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Graduation… what next?

Date:30 May 2022
Author:Leslie Willis
What to do after you graduate?
What to do after you graduate?

You are about to graduate from your Bachelor or Master and are not yet sure what to do or where to go next? Figuring out what career path to choose can be very time consuming and give you headaches. Luckily, you are not alone with that. Here are some tips on how to figure out what to do next. Hope they will help you!

What do I want?

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The hardest question in the whole what next-debate probably is “what do I want?”. When we were young that seemed easy to answer, but as we are growing older interests change, things we haven’t heard of before pop up. To be fair, the options of what to do are quite broad nowadays, which is great but at the same time leads to difficulties finding out what exactly to do. If you find yourself struggling about what to do next, because you are just not sure about it, I would highly recommend doing an internship. That way you can try things out and even if you notice that that’s not the field you want to work in, take that as valuable information for your next decisions. In general, experimenting and getting experience is the best thing you can do when you are unsure about what to do or where to go.

Where should I go?

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Talking about where to go: Maybe you are an international student already or you have just for the first time thought about going abroad. Or, you are considering moving within the Netherlands. Either way, as soon as you graduate, it is very likely that you will (have to) move depending on what you’re going to do next. When comparing your options, you should take into account that your decision will affect different parts of your life. Would you like to be close to your family or is it okay to see them just once in a while? Do you feel comfortable exploring a different country or city or do you strive more when you’re in an environment you know? Of course, your decision doesn’t have to fully depend on those factors, but it can be very helpful to ask yourself those questions. In the end you will always find a way to figure it out anyway!

How do I start?

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Make a list .. or a mindmap, or a post-it wall. Visualize all the options you have in your preferred way and make your way from there. What are the options you are the most excited about? As soon as you have figured that out, you can untangle everything a little and make a plan including a timeline. When should you start researching for job/internship/volunteering/… opportunities? What are the application deadlines? Should you start looking for housing already? This can be a lot, but rest assured that having a timeline can help you a lot, even if you end up not applying to everything you planned. If you have a specific ‘utopia’ you have in mind for when you are older, think of what steps you can take today that will bring you just a little closer to that. You can never start early enough, every baby step counts.

Talk to people who know you!

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Are you in the position that you are just very lost overall? Then, talk to people who know you! That can be your family or friends, maybe even a professor from your favorite seminar? They will know about your strengths and weaknesses and can reassure you that you should apply for the position you think is out of reach, or go abroad or not. You might even notice that while talking about the options, that your way of talking and making points is more enthusiastic for one than the other. Observe yourself and see if you can figure out what you want by the change in your voice and enthusiasm while talking about your options.

You got this ;)

Last but not least, always know that other people have been in the same situation as you are right now and they have also found a way to go. No matter your decisions and where you end up going or what you end up doing: That is just one out of the many decisions you will make in the course of your life. So there is no need to worry too much! 

Good luck, you got this!

About the author

Leslie Willis
Leslie Willis

I am Leslie, 23 years old and currently studying the MSC Voice Technology at Campus Fryslân. Before I studied in Germany which also is where I am from. I’m a language enthusiast and I love music and coffee ..and ginger beer!