If you’re a senior in college, and you don’t know what you want to do just yet: it’s okay. I was in your shoes only five months ago, stunned at the blank space that was to become my future.
The only thing anyone will ever tell you is that it’s okay to not know what you’re gonna do. It’s true! I brushed so many people off when they said that to me, but they were right. Guess what? Life is going to happen, and you will find a way. You might struggle for a while to find a job in a career you’re passionate about, or something might fall in your lap, who knows.
My plans after graduation went from zero plans, to year-long plans within two weeks. That’s all it took to change my calendar. You have to be ready to go with it, and accept change.
If you’re a senior in college, I recommend finding something you love and sticking with it. It doesn’t have to be in your major or minor or one of your clubs. It could be going to the gym, or making a point to visit a museum every month, or it could be writing for a website (hell, make a blog). When I was searching for a job after I graduated the thing that kept me going was a routine and deadlines. They helped me transition out of university life and into the ‘real-world.’
I write for TVOvermind because it involves two things I love: writing, and television. I’m a horrible writer if I don’t have a deadline, so this unpaid gig was perfect to keep me writing while doing something I’m already doing: watching television. (Yes, turn your laziness into something productive, it keeps your brain active).
Make connections at school. Maybe you’ve only spoken to professors in class, but it is not too late! Networking felt impossible as an English major (business casual, what?!) but no one reminds you that networking is just forming professional friendships. It is never too late to reach out for help and guidance in life.
Don’t be afraid to take a job outside of your comfort zone. You cannot always be picky, sometimes you have to fold. When you end up in a position you never thought you’d be in, just remember to look at what valuable things that job is bringing to your life. Interpersonal skills, a stronger work ethic, a drive for achieving more. It’s even better to get an understanding for people who are not college students and recent graduates. Perspective is everything, guys.
I was a terrible job hunter while I was in school. I put everything off until classes were officially done, because CLASSES. One thing that really helped me during my post-grad job hunt was paying attention to WHY I didn’t think I was qualified for different positions. If i felt that I didn’t have a skill or something on my resume that really stood out in that area, I made a note and a plan on how to gain that skill/experience. It’s helped me a lot to hone in on where I need to improve to achieve my goals.
Persistence is not everything, but it is something. Patience is everything, though. I came from Saint Joseph’s University where I always knew that my voice would be heard if I had something to say…the real world is much bigger, if you hadn’t noticed. Pick you battles and be ready to wait; post-grad life is different, but it doesn’t have to be scary.
(note: I am still only 22 years old, and I do not have my life figured out at all, I just have a path I’m content with at the moment. Anything that can change, will change, and I’ll be ready for it).