Although you might have looked forward to your graduation from high school or university throughout your tenure at the school or college of your choice, it can be incredibly daunting when the time comes, especially if you have no clue as to what to do after yourreceive your diploma, especially if you haven’t got a clue what you want to do with your future. If you are struggling to make a post-graduation plan, here is a guide that can help you kickstart the next stage of your life and help you keep progressing and learn more about the world.
1. Take A Master’s Degree
Many people are not ready to leave academia at the end of their time at a university or college, especially if they have a passion for learning and the structure and routines of this lifestyle. If this is the case, you should consider returning to school to take a master’s degree. Living on campus is not always the best option for mature learners, though. If you want to move away from the college lifestyle, and yet continue to learn, you should consider taking a remote course. For instance, at St Bonaventure University, they offer a range of digital courses, such as a Masters in School Counseling. This Masters in School Counseling can allow you to continue to learn while also giving you your first taste of independence away from campus and the ability to start to build up experience outside of your institution while you are studying.
A Masters in School Counseling, and other similar degrees, can help you to specialize in a certain area of your industry, prepare you for the workplace and leadership roles, and can allow you to build on the basic knowledge that you learned at the level of your bachelor’s degree. Not only this, but a Masters in School Counseling may be required for certain job roles that you are looking at applying for, with the high number of people obtaining Bachelor’s degrees making Master’s degrees more important for those that want to stand out from the competition.
2. Look for a Job
Although you might want to enjoy your first months of freedom after graduation, taking the first step on your career ladder as soon as possible is vital if you are going to succeed. Many graduate positions are only open to applicants for a few years after they leave college or university, or only candidates under 25 may be eligible. Then, applying for these as soon as possible will allow you to deal with any rejections and give you more opportunities to obtain them. Not only this but looking for a job once you leave university or high school is paramount as it will prevent you from having a career gap on your resume that you will need a polished excuse to cover. Additionally, many graduates find that it is easier to get the job of their dreams once they have already obtained a position, no matter what this role is. Then, it is important not to be too picky with your job search in the first few months, and instead, find a suitable position that will allow you to start paying back your student debt and to get back onto your feet after what can be the daunting milestone of leaving university.
To find a job as a recent graduate, you should sign up to job search websites that can help you to scroll through and filter available positions within your industry by keyword. You may also be able to find graduate positions on these websites. It would help if you also considered signing up for websites that are specifically catered toward graduates or your industry. If you are struggling to find a job through these methods or by yourself, you should hire a graduate recruitment agency, whose experts can help match you with a job that will set you up with a career for life.
3. Find Work Experience Placements
One of the major problems that graduates face when they leave high school, or university is not knowing what they want to do. Even when you have a degree in a certain subject, it can be difficult to know what career path you want to follow for the rest of your life. Before you make any major decisions, such as taking a specialist Masters in School Counseling, you should consider going on a work experience placement. Work experience placements can be incredibly advantageous to those who feel a little bit lost after graduation as they can give you insight into an industry of your choice. Going on a fortnight or month-long work experience placement will allow you to see a day-in-the-life of your dream career, and this can help you to decide whether this position is one that you might want to work toward. Not only this, but work experience placements can also help you to hone your skills, can allow you to make connections that could lead to a job offer in the future, and can look great on your resume, giving you the experience that employers are looking for, even if you have not previously had a job in the sector that you want a career within.
5. Make a Plan
If your thoughts are over the place since leaving high school or college, this is the perfect time to make a plan. Making a career plancan help you focus on where you want to be in five or ten years and the steps you need to take to achieve this. Making a plan can help you create a specific vision of the future that can allow you to continue to look forward and give you hope when you face a career setback. Not only this, but detailing exactly how you will achieve this, such as by taking a Masters in School Counseling, can give you confidence, and make your dreams seem more manageable. Then, you should break your plan down into the short and the long-term, list any support that you might be able to call upon, and ensure that you have a plan B if anything goes wrong or change your mind about what you want. This plan should not be strict, though, and you should be ready for it to change or for you to meet barriers along the way.
4. Look at Grad Schemes and Internships
One option that you will never get the chance to do again, though, is a graduate scheme or an internship. These are excellent options for those that want to work for a certain company or have an incredibly clear vision of the career path that they want to follow. These schemes have been specifically tailored toward people at your stage of their careers and can help you to set yourself up for life, whether in that company or another. You can apply for most of these schemes in your last year of college or high school, and they will allow you to combine professional training with on-the-job experience, allowing you to tick off two of the most important job requirements at once. If you are struggling to find a suitable scheme, you should browse the careers section of company websites, or even follow their social media account, where junior roles and internships are usually advertised.
5. Look at Self-Employment
Employment is not the only avenue that you can go down when you have completed your degree, though. Now, more and more people are starting to see the advantages of being self-employed, and this can be a great option for young people who are struggling to find a position that is right for them. Self-employment can be a great way to bolster your career from the word ‘go’ as it allows you to follow your own path and focus and hone the skills that you need, all while having a career that you can enjoy, doing what you want to do. For instance, after taking a Master’s in School Counseling, you might decide to work for yourself as a counselor before applying to work for a certain school to get experience. Some of the most common self-employed roles include digital marketers and content writers, translators and designers, artists and photographers, and virtual assistants. You could also consider going freelance, where you will be working for different employers on short-term projects. To find roles like these, you should sign up to a website such as Freelancer, where companies can look for potential candidates for their projects while freelancers can make offers for the jobs that they are interested in.
6. Focus on Side Projects
When you are at college or in high school, though, you may find that you have not had the amount of time you need to focus on the important projects, many of which could contribute to your career in a positive manner. For instance, you might have wanted to learn a new skill or language or to have worked on your own creative idea. Instead of leaping straight into the world of work, if this is the case, directly after graduation is the best time for you to do this, when you are likely to have fewer commitments than later in your career. This can help you have a foundation on which to build a portfolio and showcase to employers what you can do. If you cannot financially support yourself while you do this, you should consider asking friends and family for help, or looking for a part-time job.
7. Start-Up a Business
There are many student entrepreneurs out there, and if you missed the opportunity that high school or college presented, it is not too late. Instead, it would help if you considered starting up a business as a graduate or even while studying for a Masters in School Counseling. Although you might think that you need years of experience to start up a business, this is not the case even with a degree. Instead, there are many simple business ideas that you can set up at home. For instance, you should consider selling handmade goods, selling white-label goods, or becoming a third-party seller for larger brands. By starting up a business now, you will potentially be kickstarting your career with a profitable venture that could bring you success until your retirement- and that could even be passed down for generations to come.
8. Speak to a Careers Advisor
As a recent graduate, this is the best time in your life to speak to a career’s advisor. Most schools and universities offer careers services to their students and alumni for a short time after their tenure at the institution ends, and so you must take advantage of this free service while you still have access to it. Most college and high school careers advisors will have an ample host of connections with employers across the country and even on a global scale, and this means that you can find out about and connect with many of the best companies within your industry through this service. Not only this, but careers services will be able to provide you with feedback and recommendations from past students, as well as a directory of graduate courses, such as a Masters in School Counseling, and work experience placements that may be of use to you. Careers advisors will also often offer you services such as resume enhancement, practice interviews, and careers plan creation, which can help you hone your idea of what you want to do in the professional world while helping you get there.
Whether you decide to go traveling or to take a Masters in School Counseling, there is a wide assortment of different options that you can choose to follow post-graduation that may make the prospect of leaving school or college seem a little less overwhelming. From returning to education to take a break altogether, picking the right option can help set you up with a long and fulfilling future.