College graduation. A day you look forward to from the moment you decide what school you’re attending. It seems so far away during your freshman year. But, before you know it, it’s spring semester of senior year and you’re ordering your cap and gown. Suddenly, it’s graduation day. You cross the stage and have a Bachelor’s degree in your hand. The only question you hear is “so, what are your plans?”
If you’re scrambling for an answer, these are three things to remember during your post-graduation journey .
1. Motivation is fleeting
In the months leading up to graduation, it’s likely that you’ve spent most of your time researching post-graduate jobs. You may have contemplated whether or not grad school is the right thing for you. It’s an exhilarating part of your life. You want to spend all of your time planning for your future.
It’s also the time when doubt begins to creep in. Defeat during the post-college job search is a common emotion – especially when you feel underqualified for positions. I find myself in the mindset of applying for jobs and worrying about the response later. Believe in your work ethic. Use your motivation to get a few job applications out of the way; little by little those submissions will pile up.
2. LinkedIn is your new best friend
I never thought I would be the person checking LinkedIn as obsessively as I check Instagram. However, companies constantly post jobs here so the app is a necessity. LinkedIn makes the application process easier for recruiters to find you. It recommends jobs that match your experience and has a great tool that notifies you of openings specific industries. Networking, an essential aspect of the job search process, can be easily accessed by connecting with colleagues and potential employers.
Find the login to the profile you were forced to make for an assignment freshman year and start leveraging your network!
3. Comparison is the thief of joy
Not everyone gets that first post-graduate job in their desired postition at the same time. You will have friends that are offered a full-time job in their dream company the first time they apply. Some of your friends will be offered a position right after a six month internship they did sophomore year. And, you’ll have friends that have absolutely no idea what they’re going to do beyond graduation day. It’s difficult to not compare your worth when you’re met with job rejections, but everyone’s timeline is different. So, you may not have a job right after graduation. But, those months of applying may bring a better opportunity and clarity when you finally get that interview or offer. It is important to never give up and continue applying because the right job for you is out there.
I’m writing this article almost five months after graduation. I still don’t have a ‘real’ job (I’ve been working at a clothing store since last summer). Truthfully, it’s been a lot of ups and downs. When I’m not immersed in work, it scares me to realize I’m not working in my desired field. However, I remind myself that I am so young – there’s time to figure it out. But, I also have to take risks while I can.
Move to that city and make your dreams come true. Take that six month placement and see where life takes you.