What am I going to do after graduating?
Where am I going to go?
Sallie Mae will be calling me in December, what am I going to tell her? I mean, I know what I WANT to tell her but…
I spent the last four years working towards something that, at this point, is a daunting cloud of ambiguity.
I’ll begin by apologizing for our culture that is ever-so demanding of you to know EXACTLY what your plan is, which leads me into my first point.
1. It’s okay to not know your plan right now.
If we fall into the lie that we have to know what we want after graduating then we risk fooling ourselves into investing in a career that we realize down the line was not what we wanted at all. If you’re not tied down to a career right now, get out and see the world. Shoot for a job that pays well but is also something you won’t go crazy in. It’s okay not to know right now.
2. Be happy for the friend’s who do know.
Some of your peers have cookie-cutter plans after graduating that have already begun to bloom. Some of them will continue in their plans until retirement while others will become disenchanted soon after they hit the real world and move onto something else. Either way, be happy for them.
Jealousy robs us of our joy by fostering anger that isn’t even due our victim. Celebrate with them– your time is coming, too.
3. You’re not limited to your major.
There are many careers out there that require a degree regardless of the major. So if you have a degree that is reputable for “pigeon-holing” your options, there is hope.
4. It’s OK to change your mind.
“I’m an adult with a degree. If I don’t have an absolute plan then I’m irresponsible…”
Don’t allow culture to mandate your decision. This is YOUR career and YOUR life. If people see you as “fickle” or “indecisive” simply remind yourself that in 20 years you’ll be well invested in a career that you wanted, even if it took you an extra year or so to find it. If you have a degree in biology but end up wanting to do graphic design, take some classes here or there, fall in love with YouTube tutorials (there’s a ton of good ones) and create a portfolio. Feel stuff out.
5. Start a Roth IRA.
Whether you’re in your dream job or not, money is money and it will grow in an investment fund. If it takes you 5 years to find a job in the field of your interest then that can be 5 years of money gradually distributed into a fund that will multiply later. “I’ll start investing when I get a real job” is a poor decision because that 5 years can have a significant impact on your monthly return when you’re 65. Make the most of your time now.
6. Don’t fall into a pyramid-scheme job.
“Care to make some extra money?” That’s a typical catch phrase for pyramid scheme or quasi-pyramid scheme recruiters. To be fair, some of them are legitimate. But to be fair, most of them are not. If they have to say “we’re not a pyramid scheme,” chances are they are. If they’re desperately trying to shove a high-paying position down your throat regardless of your experience…yea, that means it’s probably not what they’re making it out to be. If it were that good, everyone would be doing it. And if they tell you they require a college degree, they probably don’t. They just know that you have one and that it makes the position sound more legit.
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About the Author
Hi, my name is John and I love coffee. As I write this I’m sitting in a local brewery sipping a “mudslide” espresso with cream and two and a half sugars. There are few things in life that I feel merit precise orchestration with no room for error, coffee is one of them. My life belongs to Jesus. I am his son and he is my King. His work in my life is reason enough for my faith to be made complete. He lived to die for me so that I may be credited righteous thus I will live for him. I don’t hold any radical theological views, other than I serve a radical God. I affirm scriptural inerrancy, infallibility and the Bible as God’s final authority in text. See full bio here