Once you have graduated, you may feel a little out of your depth and experience a range of emotions from exhilaration and excitement to feeling nervous and perhaps overwhelmed. This is completely natural as you embark on the first few months after graduation and discover a whole new you. As you transition into this new chapter of self discovery and professional growth, it can be helpful to do some planning for yourself.
Now all the hard work is done and you have graduated, congratulate yourself! There may have been times when things didn’t go to plan or everything just seemed difficult but you got through it, showing resilience and strength of character, so well done. Take time to reflect on your specific goals, interests, strengths and abilities and start setting some goals or steps for yourself which will keep you motivated and on the right track. The goals need not be difficult - keep them realistic and attainable.Perhaps you wish to gain some experience by doing voluntary work, embark on more learning or find a job that will kickstart a career in something that you are passionate about. Whatever it is you want, by defining your goals, it will keep you travelling in the right direction until you are where you want to be.
Begin to build a structure of mentors, professionals and contacts which as you progress along your career path, you will find invaluable to opening doors and offering guidance and advice. Connect with like minded professionals not only by attending various events but maintain an online network too which will help you stay updated with the latest trends of the industries in which you are involved with or have an interest in.
Optimise all your online platforms and ensure that your information is up to date and includes all your skills, projects and accomplishments with the aim of attracting potential employers.
Ensure you maintain a positive approach to searching for a job by fully researching employers and use recruitment agencies, careers fairs, online jobs searches and job centres. Utilise your already growing network of contacts. Anticipate rejection but do not take it personally and then continue with your mission.
Consider volunteering or offering freelance work while you are searching for a job as these will give you necessary experience, expand your network and enhance and build on your skillset. Any type of work can lead on to your desired job or act as an invaluable stepping stone.
Invest in yourself by continuous learning. There are always so many new skills and knowledge to acquire in the busy and ever changing jobs market so stay on top of your game by attending as many relevant workshops, webinars and online courses as you can.
Develop good financial habits and devise a plan which manages your budget in these early days after graduation, prioritising paying off debts in a realistic way.
Finally, remember, it’s not all work and no play. Look after your mental and physical health and prioritise yourself, while remaining focused on the future that you have worked so hard for. With a positive and proactive approach combined with a dash of perseverance, you will be paving the way for an exciting and prosperous future.