Post-Grad Problems: How to tackle “what’s next?”

Life decisions can be hard. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t also feeling the pressure of the unknown. This April I will finally be finished my undergraduate degree; all those essays, late nights, and study sessions… for what? What’s next? What kind of job do I want? Where will I be living? Do I want to further my education? Believe me, you’re not the only one lying awake at night drumming these questions through your head.

Unfortunately, I don’t have concrete answers for you. I really wish I did, but honestly I don’t even have an answer for myself – and I don’t think I ever will. Life is so unpredictable that it’s nearly impossible to have concrete answers; and that’s okay. I know it’s hard but sometimes we just have to adapt to what life throws at us. However, what I can provide for you (student-to-student) are ways to set yourself up for success in the future so you can tackle the unknown with style.

A wise prophet once said… (well actually one of my professors mentioned this 2 weeks ago to me in passing; but I think it’s very clever and profound so I’d like to start with this)…
In terms of finding employment post-graduation “make finding a job your full-time job.” Each and every one of us has unique qualities, competencies and skills that we can bring to the table. Make an effort to get your dream job, go out and search for employers and gather some insight into the career path or field you’d like to get into. Why not set up an informational interview with a potential future employer?
For example, if I wanted to get into a career relating to parole and probation I would contact the local probation office and set up a time to meet with someone to discuss their job tasks and how they got there. Not only does this provide you with some insight into what the career is like, but it’s also a great way to make connections and establish networking.

Later on, if you do get an interview at a place of employment you like, do your research! Sharpen your skills on the industry and come prepared with a career portfolio. Spice up your resume and cover letter and make a strong, lasting impression. Also most importantly – follow up with the interviewer! This way you can learn what could be done differently or what you did well for the next time around.

Even more importantly, don’t rush into anything or get discouraged if things don’t pan out right away. Take your time – if you’re unsure of what to do that’s okay. Just keep on making an effort and you will succeed!

At Nipissing U and in the North Bay Community there are loads of resources available to help you out – if you’re still feeling uncertain I encourage you to check some of these out!

– Kristen