Preparing for life after college
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Opinion: One thing college doesn't teach you is how to be truly independent.
Arguably, the main purpose of college or university is to prepare yourself for a career. The end goal is for you to not just land your first job but also to find your passion.
Entering the “real world” can be daunting. The comfort of the dorm, college halls, and constant social interactions with your friends will soon be over. As you prepare to move on to another chapter, let’s keep a few things in mind.
1. Your first job isn’t everything
You or your friends probably have your careers all planned out to pursue what you believe is the most logical, objectively sound career path. Some might even have a job laid out but do you always get lucky the first time around? Let’s be honest, you’re probably going to dislike your first job and your choice of career.
Don’t let that get in the way of you pursuing your dream. Trust me, you’ll figure it out.
2. Research your interests
Many students don’t take time to research potential fields of interest or their passions. You absolutely should. Talk to people who are working in a field or at an organization that interests you. Fanshawe College has a great alumni association and a network of professionals who could provide a little guidance.
Conduct informational meetings and possibly shadow a professional to explore your interests. Internships are also a great way to investigate different fields while gaining valuable experience.
Consider what you find attractive about the career paths you’re considering. Choosing a field solely based on salary, prestige, and pressure from others can lead to job dissatisfaction.
3. Start building your LinkedIn presence
Why wait? LinkedIn is a powerful networking site for professionals on the web, and hiring managers and recruiters use it every day to assess applicants. You don’t want to just have a presence on LinkedIn — you want a strong, professional presence. There’s no reason you have to wait until you are out of school.
Once you start your profile, don’t do it halfway. You need more than just a basic profile; you want a fantastic profile. Like your resume, you want your LinkedIn page to jump out at possible employers and get you noticed.
4. Prepare for your job interview
You may not actually be applying for any jobs until the spring, but it benefits you to start thinking about those job interviews. If you’re a confident speaker, that’s great. You’ve already won half the game. If not, there are multiple resources online and within college to prepare you for what’s coming.
Finding your footing after college can be tricky, so never be afraid to take advantage of the resources that are available to you.
One thing college doesn’t teach you is how to be truly independent. When you graduate college and move into an apartment, many of the things that were given to you will be taken away. You’ll have to learn how to pay bills, get yourself to work, and take care of yourself outside of your university.
Welcome to the “real world.”