What to do after college — 5 options for your next move.
Explore your job searching and life planning options after college.
Post-college career tips for recent graduates.
- Pursue an internship to network with potential employers.
- Skip the job hunt entirely and start your own business.
- Take a gap year to gain life experience and soft skills.
2. Begin your job search.
Once you begin looking for a full-time job, don’t expect it to be a quick process. Most experts agree that you should plan to spend between three and six months job hunting. Because of the time spent browsing job listings on sites like LinkedIn and filling out applications, looking for a job can be just as time consuming as having a job.
You’ll want to create a resume and cover letter using an app like Adobe Acrobat, and gather any work samples or portfolio items you’d like to show a potential employer. Acrobat can help you manage all these documents and combine them into a single PDF to easily share with recruiters. And if you need to update your resume or cover letter with some new skills or work experience, you can use Acrobat to directly edit a PDF and make changes on the fly.
5. Take some time to explore.
You don’t need to figure out your new career immediately. Many recent graduates take a gap year between finishing school and entering the working world to pick up some new life experiences to help enrich their job skills. This could include:
- Backpacking around the world
- Writing a novel
- Starting a podcast
- Learning graphic design
- Teaching English abroad
- Working as a nanny or au pair
- Learning a new language
Spending some time to explore your own dreams and goals can add a lot of clarity and purpose to your job search. But it’s also an opportunity for you to learn new skills that can help make your resume stand out when it’s time to get a job. Remember that your resume grows as you do and you should continue to edit it as you gain new skills and experiences. Always have a friend or colleague proofread your resume so you are putting out the best version possible to potential employers.
It can be a challenge to find a career path after getting your college degree. But with proper preparation and organization, you can find great success in the post-pandemic job market.
How can I transition from college life to post-college life?
After being in school your entire life, going into a job every day instead of a classroom is a big change. There are many different routes you can go post-graduation, and wherever you end up, the following are good pieces of advice to take with you:
- Acknowledge that you are in a transitional stage of your life. It’s okay to tell yourself and others that you don’t have all the answers. This will help reduce stress and create a safe mental space for you to analyze your options.
- Create an accountability group. You most likely have other friends who are in the same boat as you. Talking about next steps and setting goals together can help keep the group accountable and stay on-track when it comes to job searching.
- Master a few hard skills. Some skills are commonly wanted in almost any job field. Master some hard skills that will benefit you in just about any work environment. Don’t forget to add these new skills to your resume.
- Work on soft skills. Hard skills are taught and learned in structured contexts, while soft skills are personality-driven and built with experiences. Employers value soft skills such as teamwork, flexibility, and being a good listener.
- Journal. Journaling can help you to organize your thoughts and help you come to conclusions on your goals and career path.
- Keep up with current trends. The job market is constantly evolving, and you must learn to adapt with it. Keep up with current job trends so that you can match the needs of the job market.