College Grads Get Ready for Work

Tory JohnsonHave a candid conversation with the HR manager at Macy's. Be clear that you love your position as a sales associate, but mention that you're eager to develop a career path that would use your other skills and enable you to grow with the company. Ask if the company sees such opportunities available to you in the next three to six months, and if so, what steps do you need to take to move in the right direction.

You can also apply for management training programs at other retailers in your area. Most retailers recognize the value of hiring mature workers: You're patient with customers, you're not likely to leave after a short period of time, and you're reliable and punctual. Obviously, this doesn't apply to everyone, but it's a general view of your generation in that line of work, which I hope gives you some confidence about your prospects.

Finally, meet with the University of Phoenix job placement specialists. They have a very aggressive program to convince people to enroll in their programs with promises of better career opportunities upon graduation. You must hold them to that promise so it's more than a marketing gimmick. Ask them what support they can provide -- from resume development and interview skills to developing leads and landing an offer.

To connect directly with Tory Johnson or for other information on career advancement, visit

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