By Kadejah Brathwaite, Intern
“What’s next?” Seniors in college are trying to figure out a response to this question and coming to a conclusion is not a simple process. Enter: Holly Sedys, a career and internship advisor at Kennesaw State University, who regularly offers insight on what life after graduation really looks like. From the challenge students have of translating what they learned in school into an actual career path to dealing with the reality that it could take three to six months to find a full-time job, Sedys shares some tips and advice on it all. Here’s the rundown.
AT: What are three myths about life after graduation that you could debunk?
- You will find your dream job right out of college.
It can take a while for you to decide what career you wish to pursue. You also may need to start at the bottom to get to the top. It is completely normal and realistic to start out at that entry-level job and then work your way up over the next 10 years.
- Your college degree is enough.
You need a well-rounded resume. This includes your college education, but it also includes extracurricular activities, memberships, internships, work experience (yes, that part-time job at Wendy’s is relevant) and volunteer work.
- Your life will continue to be like the one you had in college.
Your daily routine is going to change. You will go from studying and maybe working part-time to working 40 hours a week. Your friend group can and probably will change. This does not mean that your life will not be as fun or fulfilling; it will just be different.
AT: In what ways should a student mentally and physically prepare for life post-graduation?
Sedys: You need to keep that same structure you had as a student. Apply for jobs the same way you would study for a test. You need to make an action plan for your job search and stick to it. Be sure to keep in touch with your professors. If you ever decide to go to graduate school, you will need professor recommendations. Also, be resilient in your job search and do not be discouraged. You can prepare for life after graduation by visiting the career center at your university.
AT: What advice can you give to those who don’t know what career they want to pursue?
Sedys: Remember that your career is more about your experiences and skills over your actual degree. If you have a degree in psychology and do not want to be a psychologist, think about all the transferable skills you gained from pursuing that degree. Research jobs related to activities you enjoy and the skills you possess instead of focusing on specific job titles. Taking a personality assessment can help you realize the areas where you might thrive.
*Pro tip: Finding people on LinkedIn with your same degree can be helpful. You will be able to see what their career path has looked like.
AT: How can students find a job they are passionate about?
Sedys: I think the idea of finding your “dream job” or a job you are passionate about is actually a difficult concept. It is okay if you do not love every aspect of your job, so focus on finding a job that allows you to work in an area you are passionate about. For example, I enjoy helping people and that can be translated into many different careers. Some of them I would love and others I would not. If you are passionate about animals and have a degree in marketing, you could do something like work in the marketing department for a zoo. Your entire job will probably not fully hold your interest, so you need to be realistic.
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