Five Options to Explore When You Graduate
Posted: Jan 30, 2017
By: Sara Preston
When one door closes, another one opens – at least, that’s how the saying goes.
As the end of your undergraduate degree draws near, you might be lucky enough to already know what open door awaits you. However, many of us are probably uncertain about what our future might hold. At this point in our lives, it’s time to start opening some of our own doors!
The only question is… where do you begin?
If you’re like me, it probably feels like there are a million doors surrounding you, with endless possibilities behind each one of them. The key is to start by narrowing down your options, and that’s where this list will come in handy.
According to a January 2017 article from Forbes.com, millennials need more than just a college or university education to kick-start their careers. The most important characteristics a young graduate can possess are “curiosity and commitment” – a willingness to embrace change and the ability to persevere in the face of an uncertain job market.
With that in mind, let’s jump on in and take a look at five different doors you may want to open for yourself at the end of your undergraduate degree.
Continue your education
No matter which door you choose, you will be learning new things throughout your life. Regardless, for some of us, the answer to “What am I going to do after I finish school?” is “MORE school”. Many careers will require you to have some more in-depth knowledge in a specialized area, such as computer or health sciences. Many employers are looking for candidates who have leadership skills, marketing and communications know-how, or who understand how their organizations work. This kind of specialized knowledge can be gained through post-degree programs or professional programs. Continuing your education can also allow you to make connections with people and companies that might help you to secure employment once you graduate.
Gain workforce experience
You have probably heard of employers looking to hire young people who are excited by how much education we have under our belts, but who wish that we had more experience in the workforce. For this reason, starting your climb on the career ladder can be daunting as you finish your degree. Luckily, many institutions offer co-op or practicum based programs that will allow you to gain more skills for the workplace – no experience required. You can also gain work experience through internships or volunteer positions for organizations that align with your career goals.
Learn a new language
Your twenties are the best time to explore the world around you, and learning a new language could be the difference that sets your resume apart when you’re applying to that dream position. Travel to a country you’ve never seen before and immerse yourself in the language and culture. Better yet, pick up some additional linguistic prowess from a great second language program here at home! As Canadians, we’re lucky to live in a country where French fluency is a valuable asset, and we can learn from the bilingual people in our own communities. Feeling a bit rusty on your French speaking and writing skills? Look for a course or immersion program that could take you to the next level.
Find an amazing mentor
If you’re just starting out building your contact list and reputation in your desired industry, a mentor can be an invaluable resource. Making a connection with someone who’s “been there and done that” could be crucial to your success. An accomplished professional can help you to identify what steps you need to take on the path to establishing your career trajectory, and what pitfalls you should seek to avoid. Many young graduates have met their mentors throughout their course of studies, but you can also connect with amazing and insightful people through professional development courses and networking events.
Forge your own path
Right now, you are in the best position to take risks and get your hands dirty. Have you always had an idea for an amazing product or service that could take the market by storm? Start your own business, and create jobs for yourself and others! There are plenty of avenues for acquiring funding and guidance when it comes to starting a new business venture. Take a program or class in business administration and management, and gain the knowledge and tools to get your ideas and skills out there. You might be surprised by how much fun it is to have complete control over your career and your future.
Congratulations to those who are graduating, and may you have the best success in your endeavours as you go out and begin your careers!