Career Advice

Graduating College? Navigating the Real World

Core Job Search 10 May, 2023

Congratulations, recent college graduate! You finally made it to the end of the marathon which is higher education. After years of hard work, sleepless nights, and countless moments of self-doubt, you now have a shiny new degree under your belt. But now what? The real world can be scary and overwhelming, especially when you're not quite sure where to start. Don't worry, though - you don't have to figure it all out on your own. Here are some tips on how to navigate post-college life like a pro.

Tip #1: Network, network, network

I know, I know - the thought of "networking" can make your skin crawl, especially if you're not naturally outgoing. But trust me, making connections is the key to opening doors in your career. Attend job fairs, industry events, and alumni mixers. Reach out to alumni from your school on LinkedIn and ask for informational interviews. Even if you don't meet your future boss at these events, you may learn valuable insights about the industry you're interested in.

Tip #2: Don't be afraid to take a gap year

After spending the better part of your life in school, the thought of jumping right into a career can be daunting. And that's okay. Taking a gap year to travel, volunteer, or explore a new hobby can give you a chance to recharge and figure out what you really want to do with your life. Plus, it can make you a more well-rounded and interesting candidate when it's time to start your career.

Tip #3: Be open to non-traditional career paths

During college, you were probably bombarded with messages about "landing your dream job" and "making your mark on the world." But the reality is, your career path may not be a straight line from A to B. It's okay to start out in a "boring" or "entry-level" job if it means getting your foot in the door of an industry you're interested in. And who knows - you may discover a passion for something you never considered before.

Tip #4: Prioritize self-care

In college, the focus is often on achieving academic success at all costs, even if it means sacrificing sleep, healthy eating, and socializing with friends. In the real world, though, burnout is all too common, and it can lead to poor job performance and mental health issues. Make sure you're taking care of your physical and emotional well-being by getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and taking time to do things that make you happy outside of work.

Tip #5: Don't compare yourself to others

It's easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you're not measuring up to your peers who landed high-paying jobs or started their own companies right out of college. But the truth is, everyone's path is different, and there's no one "right" way to do post-college life. Focus on your own goals and progress, and don't worry about what others are doing.

Congratulations again, recent college graduate! The real world may seem scary, but with a little bit of preparation and a lot of flexibility, you can navigate it like a pro. Remember to network, take care of yourself, and be open to new opportunities, even if they don't fit your original idea of what your career should look like. Most importantly, don't forget to enjoy the journey - your post-college years are a time for growth, exploration, and yes, even a little bit of fun.