So You Just Graduated, Now What?

Blog | June 11th, 2020

Graduation can be a scary yet exciting time for anyone, but when worldwide disruption is derailing your plans for life after school, there’s good news. You can take steps after graduation that could help you get started on the best path possible despite everything currently happening. Here are a few things you can do.

Consider Remote Employment

You may be the most well adjusted to remote employment of anyone currently in the workforce. If you aren’t sure what that entails, it’s time to expand your horizons to include jobs and internships that can happen online.

Now is the time to leverage your connections. Consider your professors, family, and friends. Ask around for who might be hiring for their remote workforce. You might also think about offering to work remotely at first and transition into the office later if circumstances change.

If remote employment isn’t quite panning out yet, there are still things you can do. You can seek out online mentors or complete certification courses from LinkedIn

Now is the time to learn to network as well, although in very different ways than what may have been the norm in the past. Take advantage of everything available to you to make those invaluable connections.

Consider Continuing Education

Traditional graduate programs may not be recruiting so late in the year, but that shouldn’t stop you from seeking other opportunities. Maybe now is the time to take that coding boot camp you’ve been eyeing or look into a course on UX design to brush up your skills.

Free courses also happen every day on the internet, and the more you’re able to keep yourself fresh and on your toes, the better you’ll fare when employment does come along. Plus, those skills could be just what a future employer is looking for in your field. And, you may be able to defer your student loans by enrolling in more university courses in the meantime.

Take Care of Yourself

There’s nothing wrong with a little binge-watching or late-night snacks to relieve stress, but it’s important not to go too far down that road. Taking care of yourself keeps you sharp and ready to take advantage of opportunities you may encounter along the way.

This includes setting reminders to do adult things like pay your bills or order your groceries. It can also mean finding a few staple, healthy breakfasts you like or learning to cook a little healthier overall. Drink water and get a good night’s sleep each night. These small steps add up to something big.

Related: How To Successfully Live On One Income

Get Your Ducks in a Row

Life is very different as an adult who has to survive outside of college. You can’t arrange your schedule the way you’d like, and it may be harder to make friends. However, this is your chance to get yourself into some good habits that can pay off later.

Set up your checking and your savings accounts if you haven’t already. Make a plan to save for emergencies. Begin to think about what you can afford for your apartment, and if you’ll live alone. You may also have to relocate for a job, so whatever money may be coming in, now is the time to buckle down and save.

If you don’t have any money coming in right now, that’s ok too. Maybe you’re still living with your parents until you get settled. You could decide to take on some responsibilities around your house (laundry!) so that you have better habits if the time comes to strike out on your own.

Be Flexible

There’s a good chance that everything you thought you knew about the real world has gone up in smoke. That’s ok because even in good circumstances, there’s a definite learning curve that happens during the transition from graduation to the real world, so be prepared.

You may have to consider employment in ways that you hadn’t imagined. All work experience is valid, so be open to trying things you didn’t exactly plan for. You might also be open to moving across the country for a job or even starting your own business.

But What If I’m a High School Graduate?

There’s still a chance colleges will be open in the fall, but you should consider now the possibility of remote classes. Now is the time to invest in the right equipment if you can or find ways that ensure that your technology doesn’t hinder your learning. Reach out to your university to find out the current plan. 

If you’re able to enter the workforce during the summer, this could be a good time for you to begin saving money for the fall. If you can’t, take some of the advice above and begin to take a course or two in a discipline you’re interested in. This could pay off when you do enter college, and you have a head start.

Take the First Step

No matter the circumstances, there’s always going to be something you can do to get started on the right path. You aren’t the first person to try to enter adulthood during uncertain times, and you certainly won’t be the last.

The biggest thing to remember is that you can find a way to start adulthood, but it may not look exactly like what you imagined. Just be flexible and look for excellent opportunities when they come around. 

While some studies suggest that entering the workforce or graduating from high school during a recession has long-lasting effects, the only thing you can do is take control where you can and make connections where you can. It’s your future, so be proactive!