What after graduation?
by Neeti Sharma
Graduating from college is a major milestone. Congratulations on this achievement. When you would have startedcollege you would have felt that you have many years to decide what you want to do after Graduation. While few know from the beginning where they are going after college, most don’t consider planning for options till the last few months and then panic sets in.
There are many options Graduate students could look at post completing their degree. You might want to search for a job, opt for studying further or take some time out to go travelling or even volunteer with certain social groups. Whatever you decide to do , remember the competitive nature of the job market and ensure you take full advantage of any free time you have and putting your plan into action.
Here are various options you could look at:
Assess your skills: Finding a job can be time consuming and can take a while. Note down what areas / industries / companies you would want to work with. List down your personality traits as well as knowledge and skill sets. Match them with the job roles you are looking to apply before you head on for employment. There are many Skill & Behavioral assessments being offered today which can help you identify the right job per your requirement and qualification.
Become an apprentice: As first time job seekers, you would benefit greatly if you could spend some time on short-term assignments with employers. You would thereon hit the ground running with employers. Even if these apprenticeships are not in the industry or function where you find permanent jobs, these stints will give you an appreciation for the realities of the workplace. Many higher education systems&industries are recognizing the power of practical experience and with over 10 Lakh job entrants every month, India could scale this up . As an apprentice, you could learn while you also get paid a stipend.
Learn a skill –Qualification may not always play a crucial role in pursuing your passion. Therefore, do not hesitate to take up something new even if you are not qualified to handle the same. You can certainly upgrade your skills and learn about the subject of your interest. Remember, there is no age or time for learning something new. Knowledge may be enhanced or acquired at any time during your career. For instance, if you have an accounting degree and wish to pursue a career in journalism, you may upgrade your skills and join a course in mass media or communication to enhance your skills.
Travel and/or volunteer: While you look for the right job for you , you can get involved in other activities such as travelling or volunteering to work in the social sector. When you travel, you learn various languages, meet new people and all of this will make you more employable in the long run.
Pursue higher studies: If you want to considerate postgraduate studies, first think and understand why. Is it for a specific knowledge before you enter the job market and build your career or is it because you are passionate about the subject you want to study? Remember, pursuing higher education is expensive so if you want to study because you can’t think of what next to do, its time to do some introspection.
Beyond Academics – Finally, get a life outside academics . Being “well-rounded” is not just for college applications. Knowing something about a topic outside your field can help you bring a different perspective of Academics as well as a Job. Get a life, forge an identity, and look to a source of joy and meaning, outside of your career.
Remember, once you complete graduation and step into the real world, you are going to start at the bottom. Don’t worry, don’t panic. This is only a starting point and not the last job. It is your very first step in the corporate world. You now need to work your way up the latter. So don’t be harsh on yourself, be patient and give yourself time. You may either succeed or may have troubles. Enjoy the good times, learn from your mistakes.
Graduation isn’t the end of a tough journey; it is the beginning of a beautiful one. Good luck and God Speed.
Neeti Sharma is Sr. Vice President & Co-Founder, TeamLease Services Limited