It can be hard to know what to do after graduation. You’ve spent the last few years of your life preparing for this moment, and now it’s time to figure out the next step. There are many options available to you: finding a job, going back to school, or taking some time off before deciding on your next step. Here are a few tips for how to accomplish your goals after graduation.
One way that can be helpful with this process is writing a list of three goals for each year, starting from the time you graduate until your mid-life crisis. These goals should be measurable and specific to give yourself a clear idea of how far away or close they are from being accomplished. Additionally, try not to make these goals too easy because it will discourage any motivation or enthusiasm about continuing towards these milestones once weeks pass by without achieving them.
For example, you can have a goal of moving out of your parent’s house in two years. This can be measured by looking at affordable apartments for rent and finding a job to sustain the rent. However, do not make the goal so ambitious either, as it may put unnecessary pressure on yourself when trying to achieve something relatively unreachable in such a short amount of time. Another tip is to make sure that you are willing to take the necessary steps to complete this goal. You may need to get a new job, work long hours, or spend less time with your friends and family. These sacrifices should be made willingly because otherwise, it becomes difficult for you to stay committed to achieving that specific milestone.
Finally, do not get caught up in one particular goal. Instead, focus on accomplishing various ones at once over several years. Each task varies in length and difficulty depending on what they are specifically about. This way, if one goal is not going as planned, then you have the rest of the list to fall back on.
What Profession Will Suit You?
Figure out what kind of life that you want to lead. You don’t have to decide now, but it helps if you have some idea of where your professional path may take you in the future. Once you figure this out, narrow down which jobs will best suit those goals or characteristics that embody who you want to be at work every day.
If none seem like an obvious fit for whatever reason, consider taking a break before entering into full-blown job search mode. You can work part-time while continuing with other pursuits such as traveling abroad, getting a certification, or furthering your education.
Develop what’s called an elevator pitch. Something you can quickly and concisely share with someone about yourself, whether at a networking event, over lunch, etc. It doesn’t have to be perfect but relatively simple enough where people understand who you are within the first few sentences so that they don’t walk away confused as to why they’re talking to you in the first place. The idea is for this introduction of sorts to take no longer than 30 seconds which would also encourage them from there on out to ask additional questions as opposed to jumping into their own life story as well. Then both parties end up walking away unhappy, never having gotten any information from one whatsoever.
Most importantly, celebrate your accomplishment of graduating from college and the many things you have done to get there. You deserve it.
And lastly, but most importantly, be proud of yourself no matter what. Your accomplishments are not defined by what others think they should be or even close to it. They’re defined solely on how hard you worked for them to make them happen, which is something nobody can ever take away from you. Because once achieved – they are yours forever.
*Photos by Pavel Danilyuk