After having the same conversation with different seniors on repeat recently, I felt compelled to share some specific advice to a larger audience. Stress levels are high as we creep closer to graduation and the pressure is on to make plans for after May 10. While it is important for you to give intentional thought to life after college I also want to let you in on a little secret…you are currently searching for what you will do next, and that does not necessarily have to be what you will do forever.
According to the Future Workplace “Multiple Generations @ Work” survey, 91% of millennials (that’s your generation!) expect to stay in a job for less than three years. This is not like your grandparent’s, or even your parent’s, generation; if we follow these figures, you and your peers may have up to 20 different jobs throughout your life.
So what does this mean?
This means that I encourage you to think about the next year, and not the next 40. What skills have you gathered through your activities, internships, classes, service, etc. that you can utilize in a work setting? Where might you want to live and explore after UR? Are there particular types of companies or organizations that you are interested in working for? Use this information to help point you towards your next step and finding something that will utilize your skills, teach you something new, and that hopefully excites you.
Maybe it is daunting to think about moving around but consider the world we live in today. Many jobs that you will apply for were not even an option a decade ago, so who knows how the job market will continue to change. As technology evolves at a rapid speed, new jobs are being created at a similar pace. Consider that your dream job may not event exist yet! Who knows what you might learn or who you might meet in your first job that changes everything you thought about your future.
Remember that you are a complex human being. You most likely have a variety of interests and skills, which means you probably are attracted to a variety of jobs. It is OK to look at a range of opportunities that are different from each other. This does not mean that you are unfocused, this means you are versatile.
As I went through my last semester of college six years ago, just as you are today, I would have never imagined that I would be a career advisor. In fact, I probably would have laughed at the idea. My first job was a ten-month position where I learned an incredible amount about myself that has guided every career decision that I have made since then. I love my job, but guess what: I still do not know what I want to be when I grow up, and I am a career advisor.
I am not advising to give no thought to what is next for you, but to go easy on yourself and remember to plan the next step, not your entire life. If any piece of this post resonated with you, I encourage you to visit Career Services for an appointment and we can assist you as you navigate through this process. You are certainly not alone!
Appointments can be made either stopping by our office, THC 306, or calling (804) 289-8547.