Graduation from your post-secondary program is fast approaching. You can already anticipate the sense of pride you'll feel to see this chapter conclude...
...and yet you can't quite shake the unease you have about leaving the familiar behind in order to take those next steps.
These are natural feelings to have as you approach the (potential) end of your schooling.
However, with a plan in place, you can make proactive and strategic decisions that will lead to smoother transitions. 👇
Consider Your Options
Take some time to research the options available to you following your post-secondary graduation. The most common "next steps" for graduates are :
💼 Get (more) work experience
🎓 Pursue further study
👩🏫 Apply for a graduate job or internship
⏰ Take some time off
Get (more) work experience if:
You're looking to make yourself more employable
There are opportunities for you to develop transferrable skills in your field
Pursue further study if:
You wish to pursue an academic career
You believe your graduate degree will make you more employable in a competitive field
Apply for a graduate job or internship if:
You have the skills and qualifications needed to enter your field
Take some time off if:
You need more time to reflect and research your next steps
Harness The Power Of Visualization
This cliche interview question might have you rolling your eyes. But it's helpful to visualize where you'd like to be in your career in the next few years.
What is "visualization" you ask?
Visualization is the ability to imagine a situation that you wish to experience. This helps you plan out the steps needed to achieve this outcome.
Think of it like building a jigsaw-puzzle...
It's much easier and less time-consuming when you know what the completed picture should look like.
And it's backed by science!
When you visualize achieving a specific goal, your brain interprets this imagery as reality. This creates neural pathways to support the outcome you imagined.
Get Your Goals Down
Now that you have an idea of what your future career path can look like, set and keep track of goals that can help you get there!
Your goals should...
🔍 Be clearly defined using the SMART framework (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely)
🗓 Follow realistic timelines
👀 Involve frequent check-ins to evaluate progress
🎉 Be celebrated, no matter how small!
Jordan is a recent graduate of an HR program. What are examples of SMART goal he should set?
Speak To Your Networks
Reaching out to your network will allow you to:
Talk through some of your career goals
Seek advice from experienced professionals in your field
Who can I reach out to?
School career counselors
Working professionals in your field
How should I prepare?
Compile a list of questions you have
Research your contact's background
Decide and arrange how you'll meet (conference call or in person)
Deciding on your next steps after post-secondary can be exciting, but also overwhelming. However, with preparation (and deep breaths) this transition can be less daunting!
Take these actions now to get started.