to organize events or to help on projects. This is a great way to demonstrate your abilities to potential managers, mentors, and most importantly, sponsors.
  • Find someone you admire in your industry (from talks or press articles), and send them an email to see if they’re willing to share their experience with you. Prepare 2-3 good questions that show you’ve done your homework. Here’s a great example – search for “informational interview” on this Natural Networking post.
  • Try your campus placement office or your university department, and ask them to connect you with campus recruiters. Employers may ask for lists of upcoming and recent graduates, or hold recruiting fairs on campus.
  • Check company web sites to get a sense of their posted jobs. What do they typically look for? If you are just starting out – try searching for intern, graduate, or entry positions.

Reaching out to your school’s alumni network is another good way of getting connected.

This stage in your life is often about experimenting and finding out what’s right for you. As you connect with people in enterprise careers – if you find the corporate life is not for you, other options for getting started include working at a start-up, small business, or mid-sized company; going into education; or working with non-profit organizations.

More tips:

Good luck with launching your career!

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