Post College Beginnings And Options

By Rene Santana on May 9, 2019

After celebrating 16 years of going through the education system, I felt almost weightless and carefree as I no longer dreaded due dates for assignments. Being so free, I nearly crash-landed into post-college life when I realized shortly that I needed to find a job in the field I studied. I had already done most of the research prior to enrolling for classes when I first started my degree in writing but hadn’t given it a second thought since then.

And so after accepting my diploma, all I can do was sit and take in the massive achievement I accomplishment. Whether it was getting a job in my field, an internship, or a different career path, I hadn’t waited too long before beginning on a few options. Here were some post-college options I considered, or had at least pondered while I was searching for a job.

Don't worry! There's hope when looking for a jobs in the post-college life!

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay 

Freelance Lifestyle

This will always be the most appealing option for recent graduates. You can set your hours, pay, and workload. But the work won’t come to you, and it sure won’t be easy to find when starting out. Much of this path is difficult and not for someone looking to pay their expenses straight out of college. So, to start, it’d be best to have a job you can use to pay for your expenses, but not too demanding that you’re always too worn to build your freelance base. I find this path to be extremely rewarding once you have a steady flow of customers, but until then, it’s a long journey of hustling day in and day out.

Internship

Knowledge is power, but experience is how you use that power. I learned much from professors at Central Washington University, but it wasn’t until I went out and applied everything that I had little to no idea how to use the information I was taught. Enter the internship. My first internship was with a small publishing company as an editor, and it was the perfect place for me to start. Catching the most nitpick inconsistencies, and improving sentence structures, I finally got to try out all the handy things from my English studies. And while I did it for free, it was still a worth opportunity to apply the knowledge I gained from my classes.

Entry level Career Positions

An entry-level job is nothing to be ashamed about and should be celebrated as a stepping stone for a potentially brighter future. It’s in these positions where you learn outside of the classroom the sort of worker you are. From there, you can easily gauge how well you’ll fit in each part of your career field. It’s never terrible to start from the bottom, even if you are switching career paths, as you needed to start where you’ll have more chance of succeeding later on. Though that diploma may be encouraging you to apply for senior positions, you don’t know for sure if you’d even thoroughly working in your field of study. And if you aren’t sure the payoff is worth it Holly Johnson from The Simple Dollar can help shed the light on the different scales for various entry-level positions.

Continuing Education

If you have the inclination to continue your studies in your degree field or find a different field to study, you should do so knowing exactly what you want to do next. You don’t have to continue into a masters program right after finishing your undergrad, and it’s best to wait a few years after working in your chosen career to know if you do indeed need the extra schooling. It’s always best to step back for a minute and try out all the information you’ve been taught to know if you found the right calling. Otherwise, you’d be racking up debt and hoping to pay it off with a better education.

Switching Careers

Four years of schooling is a significant chunk of time to throw away, and though it may seem like so when you consider switching careers, it’s not a waste at all. I recently saw my company bring on a new guest services manager, and as they were finalizing their decisions, I learned they were keen on this hire because they were previously a school teacher. Apparently, many of the skills they looked for in a guest services manager were similar to those in a school teacher. There is no waste of time or education, it was merely transferred from job to another. Looking at it this way, you’re not stuck with the degree title you picked, but you are stuck with the skills you gained from that education. It’s then a matter of seeing where else you could potentially apply them.

Though I’ve heard it said that a master’s degree is needed and not just an undergrad degree, there’s still much you can do straight out of college with a bachelor’s. The thing to understand is that regardless of the field or title you studied, you nonetheless gained invaluable, vital skills from your time in college. As I said previously, it’s merely a matter of how you use that knowledge to better your career experience.

CWU Graduate | Writer | Editor @WaldorfPress | Favors Tech, UX, and the Serial Comma.

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