8 Tips About Navigating Post-Grad Life From A Recent Graduate

8 Tips About Navigating Post-Grad Life From A Recent Graduate

Because we live in a world where "entry-level" means 3-5 years of experience.
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So you’re nearing the big day. Graduation is something we all look forward to, but low-key dread as well. If you know exactly what you want to do, and even have a planned path to get there, then this big step is a lot less daunting. But many of you probably aren’t in that safety boat. The biggest problem? Entry-level jobs aren’t really “entry-level” anymore. A bachelor's degree isn't enough to immediately land you a job. Most of the job descriptions ask for 1-5 years of experience. But you just graduated college? How are you supposed to get that experience? Unpaid internships are the best way, but those may not be offered once you graduate, and you may be at the point where you need to start making money.

I’m a recent graduate who, after navigating the no man’s land of post-grad life, finally landed a full-time job that’s actually in my career path. Full disclosure, I was an English major with a minor in Film, so a lot of this is geared towards people who have degrees in similar subjects. This is basically my advice and motivational tips for anyone who studied the humanities, communications, and arts.

1. My biggest piece of advice is to bulk up your resume!

The job search is horrible and endless, and I’m telling you quite frankly, that if you don’t have anything relevant to the types of jobs you’re applying, then you’re screwed. Build your resume while you’re still IN college… because once you’re out, those unpaid internships are going to be a lot harder to do. Join clubs and societies on campus. And no, I don’t mean Greek Life. I’m sure that could help with networking, but make sure you also do stuff that’s relevant to your career goals. Look for internships over the summer and during the school year. I know some people have to work another job, but try and make room for other opportunities, even if they’re not paid. It’s all about relevant experience when it comes to job hunting.

Bonus Tip: Join Odyssey! That’s one of the best incentives I tell creators when they join. It’s something to put on your resume, and you’re building a digital portfolio of written work.

2. Don’t worry about knowing exactly what you want to do.

Having a broad set of interests, which all kind of fall under a similar category, is a good way to go. It gives you more career options and versatility.

3. Don’t take a job that has nothing to do with your career goals.

Some people might advice the opposite, but I completely disagree. The first Adult Job you take should have something to do with your career goals. Those goals may change, but you want to take a position that will help you get where you want to go and gain that “entry-level” experience. Essentially, you need to find someone willing to take a chance on you. If you have a good network and connections, use those resources! Once you get that First Job, other things will fall into place.

4. Take breaks.

Constant defeat and rejection can make you feel worse, which is the exact opposite of what you need. So take small breaks to focus on other things and practice mindfulness.

5. I mentioned this earlier, but I should reiterate… Network with friends and random people on LinkedIn.

It may go nowhere, but it may also be the ticket to your first job.

6. Apply to anything and everything that sounds like something you could do and want to do.

My experience limit is 3-5 years. I don’t necessarily have that many years of experience, but sometimes employers will overlook that and take you on if you impress them.

7. Be brave and apply to jobs in other locations.

Unless you have to stay in a certain place due to a lease or family needs, don’t be boxed in and limited by the location. Branch out and take the risk. Your dream job could be open and out there, but not where you’re specifically looking.

8. Persevere and stick with it.

I was starting to believe I would never find anything, but, miraculously… I did. And you will too.

Cover Image Credit: Elizabeth Jay

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Stop Discourging Future Teachers

One day, you'll be thankful for us.
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“What do you want to be when you grow up?" It seems like this is the question we heard from the time we were able to talk. Our answers started out as whatever movie or action figure was popular that year. I personally was going to be Cinderella and shoot spider webs out of my wrists at the same time. The next phase was spent choosing something that we read about in a book or saw in movies. We were aspiring to be actors, skydivers, and astronauts.

After we realized NASA may not necessarily be interested in every eager 10-year-old, we went through the unknown stage. This chapter of life can last a year or for some, forever. I personally did not have a long “unknown" stage. I knew I was going to be a teacher, more specifically I knew I wanted to do elementary or special education. I come from a family of educators, so it was no surprise that at all the Thanksgiving and Christmas functions I had actually figured it out. The excitement of knowing what to do with the rest of my life quickly grew and then began to dwindle just as fast.

“Why?"

"Well, looks like you'll be broke all your life."

“That's a lot of paperwork."

“If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't choose this."

These are just a few replies I have received. The unfortunate part is that many of those responses were from teachers themselves. I get it, you want to warn and prepare us for the road we are about to go down. I understand the stress it can take because I have been around it. The countless hours of grading, preparing, shopping for the classroom, etc. all takes time. I can understand how it would get tiresome and seem redundant. The feeling a teacher has when the principal schedules yet another faculty meeting to talk an hour on what could've been stated in an email… the frustration they experience when a few students seem uncontrollable… the days they feel inadequate and unseen… the sadness they feel when they realize the student with no supplies comes from a broken home… I think it is safe to say that most teachers are some of the toughest, most compassionate and hardworking people in this world.

Someone has to be brave enough to sacrifice their time with their families to spend time with yours. They have to be willing to provide for the kids that go without and have a passion to spread knowledge to those who will one day be leading this country. This is the reason I encourage others to stop telling us not to go for it.

Stop saying we won't make money because we know. Stop saying we will regret it, because if we are making a difference, then we won't. Stop telling us we are wasting our time, when one day we will be touching hearts.

Tell us to be great, and then wish us good luck. Tell us that our passion to help and guide kids will not go unnoticed. Tell us that we are bold for trying, but do not tell us to change our minds.

Teachers light the path for doctors, police officers, firefighters, politicians, nurses, etc. Teachers are pillars of society. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we seek to change a life or two, so encourage us or sit back and watch us go for it anyways.

Cover Image Credit: Kathryn Huffman

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14 Honest College Things The Class Of 2023 Needs To Know ~Before~ Fall Semester

Sit down, be humble.

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To The Class of 2023,

Before you start your college career, please know:

1. Nobody...and I mean nobody gives a shit about your AP Calculus scores.

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" I got a 5 in Calc AB AND BC, a 5 in AP Literature, awh but I only got a 4 in AP Chem"

2. THE SAME GOES FOR YOUR SAT/ACT SCORES + nobody will know what you're talking about because they changed the test like 10 times since.

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3. College 8 AMs are not the same as your 0 period orchestra class in 12th grade.

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4. You're going to get rejected from a lot of clubs and that does not make you a failure.

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5. If you do get into your clubs, make sure not to overwhelm or overcommit yourself.

visual representation of what it looks like when you join too many clubs

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6. It's OK to realize that you don't want to be pre-med or you want to change majors.

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7. There will ALWAYS ALWAYS be someone who's doing better than you at something but that doesn't mean you're behind.

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8. "I'm a freshman but sophomore standin-" No, you don't have to clarify that, you'll sound like an asshole.

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9. You may get your first ever B-, C+ or even D OR EVEN A W in your life. College is meant to teach you how to cope with failure.

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10. Go beyond your comfort zone. Join a theatre club if you're afraid of public speaking. Join an animal rescue club if you're afraid of animals. College is learning more about yourself.

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11. Scholarships do exist. APPLY APPLY APPLY.

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12. Don't try to brag about all the stuff you did in high school, you'll just sound like a weenie hut jr. scout

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13. Understand and be sensitive to the fact that everybody around you has a different experience and story of getting to university.

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14. You're going to be exposed to people with different opinions and views, don't fight them. Instead, try to explain your perspective and listen to their reasoning as well.

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