After Graduation: What To Expect

Graduating from college or university this year? Not sure what to expect after you’ve received your degree? Learn more about what to realistically expect after graduation.

So you’ve made it through college or university. Congratulations, that’s huge!

This is a major stepping stone in your life and you should be proud of what you’ve just accomplished. After all, completing your post-secondary education takes a whole lot of time and determination to see it through to the end.

But as graduation approaches and you anticipate leaving the college life behind, you may find yourself having mixed feelings about this whole experience.

You’re stepping out into the world of the unknown. And there are many uncertainties that you’ll face in the upcoming years.

With that said, in the following blog post, we’ll go over what to realistically expect when you get out into the proverbial “real world”. 

woman wearing academic cap and dress selective focus photography

Finding A Post-Secondary Job

Number one on the list, right?

Many students rely on financial assistance to get through college or university. But now, unfortunately, it’s time to start paying all of that back.

So don’t be surprised if you find yourself working the same entry-level job that had back in high-school, and that’s okay.

A college degree will absolutely open doors for you, but it takes time and experience in the industry before your resume will be taken seriously.

Don’t forget that everyone has to start somewhere. And in your case, this is your somewhere.

So for right now, it’s a good idea to get yourself a job; any job, big or small, that will provide you with an income to start paying off your student loans and getting yourself set up for the future.

two women sitting beside table and talking - after graduation

The truth is that it’s unlikely you’re going to nail your dream job right after graduation.

So, having any type of job at this point is simply going to help keep you afloat, while you actively pursue your ultimate employment status. 

Read job interview tips here.

Getting Your Foot In The Door 

While you have your “cushion job” to fall back on and to help get you through, now is the time to get your name out there and start networking.

So start applying to any jobs that you feel are relevant to the knowledge you’ve just gained from your schooling.

But the harsh reality is that you are going to get rejected over and over again, and may find yourself feeling lost, possibly thinking that you’ve made the wrong choice in a career.

You might even consider giving up on this career altogether. There may be times when you’ll hit a point and feel that this is impossible.

But, hang in there. These things just take time. 

The important thing is to land yourself a job that will give you a step up in the direction you’re trying to go.

two people shaking hands - after graduation

Looking for affordable textbooks? Browse thousands of book at textbooknova.com

So stick with your field, but don’t amp your expectations up too high. This is where you might end up doing some grunt work. And you may feel like you’re underpaid or overworked.

But the value in the underpaid and overworked job is the experience you’ll gain to help you get the job you ultimately want.

You’re going to want to do the grunt work with a smile because the person you’re working for is going to make a great reference one day.

This job is going to be where you prove yourself. And I assure you that hard work does pay off.

Others will eventually start to take notice and remember your name. You may even start getting some job offers bigger that pay better.

You will find that sometimes, it may not be as much about what you know, but who you know. So it’s important to start by getting your name out there and showing them what you’re capable of. 

man writing on paper - after graduation

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others 

Please go easy on yourself when it comes to comparing yourself to your peers. If they are ahead of the game, working their fancy dream jobs, don’t be fooled. It’s likely they already knew someone who put them there. 

There’s something to be said about the ones who put in the hard work, the ones who won’t take any opportunity for granted.

That hard work and determination that got you through this far will pay off, in time. You’re going to learn hard lessons, you’re going to make mistakes, and you’re going to develop a thick skin because of it.

These are all valuable assets to potential employers. These skills are what’s going to take you to the next level. 

low light photography of woman in gray knit sweatshirt writing on desk

If there’s one thing we want you to take away from this, it’s to not give up on yourself.

You’ve come this far, You’ve invested the time and money in yourself. And you’re going to get there in the right amount of time that it takes.

It may take 3 years, maybe 5, maybe 10. But you’ll get there. 

In the meantime, absorb as much as you can from anyone who’s willing to give you insight and knowledge, and run with it.

Things might be uncertain right now, but stick to your master plan, use your stepping stones, and you’ll get where you want to go.