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11 Things to do after graduation

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By Annika Tomlin

Whether it’s financially, emotionally or physically, college takes its toll on everyone. Once you graduate, the world is wide open for you — and it can be a little daunting. Here are 11 things to consider doing after graduation.

11. REGROUP AT HOME

For over a year now, the pandemic has reshaped college attendance, from virtual and hybrid classes to Zoom graduations. It’s mind-numbing to consider what’s next. Reconnect with family by moving home, getting back to a noncollege mindset and exploring your options in a comfortable environment.

10. WORK AT YOUR COLLEGE

If moving back home isn’t an option or a preference, consider getting a job at a place you know well — your college or university. You could work in the department that you majored in or as a teaching assistant. Also consider the administrative departments, such as admissions, development and academic advising. As a recent graduate, you have the most up-to-date knowledge of what it means to be a college student and could use that knowledge to pass along to future students.

9. BECOME A RESEARCH ASSISTANT

While most people associate “research” with science majors, there are research assistant positions for other majors, including journalism, international relations and art history. Contact your college or former professors to see if there are any available research opportunities.

8. FIND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

One way to boost your resume while still looking for a full-time job is to volunteer. Volunteering helps skills such as task management and leadership while also improving soft skills such as communication and adaptability. In some cases, a volunteer position could lead to a full-time job within the organization. At the very least, you can make connections within the industry.

7. TEACH ABROAD

A large number of countries outside of the United States are looking for native English speakers to teach the language. The best part: most of the time you don’t even need a degree in education or any teaching experience. Oftentimes, all you need is a bachelor’s degree and the willingness to learn how to teach what needs to be taught. This gives recent graduates the opportunity to travel, experience a new culture and develop strong transferable skills.

6. MOVE TO A NEW PLACE

Sometimes the best way to start a new chapter in your life is by moving, if you have the financial means. You could simply move into a new apartment or do something drastic and move to the other side of the country. Now that school isn’t tying you down — and especially if you were recently hired for a job in a different state — don’t be afraid to pack up everything and get going.

5. CONTINUE EDUCATION

Want to refine your skills or learn something new? Consider community college. They’re great and inexpensive ways to obtain new skills without returning to a university. In other cases, a master’s degree or doctorate may be required to acquire the skills needed to go into a specific field, such as medical, social work or law.

4. TAKE AN INTERNSHIP/APPRENTICESHIP

You might have already completed an internship as a requirement for your degree, but that doesn’t mean that this is not the right time to take on another one. If nothing else, you’ll get interview practice for potential jobs. An apprenticeship is similar to an internship but gives more hands-on assignments and real-world problems to solve. A mentor will guide you in the necessary skills and steps to master the job. Both can be paid experiences that could lead to a full-time job.

3. START YOUR OWN BUSINESS

If you have an idea for a great product or a strong passion, start your own business. For example, if you majored in business and had the knowledge and passion for physical fitness, you could found a personal training company.

2. GET AN ENTRY-LEVEL JOB

As the saying goes: “gotta start somewhere.” Entry-level positions help people gain skills and experience that will lead them toward getting a higher-paying, more experienced-based job. The entry-level job doesn’t need to be within your field. Any real-world, full-time job will help build your resume and give you the support you need to plan your future.

1. TAKE A GAP YEAR

You just spent however many years solely focused on getting that one or multiple degrees. Now is the time to take a break and explore. Meet new people, experience new cultures, and along the way you might find a new passion. A great way to spend a gap year is to get involved in programs such as Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or City Year, all of which offer essential life lessons to strengthen your resume and provide great resources and references for future job search. CT

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