Congratulations, freshest graduate! To get over the hurdles of college and academic demands is a great achievement. Now you can make decisions on your life courses, without any lecturer or strange second party interference. But, what next after graduation?
Great and established people were once in this phase. And you know what? The reality that stood before them propelled them. The reality of the big question – what next after graduation? It happens to everyone. Is it already ringing up in your head too? Good. That means you are ready for it. It comes and then engulfs your mind. Sometimes, you feel you are giving it too much attention, and want to neglect it to focus on life as it happens to you. Some other time, you get in some other thoughts, worrying about if you are really ready for this.
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According to data generated by Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics, about 1.8 million people enter the labour market every year. All of them are also troubled with this same what-next thought. The sad part of the story is that more than half of this population is unemployed. While a few are self-employed, much waste away at the corner of their rooms.
But really, What Next After Graduation? What should you get doing? Maybe you have to start applying for internships or part-time jobs for some little cash, till you get settled. You might have thought of taking a few weeks break off the scene too, to rest from school accumulated. Or maybe you are still thinking of taking some steps back to get a good view of the outside world.
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“What next after graduation?,” I asked friends after they got out of college. It seemed like a startling question to many of them. No one really gave a straight answer. A few had directions they wanted to take; the majority was unsure what they would settle for. It’s confusing, especially when coming from those you expect much from. It’s a phase of life you can’t escape and the way you manage it matters.
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Does this mean being employed now doesn’t really matter? This is not a game. It is your life, and it is supposed to be sorted with every opportunity. You have a big one now, and it is liberty. It should make you properly exercise willpower, unless your desire is to join the sit-at-home gang, aspiring for nothing after school.
I have compiled a few things that will help you start the after-school journey. It’s the start of a long journey, but it has to start somewhere.
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Be Prepared For The Reality
You depend on yourself now. Things you expectedly got aid with during the school days would have to be sorted out now completely by you. Monthly calls to daddy no more go the way you are used to, and no relative will occasionally remember to send you that surprise cash. This can be frustrating, and it will make you wish you were still in the classroom.
These things are not strange and, in fact, are meant to happen. The truth is that your friends and family know that you need support, but would frown at helping out. You are a graduate, after all, they’d reason, you should start making plans to fend for your own well-being.
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Have A Plan
Make a list of goals you want to achieve with timelines. Be flexible in thoughts and tendencies. While you work on your list, you should have an open mind to grab opportunities when they come.
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Learn At Every Opportunity
After years of sitting through boring classes just to learn, you might have started to resent that word. Isn’t what you got in school enough already? Well, it is actually a lot, but nowhere near what you’d need to navigate life. The knowledge from that 4 or 5-year course doesn’t apply to everything. This is the time to blend in with society, learn its ways, and create a niche for yourself. New knowledge you gain now will build you for the future.
Now, is the time to learn about that desired business that school had for long shielded you from. You also might have a joint vision with a friend or group about a particular goal; this is the best time to build on it. Remember, being a graduate doesn’t mean you are now accomplished and should spend any amount of time you desire on undefined activities.
Study more on how to prepare and perform at interviews. Learn about start-ups and entrepreneurship and more. These things are really What Next after graduation.
Don’t Brood Over Others’ Successes
Did you hear that some of your friends are already gainfully employed barely weeks after graduation? Did you also hear that some are now abroad doing what they like? Some are even on a sponsored study plan. Did you start feeling left out and developing FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)?
Well, have you asked yourself if those really matter? Short answer – No! Your destinations are different, so, the paths should naturally not be the same. Do not live in their shadow, make the best use of your time planning and setting up structures for yourself.
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Build A Good Profile Fo Yourself
Volunteering is a good way to start. The teams you join to execute projects and the various services you offer for free will develop you. They will connect you to more people that would appreciate your abilities. In the United States, for example, volunteering is common. They’re doing it for a reason. The experience, the networking, and connections formed are valuables in and of themselves.
Also, you should consider getting certification for some special skills you have always wanted to develop. Certificate courses like web designing, graphic designing, app creation, physical therapy, etc., are opportunities that pay so much. This is the best time to start. You have the opportunity to do this for as many interests as you want. Life after school is just the start of the real-life, which is What Next.
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Patience Is A Virtue
There is really nothing to be in a rush for. You have many years ahead of you to do enough exploits, but don’t sleep off in the process.
This is the time you can strategise for yourself. You have passion and energy. Miracles don’t come in a hurry. Those are a product of proper preparedness.
So, don’t be an unemployable graduate. Be a graduate with great skills that all employers want in their company. The What Next after graduation question should not get you scared or confused. It should motivate and push you beyond limits. It should make you into a personality many people will want to learn from.
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