You’re finally done with college, so what’s next? This is the question that goes through the mind of almost every recent college graduate. If you’re pondering this question, it doesn’t mean you lack direction in life. Not everybody has their entire lives planned out, and it’s okay if you’re confused about what to do next after graduation.
Going to college is a very stressful process. It may have been your first time leaving the comfort of your home to live elsewhere without the support of your family, so trying to acclimate to a new environment while studying and planning for your future is no easy feat.
There are many things that you can do after graduating from the university. You may decide to head full force into the workplace by getting a full-time job, desire to rest for a while, travel or do something else entirely. Either way, the list of things you can do after graduating from college is simply endless. However, it is worth considering trying one or more of the below.
What's in this guide?
1. Go home, rest and recharge
Going home right after graduation might be exciting. This may be your first time going home to stay for such a long time in so many years. However, that excitement may quickly dwindle, as you realize that so many things have changed and your home is not as conducive as it was before. You may not have as much freedom as you did in school, and you may find yourself clashing more and more with your parents and siblings.
Regardless, going back home is an important step after college. This gives enough time to rest and recharge especially when you don’t have to worry about rent or feeding. When you look past the constant nagging and lack of privacy, you’ll realize that it might be the last time you’d get to spend so much time with your family. Cherish your time spent at home and use the opportunity to rest, explore your interests, network, update your resume and plan for the next steps.
2. Further education
If your career path requires specialized or higher education, the time immediately after graduation may be the best time to acquire it. At this time, you’re not completely out of tune with the student in you, and it will be much easier to fall back into student life once again. You could pursue a graduate degree or another bachelor’s degree to further your education or join a specialized program that will equip you with the technical proficiency needed for your preferred industry.
Furthering your education may equip you with skills that will give you an edge when applying for entry-level positions.
A good deed could take you places you never expect. You may not make money volunteering, but you could build up skills or build networks that will help further your career. After graduating, you could take time to volunteer in various places and build both soft and hard skills along the way. Helping out others could create empathy and build emotional intelligence in you.
When trying to find opportunities, look for the ones that are relevant to your career so you could also use it as a referral in the future. It is important to keep a positive attitude and build rapport with the people you meet while volunteering as they might become important connections in the future.
Also Read: 10 Benefits of being self-employed
4. Take a gap year
After spending years in college and finally graduating, you may need some time to fully regain your energy. If you don’t feel like doing anything major immediately after graduating, then that’s fine. You could take a gap year and fully relax through travel and exploration. Visiting new places, meeting new people and gathering new experiences could help you more than getting a job ever could.
If you’re looking to discover your passion and interests, taking a gap year will benefit you a lot. Trying new aspects of life and immersing yourself in diverse cultures will help you gain a new perspective in life and build important skills that will help you in your career.
5. Apply for an internship or an apprenticeship
An internship or apprenticeship are pretty similar, they mainly differ in their duration. An apprenticeship is an arrangement where one gains work experience working directly under a superior, while an internship is a professional learning experience organized by companies where one gains practical work in relation to their field of study. Internships typically last a few months while apprenticeships could last years.
An internship or apprenticeship could help you kickstart your career and ease your transition into the workforce. Many entry-level jobs require experience outside education, so an internship or apprenticeship could help you beef up your resume. They could also provide you with work experience and crucial networks.
An internship or apprenticeship may pay very little or not at all, however, they help you to gain valuable experience that will prepare you for a full-time role. They can also help you gain access to competitive industries and companies and can be invaluable in helping attract work opportunities.
6. Go abroad
Another option after graduating is to go abroad especially if you are eager for new experiences. Some countries abroad may give you better opportunities than your home country would.
You may decide to further your studies, start working or explore for a while before committing to anything.
7. Start a new hobby
Your time in school may have prevented you from exploring your interests and hobbies, so immediately after graduating may be the best time to pick up a new hobby and rekindle some of your past interests.
Exploring your passion can help ease your mind and enable the transition into adulthood less stressful.
8. Do some freelance work
If you want to relax for a while before transitioning into the workforce, then that’s okay. However, you need to be able to cater for yourself before deciding on what’s next for you after graduating.
This is where freelance work will be beneficial. It will not only help you hone your skills, but also provide you with some extra cash.
9. Start a business
You can decide to explore your creative passion and become an entrepreneur after graduating from college. Though not advisable, you can skip the hassle of working for others and become your own boss as soon as you graduate.
Working for a while before opening up your own business may be a better alternative as it will give you some experience that will help you become a better entrepreneur.
Also Read: How to write a great business proposal
10. Get a full-time job
You may be eager to break into the workforce and start earning a salary as soon as you graduate. If you have this mindset, make sure to spend a considerable amount of time sprucing up your resume. Take a few hours each day to scroll through job listings and consider various career paths in your field. Be active in looking for a job and make good use of your connections.
You may not find a good job right away or you may end up getting rejected several times. No matter the case, do not let disappointment bring you down. Please keep track of the responses you receive so you can use them to improve.