Graduating seniors – whether from high school or college, chances are you’re feeling a rush of emotions. I know you feel accomplished in graduating, but your work isn’t quite done – it’s now time to take necessary steps to ensure you have a bright future. Here are 8 pieces of advice for graduating seniors once the dust from graduation day settles.
You worked so hard to graduate so now is the time to relax, BUT with moderation! No need to turn into a couch potato! You have goals to reach so take a little time off, but also get ready to do the following…
2. Start/continue looking for jobs.
I honestly prefer looking for jobs well in advance. When I was looking for summer jobs, I started as early as January, and I did the same when I was about to graduate. However, life gets the best of us so if you haven’t started looking, START!
For high school graduating seniors, you might be looking for temporary summer jobs, which is fine, but if you are planning on keeping the job while you attend college, make sure they have flexible hours and are a reasonable distance from your school. You don’t need to be stressed out if it’s too far and the hours are terrible. For college graduating seniors, you should be looking for a job in the field that you majored in. Gradating with a degree doesn’t mean you should be applying for jobs at Burger King, UNLESS you are in desperate need of an income. Don’t limit yourself! Now that you have a degree you have many more options!
3. But also consider internships.
For high school graduates, looking for internships NOW is VERY important! You can already have an internship before you start college so you can get a jump-start on gaining experience! For college graduating seniors, you can still apply for internships upon graduation, just not for academic credit (unless you plan on going back for more schooling). While many internships are unpaid, they can potentially turn into a full time job, so don’t write them off completely (especially if it’s a company you’re very interested in).
4. Make a LinkedIn account.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make a LinkedIn account and start making connections! Connections are the best thing to have when applying for a job. If you don’t know what LinkedIn is, it is simply like a professional Facebook that showcases all your awards, your resume, skills, etc. Basically like a clickable billboard all about YOU! Get one, and start making connections!
5. Speak up – tell others about your goals.
There is an expression: “A closed mouth doesn’t get fed” which basically means that no one will know you recently graduated and are looking for job, internship, etc. unless you say something. Bring it up in conversation; you never know what connections people may have. You could unknowingly be chatting it up with a boss at a law firm, or be the wife to a journalist – so SPEAK UP! Don’t be shy.
6. Research activities in college.
This piece of advice is obviously for high school graduating seniors, but now that you have a little time off, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything “academic.” Look into the school you are about to go to and see what activities they have. Knowing what you want to be a part of on campus before you get there gives you a much-needed head start. If you wait until you start college you will be dealing with so many other things and forget to join a club, society, etc. when it is essential in college.
Both high school and college graduating seniors should volunteer for the sake of GAINING EXPERIENCE. I can’t stress that enough. I know you hear the word “volunteer” and immediately say no because there is no pay. If you are in need of an income, have a side job along with volunteering. It is that important!
8. Stay positive.
When everyone graduates around the same time, there are thousands of applications sent to companies, right alongside yours. Stay positive and pray for the best since you are essentially competing with thousands of others. You most likely won’t land the first dream job you apply for, but don’t lose hope and don’t stop applying!