Graduation Now What_ Michele D'AmicoCongratulations, you’re a graduate! You worked long hours, studied hard and took out loans to pay your way through school.

Now what?

Today’s graduates face a very different job market than say, 10-15 years ago. The job market isn’t as robust as it was back then. On top of it all, you’re not even sure you have chosen the right field of study or even the right career path.

Many of today’s graduates are looking to be inspired, to find their passion and their purpose. But even if you simply want to get hired so you can make money for many, this is a time of great uncertainty, transition and sometimes some self-doubt.

Transitioning from academia to the work force can be shocking even when you know what you want to do. It’s easy to get used to living in the ‘bubble’ of academia. While most college grads think that college was worth it, according to Drew DeSilver of Pew Research Center, even entry–level positions require 1-3 years experience. This can be daunting when you’re fresh out of school and looking for that first job.

Amanda Augustine, a job-search expert at The Ladders, a job-matching service says, “I think a lot of recent college grads forget that it’s very rare for anyone’s first job to be their dream job.” With that in mind, here are some tips that may help you through this transition.

1. Don’t Limit Yourself:  Explore as many possibilities as you have the time for. Volunteering is a great way to explore possibilities while giving back. Be open to areas that you never gave a second thought to in the past.

2. Keep growing:  There is no better time for self-exploration and growth than when you’re in your 20’s! Don’t stop learning and reading just because you’re no longer receiving a grade. If you really want to find your purpose and your passion, this is a great way to do it. Expand your mind and broaden your horizons.

3. Be Flexible:  You never know where a job, temporary or not, may lead. Be open to what is presented to you. You may be surprised at the many different ways you can use the skills and education you have acquired.

4. Network:  The best way to find out what is out there and who is hiring is to network. This is also a great way to find other areas of interest that you didn’t know you had.

5. Find an Internship:  Even if you didn’t intern during your college years, this may be a place to start once you’ve graduated. It can be an opportunity for growth, exploration and networking while you figure out what you really want to do. Some internships even pay, though don’t expect much.

6. Find a Mentor:  Find someone, through networking or job opportunities who can be that ‘go to’ person for you when you have a question about a specific career. Someone who can lead you through the process of breaking into that career, introduce you to others in the field and ‘teach you the ropes.”

Happy hunting!


Dr. Michele D'Amico Performance Coach

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