Are You Undecided? Career Advice for Women Post College

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Barbara and Shannon Kelley, authors of Undecided: How to Ditch the Endless Quest for Perfect and Find the Career—and Life—That’s Right for You, offer expert advice to help overwhelmed women who recently graduated get started on their first post-college job hunt.

The most important work, in terms of getting “decided,” and finding satisfaction and happiness, is getting to know yourself by exploring multiple paths.

Barbara and Shannon Kelley, authors of Undecided: How to Ditch the Endless Quest for Perfect and Find the Career—and Life—That’s Right for You, offer expert advice to help overwhelmed women who recently graduated get started on their first post-college job hunt.

Women graduating from college today have seemingly endless career options and possibilities. Whether they choose to run a Fortune 500 company, be a teacher, open their own business, or even run for President, many find the infinite options make it nearly impossible to decide where to start their career.

Barbara and Shannon Kelley—who are also mother and daughter—have researched the difficulties and stress caused by too many options for their new book, Undecided: How to Ditch the Endless Quest for Perfect and Find the Career—and Life—That’s Right for You, released this month by Seal Press. To help women prepare for their first job hunt, the two are offering graduates the following five tips to finding, and loving, their first post-college career:

1. Don't sweat it: Graduates shouldn’t assume they’re locked into whatever career choice they make right after college. With so many options, graduates may become convinced that one is perfect. This is just an illusion—one which makes career choices more fraught than they need to be.

2. Try new things and take risks: You'll recover from failure, but you’ll have a much harder time recovering from regret. Try new things and ideas. The most important work, in terms of getting “decided,” and finding satisfaction and happiness, is getting to know yourself by exploring multiple paths.

3. Use Your filter: Find your own true voice, which is often drowned out by the voices of family, friends, and the culture at large. Listen to yourself, and focus on what really matters.

4. Dispense with the shoulds: Do what you want to do—not what you think you should do. What you do in your spare time for fun, enjoyment, or purpose, can give you useful information for narrowing down your career choices.

5. Forget about having it all: No job will fulfill all hopes, wishes, and dreams. Focus on finding a position that speaks to you right now. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average college-educated woman will have approximately 10 jobs over the course of their working lives, so don’t expect your first job to be your last. There are many chances for success.

For additional information on Undecided, or to read more career advice, visit Barbara and Shannon Kelley’s blog.

About Seal Press
Seal Press was founded in 1976 to provide a forum for women writers and feminist issues. Since then, Seal has published groundbreaking books that represent the diverse voices and interests of women—their lives, literature, and concerns. Seal's authors are radical and original thinkers, professionals with a distinct point of view, gutsy explorers, truth-tellers, and writers who engender laughter, tears, and rage. Seal Press publishes books with the goal of informing women’s lives. Based in Berkeley, Calif., Seal is a member of the Perseus Books Group. For more information, visit the Seal Press website.

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Andie East
Seal Press
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