About To Graduate? How To Confidently Decide What To Do Next
For any grad feeling overwhelmed by the many choices and unknowns surrounding their future, author of 'To The Next Step', Kyle Grappone, shares what you need to know to graduate with confidence.
1. What should all students know before graduation?
Students should know what the real world is like. It is impossible to be prepared for every aspect of growing up and entering your career but you can take several serious steps to gain a pretty good understanding of what is coming next.
These steps include taking the time to discover what in life you are passionate about, connecting with working professionals, and creating a mindset that makes you always seek out new opportunities to become a better person.
Students need to know how much time, energy, and resources your career and full-time job take up. A lot of the graduates I speak to were unaware of this and therefore never took the time to understand the job they were entering and whether it was something they would actually enjoy. If students take the time to learn about prospective careers, they are much more likely to end up in something they will enjoy and therefore not mind how much time and energy that the job takes up.
2. For those who have already decided on their next step, how can they be sure they're making the right decision?
The first thing is to ask yourself is 'Why did you make this decision?". If you can't answer it, that is a problem. If the answer is because you thought you were supposed too, or it is what your parents told you to do, then that is a problem. A lot of adults made very big life choices based on what society or family was telling them to do. Every step on the road to the real world needs to be intentional.
If you are making a choice, it has to be because it is helping you become the person and create the life you have made for yourself in your mind.
If you haven't thought of those things yet, you need to hold off future steps until you do.
3. For those still unsure what they want to do career-wise, how can they decide?
The first thing to do is to ask yourself, 'What Type of Person Do You Want To Become?'. Take some serious time to think about what in your life you are good at it, interested in, passionate about, and brings you an overall sense of joy and satisfaction. For example, maybe you are the person in your friend's group who is always giving advice and helping people with their problems. You like doing this. That means you should become the type of person who helps people. Then, you make a list of every job that has to do with helping people.
Lastly, you do as much research as possible about those jobs. This includes reaching out to current working professionals in those jobs to ask about their day to day life, responsibilities, what they studied in school, what they like and don't like about their jobs and what advice they would give someone your age.
By doing all of this, you are much better equipped to pursue a career that, on most days, you can come home from and feel a sense of satisfaction and commitment.
It all comes down choosing a career that you won't mind spending a significant amount of time doing as well as doing the research to understand what that career will actually be like once you enter the real world.
4. If you could give one piece of advice to the class of 2019 what would it be?
Only you have to live your life every day. You have to wake up every day and live with the choices you made and the career you are in. Others will give you well-intentioned advice but they are not you. They do not know your passions or what type of life you want.
Do not settle for something "safe" just because society is pushing you in that direction.
Choose a career path that aligns with the type of person you want to become and the impact you want to have on the world around you every day. You spend a lot of time at work, you want to make sure you are doing something that is going to leave you satisfied, proud and fulfilled.
You can learn more about Kyle Grappone and his new book here.