If you’re a fresh college grad looking to accelerate your career, and you don’t know where to start… start here. We’re going to answer the question, “What should you do after college graduation?” I have 5 tips to help you out.
If you’re like more grads, you don’t know what to do with your major and now you’re trying to figure out if you become practical or follow your dreams. Let me start by saying, you can’t get it wrong and you’re never done. You’re never done growing your career, you’re never done learning, and you're never done growing.
Tip One: Assess the Data
Tip one is to assess the data that you have-whether it’s unwanted or wanted. Your past four to five years of education have really been a process for you to collect data. What do you like? How about what you don’t like? What makes you excited? What would you prefer to avoid?
Now that you’re done with that data collection, it’s time for you to sift through the data to find what you like. Make a list of the aspects or projects that excite you most. Take note of the subjects that really pique your interest.
If you don’t have anything exciting that comes to mind, start with what you don’t like. What do you NOT want to do? Then, work opposite of that. For example, if you don’t like artistic creativity, you may be a fit for a market analysis role (or something that deals with numbers).
Tip Two: Know Who You Are
Tip number two for What to Do After College Graduation is to know who you are. The definition of who you are will be constantly evolving as you grow and mature. Who I was in my early 20s is not who I am now.
The same will be the same for you. What makes you “you”? What aspects of your personality work to make you successful? And most importantly… What are your strengths that you can pull on?
A quick way to figure out your strengths is to ask the people around you what they believe you do well. Another way to figure out your strengths is to do a self-assessment and answer the question, “What do I get excited when I think about it?” The third way you can figure out some of your strengths is by doing some sort of strength finders assessments like CliftonStrengths.
What I’m saying so in tip number two is what are you an expert at. If you don’t know that yet, then just jump into a job, and you’ll figure it out quickly.
Tip Three: Take Small Steps
Tip number three of What to Do After College Graduation is taking small steps toward your excitement. Your early 20s is a critical point in your career, and it’s smart to be strategic about the steps you take.
Some businesspeople like Gary Vee are telling young people to be risky in your early career because the stakes are low. And while that is certainly an approach, oftentimes it leads to career regret and lack of confidence.
My recommendation is to think of your career as 10 mini careers that you’re living throughout the duration of your life. You don’t know what you want to do for the rest of your life because that’s not how life works. Instead, think about your next small step. What will make my work and career purposeful today?
Take a lot of those small steps to gain momentum in the direction that you want. As you approach your small steps, continue collecting data, and assess if it’s really what you want to continue doing. If you realize early that you don’t like the direction, pivot your direction.
Tip Four: Network
Once you start figuring out the direction that you want you to start exploring, begin networking. Start networking with people that have the same interests. For example, I worked for someone for a large portion of my early career until I launched my own business. When I found out that it was exciting for me to be able to work on my own, I started networking with other entrepreneurs who had the same mindset. And in very little time, I had connections and new clients because of the new connections I’ve made. of
Once you start figuring out and moving toward what you do want, you can start making elbow room for yourself and figuring out who the big players are.
A word to the wise: don’t be thirsty. Try and make genuine connections with those who inspire you.
Tip Five: Make Change
Tip five of What to Do After College Graduation is to make a change. Ultimately all of the thinking in the world will not help you if you aren’t acting or moving toward. I’m not saying that you need to “do” just to stay busy because a lot of people will tell you to act first and think later… what I’m telling you to do is think first about what you want and then actually do it if you think that you would love.
Change your current routine make yourself uncomfortable. Make a change and continue making a change until you get the momentum to the point where you are where you want to be.
This is a critical time in your development and aa critical time in your career. The first five years of your career are the most critical in terms of your salary, titles, and mobility.
Start making those changes toward the things that you want and don’t be afraid if you don’t think that it’s going to work. If you’re getting excited about it, I promise you it will work out.
Move toward the things that you are excited about and make sure that you continue to develop yourself as an expert in that space.