Finally, the day you have been waiting for arrives after years of hard work, you get to walk across the stage at graduation and collect your diploma. You should be ecstatic, but you cannot escape the thought that you do not have a job to be starting. You thought you had it all planned out- you would get the degree and then land a job at your dream company where you can make your way up the ranks. Now you are facing unemployment and mounting student debts. 

First off, do not panic- not having a job to move into right after graduation might not be a bad thing. Also, just because you do not have a job right now does not mean that your dream job is not right around the corner. Here are some reasons why not to be discouraged about not having a job after graduation and what you can do to make the best of this time. 

  1. Take a Break – You worked hard and put in countless hours and even pulled a few all-nighters along the way. Your life has been focused on earning your degree and the never-ending to-do list that comes along with it. Take this time to relax and take that trip you have been wanting or start that personal project you have put off. 
  2. Re-Evaluate Your Dreams- When you started school you may have had a good idea of where you wanted to end up, but over the time you have been in school it has changed. You have more experiences, education, and opinions. Take this time to think about where you picture yourself now, and what qualities are important to you in a future employer. 
  3. Research Opportunities- When you are in school your life revolves around studying and the next assignment or test. This does not leave much room for looking into future careers, employers, or degrees. Take this time to do the research as this will allow you to tailor your resume or future schooling to your new goal. 
  4. Explore Other Interests- Maybe you always wished you could take a creative writing or music course, but your schedule was too packed. Now is the time to explore some of these other interests. We have a world of learning at our fingertips and you deserve to take a class or research a topic out of interest versus necessity. 
  5. Focus on Your Soft Skills- Employers look at more than your degree. They look at your experiences, both paid and volunteer, and your soft skills. Soft skills are non-technical skills such as communication, teamwork, or organization that are transferrable skills between roles and can be used to indicate a good employee. Highlight these soft skills on your resume and try to improve areas of weakness, even if it means taking on a temporary part-time customer service job.

At the end of the day do not let your nervousness about the future prevent you from celebrating your achievement. You completed a huge goal and whether planned or not you deserve some time to celebrate. Celebrate yourself and do not focus on comparing yourself to others – everyone has their own timeline in life. 

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