Today’s Blog Everyday in May prompt is to offer advice to college graduates. I finished school only two years ago – I’m not sure if this makes me unqualified or extra-qualified to give advice. Either way, this is what I have to say.
1. Don’t apply only for jobs that fit your studies perfectly.
Unless you’ve managed to already lined up your dream job – in which case, you should offer me advice – you don’t want your search to be too narrow. This means you need to broaden the type of job you’re looking for, the location range you’re looking at, or both. I person went for looking further and further away from where my family lived, and it did make things difficult at times. Sometimes I wonder how that year before moving would’ve gone if I had worked as an aid or a sub instead of a full-time teacher, but stayed near my parents.
And depending on your field, it may not matter how far you look. You might not find anything if your requirements are too narrow. Flexibility is key as well as prioritizing what in particular is important to you. You might also find out that your dream job is different than you expected.
2. Travel somewhere new.
I think it’s always important to gather new perspectives as you grow older in order to avoid the trap of believing that everyone is just like you.
If you don’t have roots, move somewhere different for a little while if it’s within your means! If you don’t like it, you can go back, or go somewhere else. Living in a place for awhile allows the novelty to fade a little, which can give a slightly different perspective.
If you’ve already put down roots, you can take trips and consciously interact with people from different backgrounds. In the US, there are many cultural differences between regions – you don’t have to backpack across Europe to start seeing the world from a different point of view.
3. Find a hobby.
If you already have a hobby, continue making time for it. Your routine will change, but having something outside of work/searching for work will help keep you sane. Knitting, writing, playing a sport – it’s nice to have something you enjoy to help your mind recharge.
If school was so busy that you didn’t have time for a hobby, this is a great time to try out some things. Your routine is already changing, so this is a good time to work something new in. And if you’ve moved to a new place, your hobby can help you meet people. If you like sports, see if a local gym offers any team sports that you can join. If you like crafting, join a knitting circle. If you like cooking, see if any stores or night schools offer classes. You can even connect with people online if that’s where your hobby takes you (like writing, for example).
For those recent graduates – congratulations! You’ve worked hard, so find ways to enjoy yourself as you start the next chapter of your life!