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What's next after graduation?
March 04 , 2013

As toddlers we mumble, bubble, and cuddle innuendos by imitating those who raised us or those we see as guardians. Such words like papa, dada and mama come readily to your mind right now. In the long run, you find yourself on the graduation podium in your cap and gown. But have you meditated on some revealing questions such as what’s next for you after university? What does the future holds for you? Some students see college as a major goal, when in reality it is simply a stepping stone to other future life achievements.

Our development in life is subtly gradual and steady as we wound up the path of life and existence. We grew up in size and intellect and proceeded to the elementary school where we were taught the rudiments of alphabets, figures, art and pictures. In furtherance of our academic life, we went right up to the Junior and Senior High school and this is the stage where we start discovering ourselves. Subsequently, we come of age and at one point or the other, find ourselves in the university. Now in your graduation gown and cap, you heave a little sigh of relief. Great and good thing you’ve gotten there. 

Yes, everybody knows that graduating from the university is a major milestone in one’s life. Family, friends and well-wishers congratulate you on the feat you’ve achieved. So what’s next for you after university? Are you prepared to make the most out of whatever comes your way once you stroll across the graduation podium? Will you be able to stand or crumble like a pack of cards as you force yourself through the job hunt and, ultimately, your first employment? Here’s a list of the eight critical issues you need to deal with as you move onward with your life in your transition from college to career. Answer these five questions to find out. 

What’s Your Next Life Decision: Career I or Career II?

So many people have one or two or even more career choices to choose from depending on their course of studies. Several factors such as availability of jobs, relocation, budget, experience, income and so on, come into play before a decision is reached on one’s choice of career. 

What’s Your Next Career Step: Job or Graduate School?

For some young graduates, the career they want to pursue requires only a basic graduate degree; while others may take the plunge into post-graduate studies to avoid an already saturated job market -- or to just avoid a particular job in totality.

Are You Ready For How Odd The Real World Can Be? 

This world is full of people with different characters, attitudes, motives and personalities. Sometimes, decisions that ordinarily shouldn’t cause a beep if based on facts and logical information may be turned into office politics and that’s real world for you. Becoming successful in your job can be achieved through your skills and technical abilities but keep it at the back of your mind that your success will be measured not only on those aforementioned criteria alone.

What’s Your Take on Dealing with Success or Failure?

Let us drift back to your career, “first impression lasts forever”; so goes the saying. The impression you give to your bosses, colleagues and co-workers during your first days on the job will go a long way in determining how they will treat you for a long time to come. So, make yourself ready to deal with office politics, varying bosses and improving your relevance in the in-office market. In fact, you can go as far finding a mentor for yourself within the company – and if possible another outside the company. 

What Do You Want? 

It may surprise you that the common phrase your "I’m willing to do or learn anything” will not impress employers in giving you a job. In fact, some employers see that statement as a sign of desperation or lack of focus, so “I’m jack of all trade and I’m just laying my stakes at whatever comes my way." Not sure about the type of job you want? You need to consult a career counsellor. The counsellor can help you discover or point you to where your path leads after taking a career test and some follow-up interviews. 

Conclusively, as a graduate or graduate-to-be you need to be focused, confident, optimistic, and always looking at the bright side of life. With these, you are bound to reach where you want to be and achieve some --if not all-- your undergraduate dreams.   

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Learn more about this author, Odunayo Iyiola.
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