After Graduation: What the Heck Comes Next?

After Graduation Now What?

Hurray! The first episode of Offbeat Grad is LIVE. This has been a JOURNEY in learning audio equipment, figuring out this website, and way more behind the scene. It’s not pretty. It’s not cute. But we’re here at the first episode about life after graduation.

What the heck are you supposed to do with that expensive piece of paper?

When I graduated, I was the definition of a mess. I literally lost my mind. I moved cities the DAY after graduation, I started a new job (which I immediately quit!), and I was existing in a state of extreme crisis.

I graduated over a year ago, and I still remember that panic feeling of the first few months after graduating. That’s why I invited my friend Isabelle Rodriguez to share her experience since she just graduated a few weeks ago. She’s not as big of a mess as I was, but she still speaks to the stress of not knowing what to do after graduation.

You’ve graduated, now what? Let’s talk about actual steps to take after graduation to get control of your life and stop having a panic attack!

Start Applying to Jobs

I know, I know. This is obvious. Everyone in your life has been harassing you to get a job for the past 4 years of college. You get that the next step after graduation is to either get a job or go to grad school. Have you been applying for jobs for months and you’re not getting any interviews? You’re not alone. Here are things you can do to boost your job applying power:

  • Update your resume. Are you still using an old resume? Now that you’ve graduated, it’s time to update that piece of paper! Keep your resume short and sweet! Think of it like a highlights reel! This is the best of you, so make it count!
  • Widen your search. Being picky doesn’t work when you have limited experience. Now is the time to explore! Look for jobs in new cities and in entry fields that might be exactly what you’re “dream job” is!
  • Take an internship. Internships help! Even if you did an internship in college, there’s no shame in doing one again! A lot of internships are specifically designed for recent grads which is a great way to get your foot in the door.

Build Your Experience

One of the biggest issues with recent grads is not having enough experience. How can you build your experience when you can’t get a job? It seems like a cruel, cruel cycle, but you can actually work it to your advantage. No matter what you’re planning on doing as a career, you can start building your experience RIGHT NOW on your own!

  • Freelance. If you have skills already, you can start freelancing and making an income today online. You can freelance with basically anything, but some great areas to start include freelance writing (download my full guide to freelance writing here!), marketing, social media management, graphic design, and way more!
  • Virtual Assistant. Not interested in freelancing? A similar way to build your resume and office experience without leaving your house is as a virtual assistant. Basically, you can act as a paid assistant for other professionals!
  • Build your own business. Starting your own business is a big commitment, but one that pays (literally)! Do you have an audience and a sellable solution? Maybe you’re a local makeup artist or a rising chef? There’s an audience for you online you can make work for you!

Take a Much-Needed Break

You’ve been working nonstop for 4 years. You’re allowed to have a break. On this episode of the podcast, Isabelle talks about taking a few weeks to travel. That’s obviously amazing, but you don’t have to fly to Europe to take time off. Take a few weeks (or months) to explore a hobby, build your business, or see the world!

When I graduated college and immediately jumped into a soul-sucking retail job, I realized I made a mistake pretty quickly. I was already so burnt out from finals, moving, and finishing school. To think that I could jump right into 40+ hour work weeks like nothing had changed was not a positive mindset. I felt like a failure when my first post-grad job didn’t work out. It made me only apply to jobs more furiously. I did interview after interview, always backing out of the position at the last minute.

After 2 months of frenzied applying, I realized I was doing this whole thing wrong. The entire time I knew what I really wanted to focus on was my blog and my own writing business. I just felt so pressured to get a “real job” that it was impossible to slow down.

Now, I’m here to give you permission to take that break. Take time off. Read some books. Eat some pizza. The workforce isn’t going anywhere, trust me.

Thanks for tuning in to the first episode of Offbeat Grad! Are you interested in being featured as a guest on a later episode? Contact me today and we’ll chat!

Don’t forget to follow my first guest Isabelle on Twitter! You can catch both me and Isabelle blogging at Capulet Mag, a literary magazine for young women.

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