Graduating from college is a milestone, but what to do after graduation can be an even bigger milestone. The fact of the matter is that many college graduates struggle finding a job after college or just struggle to get their life started overall. Therefore my first advice to you, if you are not already graduated yet is to start to plan for your career before you graduate college (click here for my blog on that).But if you are about to graduate or a recent graduate it is okay, I still have some helpful life after college advice for you.
Your first and most obvious options is that you need to find a job. But sometimes that can be easier said than done. Before applying for any job you want to make sure that you have a killer resume that will actually get you the job (click here for resume tips). As a recent graduate you want to make sure to include any job experience, volunteer experience, and specialized experience you may have since your work experience may be limited. Also, include any specialized clubs you may have been a part of, like the honor society, and any major achievement or skills you have mastered in college.
Secondly, you want to do some market research on the job that you want or the jobs that are prevalent with your degree. For example, if you have a degree in English, and you are not sure what path to take, then search “best jobs when you have an English degree.” Some useful sites are Glass Door, Indeed, and of course Google where you can find anything. You want to know the starting salary for specific jobs and the locations in which the job you are looking for is prevalent. If you want to be a fashion merchandiser, it can be hard to get into that in Tim Buck Too nowhere land. You want to look at jobs in places in which there are careers in fashion, such as New York and a major city. You may have to consider the fact that you might have to move. However, never move without having a job. Many jobs will interview you over the phone and sometimes even pay moving expenses.
Third, search entry-level jobs or recent graduate jobs. It can be hard finding a job after college even when you have a degree, if you do not have any work experience. Lucky for you there are many recent graduate jobs out there. I know Federal Jobs specifically post jobs for recent college graduate USAJOBS is the hub for all federal jobs. These are the jobs you want to focus on because you are more likely to get a entry level or a recent graduate job.
Depending on what you want to do, you may need to further your education. To be a licensed counselor, medical doctor, or a lawyer, you have to go to graduate school to get specialized education in those areas. If that is your plan, you want to:
- Be able to fund it (click here on ways to fund college)
- Be accepted, meaning you have to apply.
And most importantly you have to do your research. When I entered my Master’s program a CACREP accreditation counted for a lot. A CACREP accreditation is an accreditation for a counseling program and it can help you get licensed when you get your masters. A CACREP accredited program made it much easier for me to sit for the National Counseling Exam. Whereas not attending a CACREP accredited school would have meant that I could not sit for that exam, or I may have had to do more work to be able to qualify to take the exam. What I am getting at is that when you chose a graduate school make sure that it is accredited in what you want. Do not go to a non-accredited law school because it may mean that when you graduate you cannot take the bar. You always want to research and plan your graduate school career if that is where you chose to go.
Have you ever heard the expression that it is not what you know but who you know. If you have trouble finding a job after college, start volunteering to places you want to work and a volunteer opportunity can turn into a job. The key to this is that you want to stand out. You want to work hard AND you want to network and talk to people. Get people knowing your name and what a hard worker you are. They may hire you or they may know someone that hire you, if they feel like you have a good work ethic.
More than anything, you want to go to job fairs in your area as well as professional networking events. And always have a resume and/or a card with you. Many times job fairs interview and hire people right on the spot. That is why it is important to dress for an interview (see my blog here) when you go to a job hair. You can also check out my blog on interviewing tips that can help you out to get the job.
If all else fails and you cannot find anything. You can join the military. If you have a degree, depending on what it is in, you may be able to come in as an officer, which means more pay. The military is a great way to get on the job training, medical benefits, and they can pay for you to go back to school is that is what you chose to do.
- Most Important Tips for What To Do After College
- Find a job that you love
- Find a job that you can get promoted and move up.
- Find a job that will teach you the skills that you need to get better at your craft.
- Always stay motivated, hungry, and want to succeed. (Read my blog here on why most people fail)
These are just a few tips, but more than anything your life after college signifies that you are going into adulthood. I know it can be scary but more so it is exciting because this is the time that you start living our your dream and what you want to do (you can click my blog to help you find your purpose). If you continue to try your hardest, put out good work, and follow the skills I have told you; you will succeed in your life after college.