Whether you were incredibly diligent about your studies or just barely got by, you finally have your degree, and school is over. You should be proud of your recent accomplishments as well as hopeful about the future, but most grads are worried about their prospects in the real world. Let’s discuss what worries the recent graduate and how to keep a calm mind and get employed.
Some degrees are meant specifically for a single job. For example, a degree in mental health counseling means you’ll become a mental health counselor. An actuary degree means you’ll become an actuary. What about most liberal arts degrees? Your knowledge is not in question, but some degrees do not translate to the job market.
If this is the case, then just relax and understand that your skills are valued. You just need to figure out which positions work best for your skills. Be patient and willing to take a position that might not be your ideal but could lead to something better – this could be learning new skills, bolstering soft skills, or just gathering related experience.
You have lots of education, but you don’t have lots of experience. Many grads freak out, thinking that they’ll come off as a fraud seeking a job they’ve never done before. Hiring managers don’t expect you to be an expert. They expect you to be qualified enough and to learn the essential skills as you progress through the company. Focus more on showing what you know, similar jobs you’ve taken in the past, internships, and even extracurricular clubs you belonged to.
You applied to several jobs and heard nothing. Many grads get worried that this pattern will continue, and they just stop applying entirely. There are two things to remember here. First of all, you might have to apply to a dozen or more jobs before you hear anything. This is especially true in a competitive field.
The second thing is to be persistent. It can realistically take weeks or months before you hear anything. There are many people out there seeking jobs. You have to keep going to get noticed. Make sure your resume is doing the heavy lifting – there are professional services available if you feel you are not getting through to the hiring manager and industry peers can be particularly helpful since they have already been through the process.
You went through years of schooling to get your degree, and now the prospect of an interview is shaking your confidence. Very few people actually like interviews, and quite a large number of grads are scared of them. It’s easy to see why. You’re being asked vague questions by someone who is judging your every word and action. That same someone is holding power to change your future – it can be very intimidating until you remember they are also only human.
While interviews aren’t fun, you have to relax because they are part of the process. This is more about the company figuring out if you’re a good fit for them. If done right, then you can do the same thing and see if they are a good fit for your own needs. Don’t try to form yourself into what you think the interviewer is looking for or craft your answers so much that they no longer reflect your true ideas.
Always be authentic and truthful because interviewers are used to every candidate’s ‘selling’ themselves in the same way, so if they feel you are answering honestly, you will make a good impression. This could work in your favor right away, or you could be making an industry contact, which proves to be an asset further down the road when you are looking to move your career forward.
No Career Path
You’re worried because you don’t have a career path in mind. You liked a certain subject, field, or industry and earned a diploma, but now you have no idea how to turn that into your life’s work. The truth is that most grads don’t have everything figured out immediately after graduation.
It’s also very common for recent grads to take a job unrelated to their degree to make money while they are still deciding on a career path. During this time, you can research different careers and the paths they require. Continue learning and striving to understand your chosen field by volunteering or earning certifications that will help you fill in any blanks and ease the transition into a new career.
Self Care for the Win
There are lots of reasons to feel a bit stuck after school, but there are just as many ways to create balance and peace of mind. You could start by carving out time for physical activity.
Choose something you like doing so you know you will actually keep it up or reach out to your college pals, who are probably also feeling a little unsure, and start an exercise club. Drink lots of water and soothe sore, overworked muscles with a post-workout routine that includes a CBD infused rub for maximum benefit. Click to learn about the award-winning CBD topicals from cbdMD.
Don’t forget to take care of your brain. You have been working it non stop for a while. Try meditation and breathing exercises to relax the body and free your mind. This will also help you maintain clarity, so you don’t lose focus completely. Concentrate on what you really want to do and visualize yourself in that position. Try journaling to externalize your thoughts and give yourself a roadmap to refer back to when you are feeling anxious or lost.
Grads often put an undue amount of pressure on themselves to start their career or get a good job within a short time after graduation. Some, on the other hand, will do the opposite and simply not try hard enough after graduating and allow too much unproductive time to go by without making any career moves.
Fear of failure, exhaustion, stress, or experiencing burn out after graduation can halt your progress and make it harder to get back on track later in life. By taking care of yourself physically and mentally, you give yourself the personal ammunition you need to battle a new career. With a concerted effort, you can give yourself the tools to choose the right career from there you construct a career path, and now all you have to do is follow it to success!