There are only four questions that every college student should ask themselves before graduating and looking to get their first job out of school. Often times, people do not begin planning for their future early enough and ultimately get stuck trying to figure everything out at the last minute. The time to start planning for your college and career is right now, so start by reflecting on your answers to these four questions below.
1. Start by asking yourself, "What do I want do for my career right after graduating college?"
My best advice when it comes to tackling this question is to think about what you really enjoy doing. We usually find that people are best at what they like doing because they get a lot of practice doing that activity. After finding an industry that looks enjoyable to you, write down a few companies in the particular industry you may be interested in to narrow down your search.
2. Next, ponder where you would like to work after college.
The options are pretty much endless so think carefully. You could decide to stay close to your family, move across the country, or even live in another country. It is very important that the answer to your first question falls in line with this one. Make sure to do your research to ensure that your dream job is in a location you would like to live in. Otherwise, you could be stuck living in a place you don't enjoy. Think about it: If you want to work in the fashion industry, it would definitely be more useful to live in New York than it would be to live in Alaska.
3. Think to yourself, "Who do I want to be working for ultimately?"
Perhaps you rather work in a company setting where you can interact with colleagues on a daily basis or maybe you rather be able to stay at home and work from there. Just keep in mind that there are pros and cons to both choices. It may be wise to make a list so you can decide which you prefer. Also, remember that while working for yourself seems very appealing, it can be a lot more difficult to do than one may think.
4. Consider where you see yourself in the long-term as opposed to the short-term.
It is easier to think about the near future than anything else, but try to expand your line of thinking into five years after graduating. Often what your goals are now can change in just a few years so really try to gauge what you want your future to look like and if your plans can get you there. It is essential that you carefully reflect on these specific questions and decide which are the most important to making your life the most fulfilling it can be.
It's okay if you are not entirely sure right now about where you see your life going, but it is important to start considering these four questions in order to best plan your college experience to prepare you for the future life and career you want to have for yourself. Go ahead and give it a try to see where your answers lead you!