Exploring Your Options After Graduation

Posted by Gina Saulsbury on April 30, 2013

With graduation quickly approaching, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed as a student looking for the next step in life. Here are a few possibilities when pursuing post-collegiate options.

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One option is to continue your education. Some jobs require additional schooling, so take inventory of your goals. Do they require a higher degree? You can jump straight into applying for additional education, or take a break before heading back to school.

Most students face the real world upon graduation by heading straight into the notorious job search. Do your research on not only the job, but the industry as well. Be fully prepared for rejection, but also enjoy the prospects to interview, as this is a great opportunity for growth.

Still soul-searching for the right job to use your talents? Opt for a “short-term” job shadow. Reach out to established professionals in your industry, and see if you can follow them around for a day. This is a great snapshot of a day in the life with someone established in the business. You can walk away with a greater idea of the reality of the job.

If you want to gain experience but cannot yet make a full commitment, look into internships. These opportunities are sometimes unpaid but offer great experience as well as the chance to work alongside professionals who could potentially provide recommendations or be great mentors for you.

If you are struggling with finding a job or internship, another option is volunteer work. Evaluate your interests and get as close as you can to what you would like to do. Nonprofits are constantly searching for volunteers. Event planning, fundraising, managing projects -- just to name a few -- can all get you closer to your dream job, not to mention it looks great on your résumé.

If all else fails, couch surf around the world. Expand your horizons. Experience new cultures. Whatever you decide, do it with a 100 percent positive attitude and you will go places. You are not limited to these options, but it is a great start.

Do you have any advice for the Class of ’13? How did you get your start after graduation? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet your responses using the hashtag #mcgblog.