Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Next Steps You Should Take After You Graduate

By Native News Online Staff - November 16, 2019 at 12:00AM

Published November 16, 2019

Graduating after years of hard work for your degree is a rewarding experience, and one of the most pivotal moments of your life. But after all that time working in such a high-pressure environment, to suddenly nothing, it can feel a bit confusing, and you might find yourself feeling lost and unsure about what to do next. Don’t be worried about not having a plan, however – there’s always plenty of time to line something up, and with our suggestions, you’re sure to find the path that’s right for you.

Look for a Job

The most traditional route after you graduate is finding a job, and although it might feel like you’ve missed out on the best opportunities, there are countless exciting options to consider. It’s never too late to look around and find the job you’re looking for – companies are always looking for new employees, especially graduates, as they offer fresh knowledge and enthusiasm.

If you have a job-specific degree, such as medicine, it should be easy to find a few options, but if your degree is more general, or you’ve decided you don’t want to work in that particular field, looking around and finding something else isn’t hard to do, and can broaden your horizons. In fact, there are lots of jobs many people haven’t even heard of that you may not have considered that might be right up your street.

If you’re struggling to find a job you really like, get a small part time job, build up some money or experience, and apply again next year – this will allow you to get in before the next run of graduates apply and give you an advantage. You don’t have to dedicate yourself to one job for the rest of your life, so keep that in mind while you are looking for any new experiences you can find – maybe something to develop your leadership skills, or even just something to boost your resumé? Or, look at it another way – is there a job you’ve always wanted to do, or a job you used to dream of as a child? See it as a fun way to experiment and get some experience before you settle down in one particular place.

Keep Studying

Who says that once you graduate, it’s the end of your education? Maybe you loved your time at university, and want to learn more, or perhaps you loved college, but didn’t enjoy the course and want to take another degree to widen your options. Whatever your reason carrying on your education is a great way to deepen your knowledge and understanding, and get some good qualifications behind you.

It’s also a good opportunity to get the qualifications needed for specific lines of work. For example, if you’re going into something like social work, you’re going to want a masters, and so you’ll need to find the cheapest online MSW program to get into that field. It’s the same for many fields, so doing your research and seeing if you need to keep on studying, whether that’s at college or at home, is a smart idea to get a plan in mind.

It also looks great for you and future employers – if your resume is a bit below average, you can use the time outside of studying to boost it and add a little more, whether that’s through a part time job or volunteering. Even if your resume is perfect, showing your dedication and passion to the subject will put you at an advantage from the rest.

Take Some Time Out to Travel

Graduating doesn’t mean you have to throw yourself into the next venture straight away – sometimes, it’s best to take some time out to give yourself a little bit of a break. Think about it – for most people in your position, they’ll have been in education all their life, constantly studying and working for exams. Life isn’t just about passing exams, and taking some time out to appreciate other sides of life isn’t a bad idea. That doesn’t mean doing absolutely nothing – trying new things and exploring what makes you happy and what is important to you is certainly a great idea.

For lots of people, this means traveling – this is certainly not a bad idea, and exploring new cultures can give you a new sense of the world both from an individual and global perspective. Traveling can also develop your personality, giving you more independence (particularly if you travel on your own) and open-mindedness as you meet new people and experience new things along the way.

If you’re worried about how you’ll manage to earn money while traveling, there are plenty of options to help you make it. Traveling to different countries for work is a great way to live in a new place for some time, learn to live on your own, and earn enough money to fund the trip. Working doesn’t have to be extravagant; whether it’s bar work, farm work or hotel work, there are plenty of cheap options, most of which will still leave you the time to explore the place you’re staying in, too. Working abroad also looks great on your resume and is a big yes to employers.

If you have a bit of money saved up, you can opt to volunteer abroad, which gives you a lot of experience, both with a new culture, but also with challenges and difficulties people face in other parts of the world. Companies like Camp Thailand offer you the opportunity to volunteer in a school teaching English, as well as offering you free accommodation and exciting opportunities like coming face to face with elephants, all for a reasonable fee. If you prefer to travel as a visitor, but are tight on money, there are plenty of low budget options – couchsurfing is also a great way to get around the world without paying a ton for accommodation, allowing you to bunk with locals all over the globe. These locals are also happy to show you around, meaning you can explore hidden gems, all for free.

Set Up a Business

The sound of heading into the world of work may not be very pleasant to you, whether that’s now or in a few years. The best way around this is to set up your own business – you may have your own genius idea, or you might need to spend some time brewing it up, but setting up your own business can be extremely rewarding. Not only are you your own boss, meaning you can decide when you work, where you work, and what sort of development you want to happen with your business, but it also means you have something that you can put your name to and say “That was me”. It’s great for seeing an immediate effect and, with the right approach, it can take you really far.

This is a particularly good idea if you’re creative, as you can make something, whether it’s art, clothing, or food, and sell it easily online – there are plenty of websites such as Etsy that allow creators to set up their own shop, and send products to people across the globe. Sites like these make it easy to reach a wider audience, so you don’t need to worry about not being seen or heard.

Focus on You

Taking some time out for yourself doesn’t necessarily mean traveling – there are plenty of options or projects you can take up to tone things down. It can be easy to forget about yourself amongst the chaos that is college, which is why taking some time out to work on yourself and put your mind to what you love is so important. There are plenty of things you could do, but here are a few ideas:

Part-time job: This is something a lot of people will need to do after graduating to keep themselves afloat if they aren’t going straight into work or back into education, but it doesn’t have to be a chore! There are lots of job opportunities that can actually be quite fun – maybe you want to work in your local play center, or earn some money in your favorite clothes shop. Whatever it is, dig around for something that makes you want to work.

Volunteer: Volunteering is not only great for you as something to put on your resume, but more importantly, it’s one of the easiest and best ways to help a charity or cause. It’s a great way to show that you’re dedicated and passionate about what you do to the point where you optionally offer up your time for things you care about, and that you’re willing to show kindness and empathy. It gives you an inside view of some of the country’s issues which affect so many people – volunteering in a soup kitchen allows you to meet homeless people and understand how it happens and why it happens, for example. Or maybe you could volunteer in an animal shelter, working right at the heart of animal cruelty and being able to offer a loving home for those who don’t have one. If you have a particular cause you’re passionate about, you could offer to do talks in schools to spread awareness and educate the next generation. There are plenty of opportunities, and they’re great for helping you not only access further opportunities in the future, but to develop yourself.

Fundraise: Another way to make a difference is to fundraise. If you have a specific charity or cause that is close to your heart, you can plan a fundraiser to raise money to donate. If baking is your thing, you could hold a cake sale, or if you’re more of a fitness junkie, a sponsored run is a great way to raise some cash. If you wanted to go one step further and really dedicate some time to it, you could hold a whole event where you could offer food, karaoke, a raffle – the list is endless, and you could turn fundraising into a huge project that not only helps you develop skills such as planning and leadership, but also makes a big difference to those in need.

Sort the Practical: Graduating is the perfect time to sort out all the “adult” stuff you need to do before you enter the world of work. This means sorting out your finances, claiming any insurance or bills that your parents may still pay for, investing in a car (or learning to drive), or even planning to buy a house, or at least rent an apartment. Getting these kinds of things in order now is helpful for the present and future, and in the future, you’ll be thanking yourself for sorting it earlier rather than later.

Hobbies: During college, it’s easy to let the work and pressure make you phase out things you used to enjoy. Maybe you played the piano, or loved to draw – whatever it is, take it up again! Dive back into your old passions and rediscover your love for them, and allow yourself to not only enjoy yourself, but get better – who knows, you may even be able to make a living out of it! It’s also a great time to start up any new hobbies. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to cook, or envied those who are good at dancing – now is the time to start learning!

Projects: It’s also a good time to start up a project – there could be something you’ve wanted to do for a while now, like fixing the house up or getting healthy. Anything you see as a goal, start planning and preparing to do that project. You have the time to be able to focus on it, so take it step by step and work towards completing a few. It’s incredibly rewarding, and helps you develop life skills.

These are just some of the options for when you graduate – remember, it’s important to do what makes you happy, so don’t push yourself into something you hate. Do what feels good for you, and remember, have fun!

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