Graduation marks the end of an era. All those early morning classes, hours spent taking notes, and late-night cram sessions, have paid off, but what’s next? Summer is over, and the pressure is on to make your next move.
Whether you plan to continue your education, travel the world, or start your career, here are some tips on what to do after graduation.
Visit your university careers centre
Having free careers advice available is something you should take advantage of, so if you’ve neglected to seek career advice so far don’t miss out now.
Career advisers can provide information and guidance to help you make practical choices about their education, training and work. The advisers will help you search for job opportunities and check your CV to make sure it's up to date and visually appealing. You may be able to have a mock interview where you’ll get to have hands-on practice before the big interview. This is an excellent idea if you’re a nervous interviewee or your interview skills are a bit rusty. Even though you’re a graduate, your university’s careers office should still be happy to help.
Resources like Target Jobs and Milkround are great online platforms to search for different opportunities for graduates, as are other recruitment sites.
Job, internship, travelling or further education?
Decisions, decisions. You don’t have to get your career started right away. Another option, despite the pressure to start paying off that student debt, is to take advantage of your new found freedom to explore the world and travel before jumping on the career ladder.
Your employability will improve with life experiences under your belt, along with any new skills you acquire along the way. Lots of organisations can help you plan a trip, and you may be able to get paid as you travel or do some volunteering.
What about money?
The bank of Mum and Dad is closed. A student leaving university with savings is a rare occurrence. You’re more likely to have a significant amount of student debt, an overdraft, and a habit of freaking out about how to manage your money.
The transition from student to graduate can be a significant change. Whether you’re moving back into your parents' house or to a different city, becoming responsible for your finances can be scary. It’s important to keep a budget planner and keep track of your outgoings.
You can also think about turning the stuff you no longer need into cash. All those unused items lying around your room are a potential first deposit into your post-graduate bank account. Have an old textbook from the first year? Try and sell it back. What about those fancy dress outfits that you wore to an event once? Your graduation outfit? Start listing on eBay or shpock. This potential source of money may tie you over until you find a job. If you decide to move away from home, do your research on rent prices, living expenses, and transportation costs in the city or town you choose.
But first, take a selfie
Don’t forget to capture the moment. You’re on the cusp of a new and important stage in your life, but don’t forget to celebrate what you’ve just achieved. Enjoy it! And good luck for the next stage of your adventure!