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...

A person with a party hat on

...and yet you can't quite shake the unease you have about leaving the familiar behind in order to take those next steps.

A person entering a room on fire

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

A person at a desk opening a book and smiling

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

"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

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.

Flaticon Icon

Troy and Abed from Community

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!

Cast of Community

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!

Quiz

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

  • Deepen connections

Annie and Shirley from Community fist bump

Flaticon IconWho can I reach out to?

  • School career counselors

  • Alumni

  • Working professionals in your field

  • Mentors

Flaticon IconHow 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)

Take Action

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!

Cast of Community dancing

Take these actions now to get started.

License:

Your feedback matters to us.

This Byte helped me better understand the topic.

I feel confident that I can apply what I learned.

I would recommend this Byte.

Connect with Rumie learners

Browse more content and join a supportive community!


- Discord Member

This Byte has been authored by

SU

Sam Udeschini

Educator | Learning Consultant