College is a wonderful way to prepare for the career ahead of you. But it’s also imperfect, and most college students know it. It’s not uncommon to see the transitions ahead and feel more than a little bit intimidated, knowing that there is so much to do in order to break into the real world.
As a college counselor in Long Island, I see the effects of these challenges every day in the eyes of those I meet with. One of the first things I learned is how important it is to make sure that you have taken some of the steps to make that transition easier BEFORE you have graduated, so that you are starting from a good place as you break into the real world. The following are some helpful tips and strategies for preparing for your career after college.
Preparing For Emerging Adulthood
- Start Your Job Plan
It’s easy to be distracted by graduation and finals, and certainly focusing on finals is important, but make sure that you’re also starting to plan what you are going to do after graduation. Keep an eye out for job openings that appeal to you, get an idea of what’s out there, and maybe even start applying if you see one that really fits your experiences. The earlier you plan, the less scary the future will be. Check out websites like www.indeed.com and www.monster.com to start examining current job openings.
- Prepare for Interviews
Interview preparation is also extremely important, and the more you prepare, the more you’ll have a leg up against other graduates that are unlikely to be ready for their own interviews. Websites like www.everydayinterviewtips.com have regular free updates with job interview help, and there are several books available that can give you some training in how to conduct a job interview.
- Social Plans
It’s also a good idea to start preparing yourself for your social future as well. How are you going to keep in touch with your friends? What are you going to do with your free time? Start looking for good hobbies, getting phone numbers, planning hang out days, etc. One of the reasons that the transition post college can feel stressful is because many people don’t plan for the social changes either, and suddenly – with college gone – so too are their interactions. Create an action plan for your social life in advance of graduation so that you can avoid that drop in social experiences.
- Be Open With Challenges
Emerging adulthood can be a stressful period in life. So don’t be afraid to talk to people, whether it’s a parent, a friend, an emerging adulthood counselor, a religious leader, etc. Getting help through this transition can be incredibly valuable, especially because the healthier your transition is, the better a head start you are getting on the rest of your life.