Academic Achievements

Graduating? Here’s What to Do Next

Search for job icon. Internet button on black background.

Are you about to graduate? If so, then congratulations to you! Completing your education is a notable accomplishment and you deserve to celebrate. Of course, there is plenty to do next. In fact, there is so much to do that many recent grads have no idea how to begin. You might look around at some of your former classmates and find that many of them already have major plans or a reputable job lined up; we encourage you not to compare yourself to anyone else; you will find your own way. All it takes is knowing how to proceed. Read on for some of our professional tips on what comes after graduation and how to land your dream job.

1. What Do You Want to Do?

First, if you have no clue what to do next then this may be a sign that you either do not have a specific career goal in mind or have several different goals and are not sure which one to pursue now. You can visit your school’s career services center or visit an online career guide page to help you determine what you want to do. What are your current qualifications? What is your education level now? What do you see yourself doing every day? What kind of work environment will you enjoy? What kinds of responsibilities do you see yourself taking on every week? Knowing where you are going is a good indicator of how to begin, as most careers have a specific starting point.

2. How Do You Get There?

Second, you will need to know what to do with your time. There is an old and possibly long-forgotten adage that searching for a job is a full-time job in itself Wake up early every morning, get dressed, and start following your goals. This will get you into a real working routine and prevent you from reverting into summer vacation mode. Summer vacations are over when you graduate; it is time to face the real world and pursue your place in it. Start by doing the following:

  1. Write down a specific career path that you can realistically follow. For example, say you want to work as a hospital administrator. Find sample job postings and read the qualifications. Let’s say that you are currently qualified to be an administrative assistant to a hospital director. Apply for these positions, then write down how your career could realistically advance from assistant to director. Remember that you can find this information through online resources or by asking a contact in the industry.
  2. Next, you need to a build an attractive resume. We recommend that you work with a resume builder to organize your skills, accomplishments, and experience into a concise and appealing document that will impress employers. A good resume will land you interviews like almost nothing else.
  3. However, networking with contacts is also important. Make a list of contacts–friends, family members, classmates, professors, anyone you have internet with or worked for in the past, etc.–and prioritize communicating with those that can help you follow the career path you designed in step 1. If you have a dearth of usable contacts, think of ways that you can meet people that are currently in your target job field.

3. What Should Your Daily Routine Be?

Once you have accomplished those tasks, you should begin a routine of doing the following every workday:

Young female student looking through job offers on board

  • Search for job postings in various resources
  • Apply, apply, apply
  • Communicate with contacts; tell them about yourself, your goals, and the job you are committed to finding and then ask them for career advice. Asking contacts questions about their field is an approachable but effective method of getting valuable job leads or advice.
  • Be persistent and repeat these steps until you end up in your target job.

Keep in mind that depending on your financial needs and expenses you may need to live outside of your target location to save money. You may also need to accept a job for which you are overqualified so that you can support yourself. However, you can continue searching for your dream job in the locale of your choice during your free time. Be persistent and do not give up. We want to remind you that nearly every career goal can be accomplished through dedication and hard work. Again, be sure that you have the best resume possible and opportunities will open up for you.

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