I graduated, now what?

*Cues graduation procession music*, your degree is in your hand; you cross your tassel over your head signifying you’ve “made” it. You finish out the day with tons of hugs and congratulatory praises from your parents and family about your new major accomplish. You wake up the next morning, then what? You’re always told that getting a degree is the doorway to a great career. Well today, it isn’t quite that simple. Getting your foot into the real world isn’t as smooth as it used to be, but there is still hope.
minetteI knew from middle school that I wanted to continue my education to make me more competitive in the job market. Some of my friends, that wasn’t their plan. You may be wondering, “Well, what am I supposed to do to find a career?” Although it isn’t simple, it can definitely be done! Here are some tips that can help you map out the blueprint to your next step:
  • Have a plan! Some people are lucky enough to go out on a whim and they strike gold, but I’d prefer to do it a little different. Every so often I do what’s called a “30-60-90 plan. This plan basically allows you to set your goals for 30, 60, and 90 days. Fool proof right? Should be, but the hardest part of putting together a goal plan is follow through. Be assertive and check those goals to make sure you’re adhering to them.
  • Network. Get your hiney out there and market yourself. Don’t be paralyzed by fear because after all you don’t have much to lose. Take advantage of those free business card deals and get yourself setup. Join professional organizations and job search engine sites to market yourself. If you haven’t done it already, setting up a Linkedinaccount is crucial at this point.
  • Grab your intern jacket. If your parents will allow you to, stay home for a bit and shop yourself to different companies for internships. This part may not be the most glamorous, but the name of today’s game is EXPERIENCE. Any and every employer will tell you they need someone with that awesome 10-letter word. Let companies know you are willing to shadow someone for free. If you dig long enough you’ll find a companies that actually pay their intern *cues the angel music*. Stack up your resume with a diverse set of experience.
  • Diversify yourself. This goes hand in hand with the intern jacket tip. Don’t limit yourself to possibilities. Sure if you have a degree in business, you wouldn’t want to go wrestle crocodiles, but map out the different aspects of your field and try to get experience in each sector. Try to do both the glamorous stuff and the not so glamorous stuff. This not only builds character, but it shows that you are well rounded and you can me permeable in different situations.
  • Remain positive. Be proud of where you are and what you’ve done and keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day so you may have to roll up your sleeves and get to work. When it feels like it’s getting tough, push a little harder.
Now I have one little exercise, I want you to do (I’m so serious ). Reach both of your hands in the air as far as you can. Hold it. Hold it. Don’t put them down. Now reach a little further. That second reach, that’s called determination. You thought you reached as far as you could, but you managed to reach further. Keep that in mind as you go out into the world to leave your mark.

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