So many people graduate from college and still have no idea what they want to do. While it’s undeniably scary, if this is you—you’re not even close to being alone. College doesn’t always clarify what it is we are not only interested in but we are going to excel at, so it can take a bit of work to figure that out. Don’t panic, though, as with a bit of preparation and even more soul searching, you’ll surely get there. If you’re graduating and still feeling unsure, read on for tips on finding the right career for you.
Take a Breath
Okay, this might sound entitled because not everyone has the chance to do this when it comes to finances but if you have some wiggle room, take a beat. If you have the chance to travel, do so. Don’t rush into anything because you have the rest of your life to work. There’s something to be said for figuring out what’s going on in the real world without looking at it through the view of a college student. That being said, give yourself a time limit. Travel for a month. Visit with friends. Go see relatives. Get a job working the ski lift at a resort, but give yourself a period of time when you know this transitional phase is over.
Check Yourself and Your Expectations
Some college students think they are going to graduate and get right into the nitty gritty making six figures. This almost certainly not going to happen, so get set your expectations accordingly. Just because you had a high powered major like Finance or Economics doesn’t mean you’re going to walk onto Wall Street and secure a position. Know that you will likely have to start at the bottom rung of the career ladder, and possibly even at an internship level. Some internships are paid but many who get unpaid internships ultimately bartend or something else during their off hours. It might be a bit humbling but many of these pay off in excellent positions and contacts you’ll hold onto for years.
Network, Network, and Network Some More
It truly is who you know, and we know that sounds depressing. But the wonderful thing about social media is that with one click on LinkedIn, you could “know” the hiring manager for a job you are dying to get. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people through these sites and ask them for advice on how to get into your target company or position. If you’re still very unsure about what you want to do, ask for informational interviews. These can be invaluable in finding out what people actually do, and eventually you might stumble upon something that seems like the perfect fit. Once you’ve nailed this down, hit up networking meetings as regularly as you can.
Seek Out Help From a Career Counselor
If you’ve hit the wall when it comes to ideas on what you want to do and what you’re good at, seek out the help of a career counselor. Sure, you have to pay but it’s well worth it and actually kind of fun, as this person will help you find your true strengths. She will give you evaluations and the like to help you figure out what you want from your education, career, and your life. She will also help you assess your abilities in certain areas so you can home in on just what it is you’re good at, and hopefully that will coincide with something that interests you. You’ll be armed with resources and job search tools that will help you both now and in the future. You’ll also learn how to be irreplaceable once you find a job that you love.
As Nick Evans of Frontier Properties has said, “I didn’t always want to be a homevestor, but it’s the career that has aligned well with my skills and interests. And, thankfully, I love it.”
Unsure of what you want to do after college? First of all, don’t panic. Evaluate, soul search, research, and follow these tips and you’ll find your career path soon enough.