I've Graduated, Now What?
By Myrna Noble-Headad, LCSW
After the celebrations are over and the "Congratulations" have dwindled, figuring out what to do next after graduation can cause great stress. Feeling stuck or not knowing what to do can cause recent grads to be filled with thoughts of self-doubt. The anxiousness of not knowing what to do next can lead to stagnation, and even freeze responses, due to the stress of post-graduation next steps. Adjusting from a school to work life transition can be filled with learned lessons. From job searches, new routines to living arrangements and moving, the stressors can pile up.
Implementing some emotional wellness tips can help manage the school-to-work life transition. Doing an inventory of your sleep hygiene, nutritional eating, exercise and movement, connecting with healthy people and spiritual practice, can assist in figuring out how you are doing during this transition. If any of the above needs some attention, work on making improvements. Adding some of these additional strategies can help navigate through this post-graduation time.
Journaling - Writing down your thoughts and hopes in this new phase of your life can help get the multitude of thoughts out of your mind and onto paper.
Priority Lists - Making a list of your top tasks and needs as you develop your career or business can help you stay on track.
Get a Mentor - Seek a mentor through a professional association or academic institution. Build a mentor-mentee relationship and ask questions about your intended profession or business. (Creative Mentorship and Career-Building Strategies: How to Build your Virtual Personal Board of Directors by Mary Pender Greene is a fabulous book to learn how to connect with mentors.)
Connect with others - Whether it be setting up "cafecito" or "coffee" meetings, or engaging with others via social media, especially Linkedin, network with others in your field of interest. Opportunities are often made through the people we know.
Utilize Your Resources - Most colleges and certificate programs offer career counseling and resume help. Tap into this resource. Hiring a coach may also be a great investment to help you navigate this after graduation time in your life.
Self-care Routine - This transition time can be highly stressful. Actively take care of yourself. Whether it be a walk in nature, meditating or joining an art class, be sure to take care of You!
Overall know that this transition can be stressful now, and with time and some intentional work, life after graduation can lead you to the life you want.