If you’re about to graduate, you have lots of reasons to be cheerful. You’re about to walk across a stage balancing a board on your head while wearing a trip-hazard, as the ceremony demands. Once you have your degree in hand, you’re ready to embark on your post-university life. Are you ready?
Maybe not. And that’s ok. Diving right into the workforce is not only unnecessary, but it’s quite normal to put it off until you’ve taken a much needed break from your studies to enjoy your life and well earned freedom.
Not ready for life’s next step? No worries, here are some other things to do after you graduate that will be both fun and enriching:
Take a break and travel
Graduate gap years are more common than ever. There’s nothing wrong with taking time out, traveling a bit and doing something different before you get a job. But, like every other opportunity that you face, this one needs research and planning. Many students intend to take a break after graduation but very few actually do.
Taking time out requires a level of thought and forward planning that is slightly inconsistent with the notion of simply kicking back and relaxing. You need to find answers to the following questions:
- What will you do and where will you go?
- Do you want to travel, work (paid/voluntary) or study overseas?
- Will you need to raise some money/pay off debts first?
- Why are you doing it?
- What will other people (potential employers) think of it?
- Will it help you to get the job you want afterwards?
- Should you try to get something organised (job/course) before you go?
- When's the best time to return?
Employers are generally positive about graduates taking time out to travel or work abroad, but only if the experience, personal development benefits and skills gained through it are sold well. Extended holidays without aim are a turn off. If you want to start a graduate job on your return, you need to investigate applications timetables for the careers that interest you before you go.
Work for yourself
More graduates are considering self-employment – and why not? If you have ambition and a decent idea or skill to sell, it's probably worth a go soon after you graduate. You have less to lose, more commitment and energy, you're used to working anti-social hours and, working for yourself beats working for someone else.
If you’re not sure what to do, think about your simple talents - the ones that are easy for you to do and are needed by other people. Some examples are copy writing, editing, content development, marketing, graphic design or being a virtual assistant. Not only are these all great options, but they are mobile jobs and if you choose to travel, you can take the jobs with you!
Whether locally or abroad, volunteering to help with children, those in poverty, refugees, art or music institutions, etc, can help you apply your passions or skill sets in a way that gives back. It will also test how much you are interested in the field where you are pouring your energy into while being immersed in other cultures, and socio-economic groups.
The point is, that there are definitely options out there for people that are not ready to just dive into the grind of the 9 - 5. This is the best time of your life to go and figure out what you want by doing and by living, rather than just by wishing.
You’ve worked hard at your studies and you’ve earned some real living time. Ontario Bakery applauds you and is here for all your custom baked goods, from graduation to weddings and all the fun in between!