What To Do After Graduation

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Graduating is a fantastic achievement but working out what you want to do next is the next biggest challenge and adjusting to life after university can be tough. There are many different routes you can take as you consider what to do after university – and everyone’s journey will be different, so have a look and see what might suit you:

Get A Graduate Job

Most new graduates come out of university and are looking for a job if this is the route you want to take then the first place to start is your university’s careers service, which can provide support and direction. You also need to put yourself out there to get noticed so work on building contacts with industry professionals which can be done through work experience, attending networking events and through Linkedin. If you are struggling to find the right job straight after graduation fill your time with internships, volunteering, part-time work or some work shadowing as this will look great on your CV and increase your chances of getting the right job you’re looking for.

Start Your Own Business

If you are having trouble finding your dream job, then do you think it’s something you could create for yourself? There are now many companies that support start-ups, hubs where people can meet to discuss ideas and programs to help you on your way and to turn your idea into a reality. If you can manage to get your business idea off the ground, then the benefits include making your own decisions, the control over who you work with and the type of work you do, freedom to work when you like on projects that you choose and the flexibility to fit work commitments in with the rest of your life.

Continue To Study

You could also look at returning to university to study at postgraduate level. However, you’ll need to make sure that you are taking this on for the right reasons. To make it worth the time and the money you do need a real desire to study a particular aspect of your undergraduate course in more depth. Whatever you do, don’t take on a Masters degree to buy yourself some time or to boost general employability. Courses are expensive and unnecessary for specific jobs, so this is why you need to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and the right field. For example, undertaking medical office assistant training will qualify you for entry-level positions such as medical assistants, lab assistants, caregivers and will also mean you’re eligible to sit for the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) and the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) examinations.

Take A Gap Year

Before settling down into a work routine, you could take a gap year. Backpacking makes you a much more exciting job candidate and can make you more employable in the long run. Taking time out to travel demonstrates maturity, good organization and planning skills and self-sufficiency. Working while traveling is also a great way to boost your CV and develop a range of skills and can give you some time to weigh up your options and decide where your professional interests lie.

Millennials: Why Potential is Overrated

potential

Dear Managers,

Before you hire your next college graduate based on potential, stop. The equalizer for a young worker is experience, which tends to be lacking, but ultimately what employers care about for long-term tenure. After completing a four-year program, you need someone to give you a chance because you need experience right? Well, only part of that is true. If you’re a smart worker, you would have been interning, volunteering and/or working a part-time job. Experience, not a diploma, is a far superior measurement for success on the job.

This isn’t saying natural talent doesn’t matter, but far too many times “potential” makes us blind to current deficiencies. Take for instance athletes. Young talent is referred to as “raw,” but since sports is something you take seriously since childhood if you want to go pro, your body of work as an amateur precedes you getting to the next level. If a pro basketball prospect is known for his scoring ability, but struggles on defense that’s a red flag. As a natural scorer, that’s probably where he’ll thrive in yet even with teaching, he’ll be a mediocre defender at best. People can be taught skills, but we can’t can’t escape our strengths and weaknesses. Most superstars are elite at every level of competition. Play to your strengths and be aware of your shortcomings. Each person has a ceiling whether we want to believe it or not.

That’s why good interviews consist of past behavior questions. Employers want to know what you’ve done so they can predict how you’ll do. If you’re hiring for sales job, don’t look for charismatic individuals, look at sales experience. Want to hire the best engineer? See how much your candidate toyed with computers and video games as a kid. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell referred to the 10,000 hours rule where it takes that much practice to master a skill. Sounds crazy, but that’s equivalent to about 10 years of work. Someone straight out of college will probably not have that much experience in the industry, but some experience is much better than no experience.

It goes back to how we view our college experience. Did you wait for counselors and advisors to tell you what to do or did you take initiative to learn things on your own? High school is the last time education will tell you what’s next. In college, you choose your own destination. Potential is overrated because is says “I’m confident I can do this, I’m just waiting for my opportunity.” Experience says, “I can give you a specific example of why I’m a great fit for your company, when do I start?” Hire the experienced over the potential candidate. You’ll be glad you did.