As a hopeful graduate this year, I’m starting to think about what I’m doing with my life next year.
The options are endless—I could travel the world, I could volunteer, I could apply to a graduate program, I could apply to a college program, I could even say “Not today!” and just sleep all day, every day!
Or, you know, the dreaded… finding a job thing.
I have heard horror stories and seen memes about undergrads trying to find jobs. That endless cycle of needing experience to get a job, but needing a job to get experience. Or needing a Masters or a Ph.D. to get a job but then being overqualified for said job. How is this possible? How do I get experience in my field… with no prior experience in my field??
I am currently working two jobs and taking six courses. My jobs are not in my field, and I don’t think much of my coursework counts as job experience. If anything, I have barely enough work to put together a portfolio of some sort (I’m in CCIT and English), and even if I can make one, how valid will that be to an employer if it is not from the actual workforce?
One of my friends has already secured a job for next year. People, I am freaking out.
I talked to a career counselor two years ago, and she told me that one of the best ways to get this mythical experience is by getting involved in relevant organizations on campus that have something to do with my field so that I can put them on my resume. I have been trying to do that. However, already having a lot on my plate with jobs and school, I admit it’s difficult and requires intense time management (shoutout to the Passion Planner) and little to no time for myself. I like to think that I am involved, but is it enough? What do employers want?
One of the biggest decisions that I feel undergrads have to make is this “what to do with the year after you graduate” dilemma because the possibilities are almost endless. The way I see it, most people think that their options are
- To go to grad school, or
- To work in their field.
But maybe it is time that we think outside of the box. Not to say that these are not perfectly good options, but to realize that there are other opportunities out there, and multiple ways to live your life. If you want to go to grad school, complete your application on time, and make it your passion. If you want to hop into the workforce, get involved, talk to a career counselor, talk to an academic advisor, and make your work your passion. Apply to everything even if everything seems out of your league, or at least, find an entry-level position that does not make you hate your life (you can be the CEO later). And if you want to travel, volunteer, start your own business, or anything else you can imagine—you can set a goal and make it happen.
Just don’t forget about your OSAP.