After finishing college the most frequently asked question is, “what are you planning to do next?”. Sound familiar? If you are about to graduate from college. That question and I became intimately acquainted last year around the time when I was preparing to graduate. Did like all others I also didn’t have an answer. It’s easy to feel like if you’re not walking off that stage with diploma in one hand and a job offer in the other. But diving right into the world of full-time employment is not for everyone.
More and more students are starting to take advantage of the few years of freedom post-graduation, choosing to pursue other paths instead of jumping right into a nine-to-five job. If you are a recent graduate who is hesitant to jump into the real work world, consider doing something else with your time. However, whatever you choose to do, make sure you think hard about your decision, as you want to be sure you have quality experiences to list on your resume when you do choose to begin the search for a more permanent career.
1. INTERN ABROAD
It’s likely that your parents told you a million times to get an internship in college, but with four classes, course readings and Netflix, who has the time? Now is your chance to make mom and dad proud, and enjoy yourself too. Forget about internships in your small college town, there are tons of opportunities to work abroad in a variety of fields. Choose an internship in your major, or try something completely new.
2. OBTAIN INDUSTRY CERTIFICATION
If you don’t know what to do after college, then you may want to consider pursuing recognized industry credentials that could help boost your professional status. Having certification, in addition to your post-secondary education, can help you stand out from other job applicants, which is a plus regardless of your career field.
After receiving the degree you can choose to volunteer instead of looking to get a real job immediately after graduation. All you need is to reach out to the organization, and volunteer there. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to volunteer, but if you can afford it for a few months, it is an investment worth making.
4. START THE HABIT OF SAVING
For most of the time retirement isn’t top of mind to a 22-year old. Setting aside a little bit of every paycheck that comes through, even just ₹100 a month, will help you get into the habit of saving -something our generation isn’t really known for. Or an investment account. Or both. Like budgets, opening savings and investment accounts are some of the things that you do as an adult. It certainly doesn’t mean that you have to save or invest all your money.
5. PURSUE HIGHER EDUCATION
If you reconsider your career path and want to pivot in a completely new direction, going back to school may be your best option. After graduating from University you can make a bold decision to pursue a Masters may be in a totally different country. It can be anywhere you always wanted to live.
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6. LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE
The younger we are, the easier it is for us to learn and retain new languages. So, now that you have graduated and are wondering what you should do after college, why not learn a new language? You can self-teach, take an online course, or find a continuing education class at your local college. You will likely find it fun and entertaining, and you never know when a second language will be a valuable job asset down the road.
7. START CHECKING OFF THE BUCKET LIST
You are never too young to start working on your bucket list. In fact, this is one of the best times for you to do those things that you want to make sure you experience before it’s too late. Whatever you dream of skydiving, base jumping, cage diving with sharks, or taking part in any other fun and adventurous activities, now is the time to do it.
8. PART-TIME OR FREELANCER
If you feel you are not ready to jump into a career, take the year off working a part-time job in an area you’re passionate about, or somewhere you’ve always thought about working at- like at a flower shop. Not only does this give you the opportunity to pad your bank account post-college, but, it could develop into more promising opportunities down the road.
It may seem like everybody else knows what you should do even though you haven’t quite figured out what life after college looks like. Of course, the obvious answer is to get a job. But maybe you feel like there should be so much more on the horizon. Well, don’t worry. You are entering a stage of your life when you can make almost anything happen if you want to.
Many people like you choose to get a job and settle down. That’s probably what your parents expect, and maybe it is even what you want to do. But maybe you don’t. Maybe you want to defy expectations and blaze your own trail. After all, you’re young, it’s your life, and you’re only going to get to live it once. So why not do the things now that you may not be able to do later?