Graduation is a time of mixed emotions. We’re overwhelmed because all of our hard work has finally paid off. We’re sad because it’s time to move on from our friends and figure out the next step. We’re scared because we often have no idea what to do next. Then we feel intense pressure to prove ourselves and show that our degree has some worth. The important thing to remember is not to panic.
Take some time to figure out what to do next. Finishing your degree doesn’t mean you have to jump into the first job that comes along. If you’ve got the end of college and you know exactly where you’re going next, good for you! However, there are plenty of people that don’t. You aren’t alone. There is an entire world out there and there is no set path you are supposed to follow.
The most important thing you can do is take some time to think. You don’t have to have it all figured out right now. Most people are 21 or 22 when they graduate. You are still young and there’s plenty of time for working out what you want to do. Most successful people fall into their careers by pursuing what they love. This should be your aim. Find some inspiration and follow the things that draw you to them. If you need ideas, browse the college degree information site Withmydegree for inspiration.
This is a little bit of a cliche phrase, but it makes a lot of sense. A lot can change in the three years you’ve been at college. You are not the same person you were. Your goals and aspirations may have changed. You may have decided that you have no interest in the subject of your degree any more. That’s okay. You’ll have gained so many other experiences and skills. Don’t feel like you have to take the first job that pops up. Contrary to popular belief, the jobs aren’t drying up. The right one is out there is you’re willing to find it. Don’t be afraid to take some time to yourself to figure it out.
Become invaluable to employers
Once you know what job you want, it’s time to go and get it. Don’t settle for anything less than the dream job. At the very least, pursue something that will lead to the dream job. It’s worth a few extra months of unemployment and searching while you’re still young. It’s better than finding yourself in a job you hate ten years later. However, you need to stand out. Show your personality in your CV and letters. Employers are looking for more than just a qualification. Do volunteer work in that area. Show passion, creativity and leadership. There are millions of other graduates. You need to stand out above them.
Thanks to Jason Priem for the image
If you’re completely drained from three years and college and need a break, think about a gap year. Take some time to travel and it will help clear your head. While you are away you’ll start to figure out what it is you really want to do. Just remember that no one else has it figured out either. There’s a whole world out there and it’s yours for the taking. Find your own path.