So, What's Next...? The Winding Road Towards Post Grad Success
Reaching a milestone as amazing as graduating college is unreal! It’s like the ultimate success story—college is literally a whirlwind mess of untouchable highs and unfathomable lows. But you did it! And now you deserve to celebrate. Oh, but wait-before you can even finish your graduation dinner, you’re already being bombarded with “where will you get a job after school,” and “so what are your plans now?” Hello, give me a break! Your head might start hurting, your palms may get sweaty, and your heart just might start pounding loud enough for everyone in the entire restaurant to hear (lucky for you, they don’t). But listen, all you need to do is take a deep breath for a few seconds. Now is the time to confidently take the next steps into creating your desired life. Be proud of your accomplishments and acknowledge what you are capable of doing, girl! This is all part of the process and if you have qualms about the future, just know everything will be alright. I also have a few tips for you to get into the post-graduate swing of things!
To start, make sure you’re taking advantage of any networking and educational opportunities that puts you closer to achieving your goals. The first job you take might not be your dream job or it very well could be. Either way learn what you can from the job experience and apply it to future work endeavors. If you are passionate about your career path that will show in your effort and attitude in the workplace. If it is at all possible do not take a job you know you won’t find enjoyment; I know this is much easier said than done (especially in our current society, with our current economy) but having a career and devoting a high percentage of your life to work shouldn’t be too painful.
We all know a job has its highs and lows but if you can capitalize on successful times and gain a new perspective from the lows you’ll have done yourself a personal disservice. Don’t forget everyone’s life journey is different so don’t compare yourself to others, just focus on your own desires and getting your ultimate goal. Here are a few more tips to help you out:
Value your time
In every situation, time is highly important. Having good time management will save you a lot of unnecessary stress and in turn save your energy for your future—trust me honey, this is from personal experience. If you have free time, always use it to your advantage. Netflix isn’t going anywhere; your life is way more important than that (again, trust me, folks). Use this time to research and study various ways to achieve your goals. How can you get that job you wanted? How can you create that program you wanted? How will you serve the people you’re seeking to help? The key with this tip is that you also have to make a balance. Sometimes you need to watch that show on Netflix and decompress, and others you need to pick up that book and start studying! Balance, as many of you know, is key.
Create financial stability
Saving money will be the best decision you can make at any stage in life. Whether you’re making a large purchase or have an emergency, it is in your best interest to have a savings account...with money in it. This may take some self-discipline by maybe skipping girl’s night out and putting that money you would have otherwise spent that night. It also should be noted that for some people this just isn’t feasible. With bills, life, and any other BS that the universe brings, saving can be damn near impossible! But if you can, try to save as much as you can. It’ll make those rainy days a little less unbearable if you have somewhat of a cushion.
Always end things on a good note
When it is time to move on to another job opportunity, thank your past employer, give notice in a respectful time frame, and a brief explanation as to why you’re leaving. Not only is it unprofessional to leave negatively, you also may want to use your previous job as a reference. Employers gossip, so unless you left for a particularly heinous reason, leave elegantly.
Quality over quantity
Do not take on more than what you can handle and put forth your best effort. It’s way better to deliver quality content that is knowledgeable, relatable and meaningful. Going back to time management, if you allow yourself enough time, your outcome will be well worth it. Not to mention, if you bite off more than you can chew, you could end up choking. Your mental health, above all, is extremely important. Taking on too many projects at once can seriously debilitate you mentally! And, honey, it’s just not worth it!
Take advice from professionals
Find a mentor and prosper! When someone in your industry is telling you new information, truly listen to what they are telling you. You never know when the advice could come in handy. Having a mentor also provides you with access to internships, job openings, and much needed advice. Graduating can sometimes feel like a lonely experience and finding a mentor can make that transition so much easier. Real-world adulting can get tough, but always remember: You are capable. You will succeed. You can do this.
Cover Via Career Contessa