Okay this next reader question is perfectly timed for the upcoming launch of my new book, I Just Graduated, Now What?. It’s the question looming over every graduate’s final months of college, and it doesn’t have an easy answer…
I’m about to embark on my last semester of college as an undergrad and I’m freaking out! I still don’t know exactly what I want to do for work, but I want to have some options when I’m finished with school. I’m studying English and love to write, but I haven’t narrowed down my career. Since you’ve recently graduated and have been experiencing this milestone in life, do you have any advice to help me decide?
For starters, if you’re thinking about what you’re going to do post-graduation now (before you walk across the stage) you’re definitely on the right track. That motivation will be very useful when it comes to finding and developing your future career, so great job! But rather than worry about the future or stress over how you’re going to succeed and what you’re going to do, try to apply that energy towards positive thoughts and determination. It’s so useful during a time like this!
The past year I’ve realized that figuring out my career is going to take time, something so major in life doesn’t just happen overnight. But with every new experience, I’ve learned something about myself that helps me narrow down my passions into my future career. You have to personally experience something for yourself to know whether or not you truly like it enough to do it forever. Plus, your career may not even exist yet, just like social media jobs didn’t 10 years ago. That’s why our economy is so interesting and always changing. I absolutely love watching creativity progress like that.
So my advice would be to find internships that spark your interests and see how you enjoy the environment and the work. Even if a position you thought was great actually turns out to be monotonous and unfulfilling, at least you tried it and acquired a new set of skills doing so. Nowadays, the more skills you can use towards a position, the better candidate you become.
Professional experience is a great tool to use when figuring out your dream career, especially for millenials, but everyday life experience is important too. So many people want to keep their work and personal life separate, and I agree with that sentiment, but to a certain degree. You can’t want to spend your life doing something that makes you miserable or unhappy, then expect to go home and have everything perfect there. It doesn’t always work that way, and if it does, it’s very difficult to get there.
Ultimately, when it comes to deciding what your adult career should be, my advice is to be patient. Take mental notes of your experiences and use your emotions and passions to direct you to the next logical step. You may not even know what title you’ll have when you reach it, but you’ll know when you arrive. It’s all about chasing what you love.
Join the conversation: Do you have advice to share about finding your dream career? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
ps. keep an eye out for my first twitter contest I’ll be starting next week! We’ll be talking about jobs and life post-graduation, so stay tuned! #justgraduatedbook