It’s understandable why so many new grads feel a little lost after the glow of convocation wears off. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones with a job lined up or grad school on the horizon, chances are this is the first time in four years that you don’t really have a plan.
But just because you don’t know what’s coming next doesn’t mean you’re aimless. Here are some things you should do after the ceremony so you can begin your career on the right foot.
Give yourself a break. You just spent four years studying – plus you may have been working and interning on the side.
Take some time for yourself if you can before you jump into the working world. Recharge those mental batteries while still being productive by exploring your creative side. The summer after university is a great time to work on some fun projects that you didn’t have the time to do during school. Start a blog, pick up photography, learn some new recipes! The possibilities are endless.
2. Establish a routine.
While you may be tempted to sleep in everyday and watch Netflix every night, resist the urge. Studies show that sleeping in can leave you feeling even more tired and unproductive in the long run.
The best thing to do is establish a routine for yourself. They’re a great way to reduce stress by eliminating some of the little decisions you have to make every day. Wake up at a reasonable hour and plan out your day just like you did at school, even if it’s just to schedule in a morning gym sesh.
3. Update those important documents and online profiles.
Until you can wow those interviewers with your sparkling personality, your resume and social media profiles are all they have to go off of.
Make sure they’re up to date and professional. It’s a good idea to create different versions of your resume for the different positions you’re applying for. This will ensure you emphasize the right skills to the right people.
4. Create a job hunting strategy.
Job hunting is super stressful and time-consuming. It’s practically a job itself, and it doesn’t help that everyone will start asking you if you’ve found a job the minute after you get that diploma.
The best approach to manage the pressure is to create a strategy. Set goals for yourself – for example, plan to apply to four jobs a day, schedule one informational interview a week, or go to at least three networking events a month. This way, you’ll be able stay calm knowing you have a plan, but not feel constantly pressured to be job hunting.
5. Brush up on your skills.
If you’re missing that learning feeling, the summer after university is a great time to beef up on those skills that will really help your resume stand out. Learn to code a basic website or use Photoshop for more than resizing photos. Websites like Lynda.com offer free tutorials on pretty much any subject so you don’t have to shell out those precious dollars on more school.