A year after my college graduation
The words of advice I needed before running first into the real world.
It’s been a year since my college graduation. This transition has been great for me, but also full of insecurities and thoughts.
You feel an incredible pressure off your shoulders when you pass your finals, but you’ll immediately get cranky about what you’re going to do with your life and where you’ll work.
I waited 2 months before landing a job, and it was an internship that lasted for 3 months.
The fact that I was an intern was great because I was able to try new things and discover what I’m good at and what I love. But it was also stressful to keep looking for a job.
If I take a look back at my last year, I would have liked to have tips or insights based on what type of career I had in mind.
This article is based on the thoughts I had this year. I hope I can help young graduates keep their heads on straight on their professional journey, at least for their first year after graduation.
We normally hear that students land a job as soon as they finished school. In my case and in many other, it’s not the case.
Some people have to wait a few months before even getting an interview.
When you take the time to perfect your résumé and your cover letter, you might have to wait a long time before getting an interview or even an answer (if you get one).
Be patient. Human resources usually have a lot to deal with and you might not be their #1 priority.
Take time for yourself; start reading, take a gym membership, try new recipes. Anything to take your mind off, and feel less like you’re losing time answering to jobs offers that ask for 3 years of experience when you’re a recent graduate.
Don’t look for the ideal job
Let me be clear, you might find an incredible job when graduating, but the chances of it happening are low.
Don’t be afraid to try different things. Yeah, you did major in finance, but you might have skills in sales. Don’t be afraid to try some jobs. Those can help you know what type of skills you’re good at, and which ones need some work.
Don’t look for the ideal job, but look for great experiences. Try to discover what you’re good at, and learn from it as you go.
Your ideal job might change often when you take the time to learn what kind of skills you like and what defines you as a young professional.
Develop great habits that will last long
We love to set goals or dream about a specific financial situation. But goals only are reachable by working.
What do you need to do today that will one day make you reach your goal? That’s why you need to reverse-engineer your way to your goals.
In this process, you’ll find that milestones are reachable by changing your behavior, and that’s why you might need to develop new habits.
Those habits can be as simple as: I want to learn at least one thing every day.
In my case, I wanted to develop my skill in content marketing, so my habit was to write something every day. As little as 50 words, consistency is key.
Garry Keller said that habits usually develop after 66 days of consistency.
Time to get to work, champ.
Keep your student mind
What did you do the most during your college years? (Apart from drinking of course)
In my case, it was studying AKA learning.
You don’t remember the majority of what you study because you were forced to study it, but now that you aren’t a student anymore, you need to keep this feeling of learning.
Businesses want to see that you’re able to learn a lot and fast. Also, if you learn a lot of technical skills in your domain, you’re able to know what you love and get experience on it.
Ask yourself what you like and what you want to do in your life. A career path isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Once you set a goal destination, you’ll probably drive around it, but you’ll still be going forward to your goal. It doesn’t matter if it’s changing. The good thing is that you can always have a different end goal; your path won’t change as much as you think.
A great character trait young graduates should have is being curious. You want to know more, you ask questions on why your boss is acting this way, etc.
What makes a junior employee different from a senior one? The passion and the drive they have in their eyes.
A senior employee might still like his job, but he won’t always want to do a specific task.
When you’re young, you want to do everything and try everything. Bosses love that aspect of you because you’re eager to learn and to prove yourself.
What do I do now you might ask? You just finished school or you’re going to get your diploma in May.
Well, this article might help you get through the stress of your following year.
I did have a few insecurities in the last year, and I really hope you’ll be able to live without those.
My goal is not to sugar-coat your situation, but to give you a little pat on the back and say that you’re able to reach your dream and have a great career.
Just keep in mind that the next year is a transitional step.
From college to your professional life.
Because school doesn’t really prepare us to do a specific task.
It prepares us to develop a state of mind where any task can be possible.