In the days leading up to graduation, everything is exciting. After years of hard work and dedication, you are ready to receive your degree and delve into the “real world.” You are confident that with your newfound knowledge, you will be able to conquer the world (or at least land your dream job).
Fast forward to the week following the commencement ceremony – the initial excitement has dissipated, and the dread is setting in. What do you do now? Where do you go next?
These questions probably scare you, but you are not the only one asking them. While some graduates have locked up jobs far before graduation, even more have an uncertain future just like you.
Regardless of your situation, it’s important to make the most of the first few months following graduation. Here are five tips to keep in mind while you figure out life post-grad:
- Do not get discouraged too quickly.
This is perhaps the most important aspect to remember. Many new graduates will write dozens of personalized cover letters, customized resumes, and fill out countless applications, but not receive any responses. Someone will reach out to you – after all, even our professional role models had to start somewhere. Which brings us to our next point…
- Consider internships or help from staffing firms.
Even if the internship is unpaid, it could be well worth your time. You learn valuable information from trained professionals during your time as an intern, and, oftentimes, interns are hired into permanent positions.
- Take advantage of your alumni network.
Do not hesitate to reach out to successful alumni that work in your desired field. You probably don’t want to directly ask them for a job, but you should definitely ask them to share their career stories with you. Find out what steps they took to become the accomplished employee they are today.
You can reach out to VIU alumni on the official VIU Alumni Association Facebook page found here: https://www.facebook.com/ViuAlumniAssociation/
You can also connect with VIU alumni on our personal LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/viualumni
- Recognize what you don’t want to do.
You may expect your first week on the job to be an enlightening experience, but oftentimes this is not the case. While you do not want to write off an entire field of work simply because your first week is not what you expected, you may decide to move on if you are not satisfied after several months. Trust yourself to do what you love.
- Teach yourself new skills.
Many job postings will list “preferred” skills – skills that are not a requirement, but are essentially expected of the new hire. Make yourself stand out in the applicant pool by taking the time to research and teach yourself new talents.