15 Thoughtful Ideas for What To Do After Graduation
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated August 20, 2022 | Published September 29, 2021
Updated August 20, 2022
Published September 29, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Graduation is usually a thrilling time as students get to choose a life path. While getting an entry-level position in a relevant field is sometimes the popular choice, there are various ways to use your time after graduation. Knowing what to do after graduation and the various available options can help you make better decisions and improve your chances of personal and professional fulfillment. In this article, we explore your post-graduation options and highlight 15 amazing ideas for how to spend your time after you graduate.
What are your post-graduation options?
Upon graduating, there are various choices you can make about how you want to start this next part of your life. It's common to relocate, often back home, sometimes to new provinces, or even to an international destination. If you're ready to begin your career, you can apply for an entry-level role in your preferred industry. Or you can consider other opportunities like volunteering at an interesting organization to gain unique experience and transferrable skills is a less conventional way. Regardless of your decision, ensure you consider your interests and options when choosing a post-graduation path to ensure it aligns with your passion and benefits your career.
Related: How To Get a Job After Graduation
15 great options for what to do after graduation
Here are some options that you can choose from if you haven't yet figured out what to do after graduation:
1. Regroup at home
After graduating, a great option for you is to move home before deciding what to do. Going home to live with your parents or guardians allows you to return to a comfortable place, sometimes at a free or reduced rent, before deciding on a life path. It's cost-effective and allows you to take as much time as you need. Once you're home, you can then explore other options available for you and decide what you'll find most fulfilling. Usually, this is also an opportunity to network with organizations in your industry, connect with your post-secondary school's alumni, update and improve your resume, and prepare for your ideal career path.
2. Further your education
After graduation, another option you can consider is continuing your education. This is a great option if your career path requires you to get specialized or higher education. For instance, after your college program, you can pursue a bachelor's degree, where it's needed. You can also join specialized programs that prepare you with technical proficiency for your preferred industry. This ensures you're better positioned to gain an entry-level position when you apply.
3. Take a gap year
Taking a gap year involves taking one year for travel and exploration after graduation. It is also an opportunity to relax and recharge after several years of dedicated study as you prepare to transition to the workforce. Usually, it's useful for those looking to discover their interests and passion. You can gain new experiences, meet new people, and try new aspects of life that allow you to identify what interests you. Similarly, it also allows you to experience a distinct culture or build relevant soft skills like problem-solving and communication.
4. Consider becoming a research assistant
If you're interested in academia, then becoming a research assistant is a great option. Universities and colleges often hire recent graduates to work as research assistants. Usually, this position extends beyond the sciences as it's available across various departments like arts, history, and philosophy. If this interests you, contacting your previous professors and speaking to them about research opportunities is ideal. Usually, picking a professor with whom you had a strong and positive academic relationship can improve your chances of a positive result.
5. Find volunteer opportunities
Volunteering allows you to gain valuable experience, especially when related to your area of interest or long-term career goal. You can also develop both hard and soft skills, such as time management, task management, communication, adaptability, and leadership. These skills are transferrable and improve your capabilities and make you a more valuable employee when you start working. Volunteer positions can also lead to a full-time role elsewhere through the networking opportunity that it provides.
Read more: What Are the Benefits of Volunteerism?
6. Consider graduate school
You can also attend graduate school after your graduation. This is a great option if getting a post-graduate qualification aligns with your long-term career goals. For instance, getting a post-graduate degree is an excellent opportunity if you intend to become a consultant or expert in a particular field. You can research available graduate schools and programs that align with your goal. Afterwards, present a compelling application to the institution highlighting your interests and qualifications.
7. Get an internship
As a recent graduate, an internship is an important opportunity to gain access to competitive companies and industries. Once you're about to graduate or immediately after graduation, you can apply for an internship position in reputable companies in your industry. Often, internships attract less pay compared to full-time roles. Still, they allow you to gain valuable experience can prepare you for a full-time role. An impressive performance during your internship can also lead to recommendations and a full-time job offer.
8. Make your passion your job
If you have discovered your passion, you can make it your job after graduation. This involves using the various skills you gained during your academic program and applying them to an area. For instance, if you enjoy yoga, you can get a teacher certification and begin teaching in a studio. You can then apply skills such as self-motivation, discipline, and self-management to perform your tasks. If you love knitting or other crafts, you can maximize your creativity and innovation and sell your products online.
9. Find seasonal work
If your passion involves seasonal activities like farming, you can consider taking seasonal work to explore your passion. You can create a schedule to ensure you have access to employment opportunities. For instance, you can get a job in a store over the holidays as employers need extra employees to manage the increased demand.
10. Consider public service position
You can also take advantage of public service positions available to recent graduates. These positions allow you to develop new skills and earn stipends while serving your community. For instance, some of these institutions focus on education in specific areas, improved standard of living, and other community services in high-need locations. You can also maximize these positions to build an impressive professional network useful for references and job prospecting.
11. Work for your academic institution
You can also work for your academic institution in a wide range of roles. For instance, various universities and colleges hire their previous students as a member of their administrative departments. This includes admissions, academic advising, and development. If you're passionate about education, you can explore this option by speaking to the administrative team and inquiring about available positions. Also, through this option, you can develop various transferrable skills such as time management, interpersonal, and communication skills that aid your professional development.
12. Teach abroad
Teaching abroad is another great option after graduation as it allows you to explore a new culture while working. There are various countries where native English speakers can teach both children and adults English as a second language. While you can get a teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) certification, language schools don't typically require candidates to have a teaching degree.
Often, fluency in English and a bachelor's degree in any discipline are the only requirements. You can arrange a job in advance, or you can consider travelling to a country you want to live in and applying to a language school or finding clients when you arrive. Be sure to research the demand for English teachers, salary expectations, cost of living in your preferred location, and when the school year begins before you go.
13. Take an apprenticeship
Depending on your industry, you can also begin apprenticeship training. These programs are common in labour-intensive and manual industries, such as manufacturing and construction. It allows you to become a skilled worker in a specific trade through specialized training under the supervision of a skilled colleague. You can also earn a healthy wage during this program, as it doubles as an employment contract.
Read more: What is an Apprenticeship?
14. Start a business
You can start your business if you have an idea to solve a community problem or optimize a specific process. This allows you to pursue your dream, contribute to society, and earn money. In addition, you can get additional certifications or take specialized training to equip you with the necessary skill set to succeed. For instance, you can take a course in project management and business leadership to help improve your chances of success once you start the business.
15. Get entry-level jobs
After graduation, you can begin an entry-level role in your preferred industry to gain the necessary experience to become an expert. You can apply to various companies before you graduate or wait until after graduation before applying. This position allows you to improve your resume, gain recommendations, expand your professional network and your skill set. It also presents an opportunity for you to earn, sometimes considerably, depending on your industry you value.
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