Ideally, college graduates will land their dream jobs immediately after graduation. Although doing so is possible, college students should consider all post-graduation options available to them if their first choice falls through. Now is the time to seize new opportunities and be free for a few more years until you absolutely have to settle down.
Do The Full Time Work Thing
Getting a job following graduation allows you to gain experience, network and save for your future. Consider an entry level position at a company where you would like to work in the future, or find a small business that can help you use and develop your skills. Jobs in retail or other service industries may first seem unrelated, but they offer the chance to hone your customer service skills while making money.
Volunteering is an increasingly popular post-graduation option. Like an internship or fellowship, pro bono work can help you develop skills while gaining valuable experience. Offering to volunteer for an organization you admire or company where you hope to work may be the first step needed to be hired within that organization or in the field in general. You will also have tremendous opportunities to meet interesting people when you volunteer. If you’ve been hanging around the same people for the past four years, it may be time to meet new friends and expand your circle of influence. When volunteering you can create close bonds both with those you are serving and those who are serving with you.
Many companies offer paid and unpaid internships to recent graduates in a related field. Fellowships are another experiential learning opportunity available through schools, hospitals or other organizations. Even an unpaid opportunity to work in your preferred field is a great way to gain the experience many employers desire. Internships and fellowships can even lead to a permanent position.
See the World
Before settling down in a job, you may choose to take the time after graduation to see the world. Traveling can be a learning experience as well, helping you develop a stronger understanding of and appreciation for a variety of cultures. In addition, take this opportunity to brush up on your foreign language skills, which are invaluable in today’s increasingly diverse job market. Travel can often be combined with volunteer or work opportunities.
Don’t Be Afraid to Go Back
College graduates are eligible to attend many master’s or doctoral programs that do not require related work experience. Before investing in more years of education, however, ensure the program you attend will improve your future career prospects. You can also get your master’s degree through a part-time program while working, interning or volunteering. If you’re trying to maintain some freedom in your schedule while earning your masters, you can always try online classes. Some people think online courses are only for generals, but you can get into a program like the ACU Online Higher Education Degree and complete another degree completely through online courses. Some companies provide tuition reimbursement, and many volunteer programs offer student loan forgiveness.