After spending three or four years studying, adjusting to life after university can be tough. Your graduation ceremony signifies the end of an era and the start of something new but you may be left wondering, ‘what next?’ There are one thousand and one things to do after graduation from university and everyone’s journey will be different. And it helps to know that even the most successful celebrities and writers started out working their way from the bottom to the top.
1. Job Hunting is a Necessary but Terrible Evil
If you’ve ever been one of dozens of people vying for the last shirt on the sale rack, you have some inkling of what job hunting after college feels like: an every-man-for-himself fight to the death. And it does not feel good.
Somehow you’re supposed to stand out from the hundreds of other applicants who have your exact same degree and level of experience, and all you can think of to say in your cover letter is “I’m a good problem solver.”
2. You May Not Find the Job You’re Looking For
Not only is job hunting a seemingly hopeless and never-ending endeavor, but despite sending what feels like hundreds of resumes and cover letters, you still likely won’t end up in your dream job.
3. Get your Masters
Over the last decade, the master’s degree has experienced a significant surge in popularity. A large number of undergraduate students are now staying on for postgraduate study. It can be a temptingly safe option if you don’t feel ready to leave uni yet. However, it’s important to only do a master’s if it will benefit your future career.
Is the master’s subject relevant to what you want to pursue as a career?
Will gaining a master’s degree increase your earning potential? (It costs a lot of money to do so it needs to be worth it)
Will you be able to build valuable industry connections as part of your course? A master isn’t the best option for everyone, but if it is going to add value to your CV and impress employers then go for it!
4. Get a Professional Certification
This is the most important thing to do even while in school. If you aren’t fortunate to get a Pro certification while in school, then you shouldn’t miss it as soon as you graduate. The reason is that you already have an idea about the career path you wish to follow, so you build on it with a Pro certification.
5. Get work experience
If your CV is looking scarce or you’re trying to break into a super-competitive industry, you may need to get more experience before securing a permanent role. Industry-specific work experience will definitely help you to stand out from other grads when applying for roles. Remember, every graduate has a degree so it’s all the extra things (including part-time work) you have done that will make the difference. If you’re unsure about how and where you can get work experience, have a chat with your university careers service.
If you don’t know what to do after university, keep these five options in mind and weigh up the pros and cons for you. What you decide to do next will affect your career.
6. Start a Side Business
No matter how ugly the idea is, starting up a side business should be one of those things to do after graduation. The aim shouldn’t be to make a profit as fast as possible but to have a sustainable business that would thrive in the long run.
Whether you are going for an online or offline business, there are several businesses to start that don’t require much capital.
7. Cultivate a savings habit
While you are in school, you have a lot of paydays from families and friends and this source might get cut off after graduation. So, it is better set aside a little bit of what comes through.