What to Do After Graduation: Ideas for Those Not 'Real World' Ready
The gap year has been a British tradition for centuries, and it’s becoming increasingly common around the globe. From better test scores to improved personal clarity, it's no surprise this practice is winning the hearts of students and faculty. If you jumped from high school to a four-year university, it's not too late to enjoy a gap year of your own.
Are you a recent uni graduate? Taking a year off before entering the workforce could give you the time you need to determine your personal goals and career. Of course, you don't want to waste this hiatus at home.
Not sure what to do after graduation? Embark on these constructive detours and rediscover your personal convictions.
1. Research Gap Year Programs
Hundreds of gap year programs are speckled across the country. While many of these institutions take recent high school graduates, others are available for people of all kinds. The real question is how much you are willing to spend to take part.
For example, some programs, especially those that require international travel, can cost thousands of pounds. If you aren't looking to spend money, how about making some? Some of the most popular gap programs, such as Voluntary Service Overseas, provide plenty of financial support for those enrolled.
These organisations tend to be highly competitive but also extremely rewarding. It's worth applying to any that catch your eye on the off-chance you are one of the lucky few who are selected.
2. Seek an Internship
In the past, internships targeted current college students. But nowadays, they have become extremely competitive. Many now seek recent graduates who are looking for an academic break before seeking a career or furthering their education.
Who should look for internships during a gap year? Anyone who wants to test the waters and decide if a certain industry is right for them. Even if you choose to pursue a different career, time spent as an intern can add relevant experience to any CV.
Plus, it is one of the most affordable options. You shouldn't have to contend with serious travel expenses that come with an international trip. And if you are lucky, working as an intern comes with commendable financial benefits.
3. Enter Another Culture
International travel is a popular component to a gap year. This may include looking at historic locales or participating in international efforts related to your degree. For example, a biologist might sign up for ongoing conservation efforts located in another country, or a marketer might attend a summit.
Think your degree isn’t relevant to the international community? You have other options.
One of the easiest ways to fund your international trip is to teach English. In some countries, no schooling or certification is required. Though you may have to earn a TEFL certification to sign up for most gap programs.
It's well worth the effort. You will enjoy a small monthly stipend, communicate with native speakers, and grow your network with international contacts.
4. Try a Part-Time Job
You don't know what to do after uni, and that is precisely why you are not ready to sign up for a gap program or international travel. Instead, go easy on yourself and take advantage of a part-time job.
This is an opportunity to make a little money on the side in a low-stress environment. Whether you are working as a bartender or gardener, you will have plenty of personal time to consider your career options.
A part-time job is an essential component of those undertaking digital endeavours. Maybe you want to take the year off to self-publish a novel or create a new phone application. You can fund this time off with a part-time job.
As an added bonus, you'll avoid having an experience gap in your CV.
5. Take Another Course
Just because you earned your degree doesn't mean you're done with the world of higher education. You likely have passions unrelated to your current education. Now is the perfect time to pick up some experience.
Maybe you have an interest in digital art but knew the business degree would have better prospects. Enrol in an art course or two in colleges of further education. You may discover that the experience is relevant to your industry or gives you a leg up on competitors.
This type of secondary education can help you land your dream job.
6. Employ Yourself
Self-employment is more popular than ever before. Many people choose to work under an employer because it's a safe option. But since you just graduated from university and have nothing on the line, why not give freelancing a try?
Nowadays, most degrees offer marketable skills that don't require an employer. Your education gives you a unique perspective that others lack. Industry publications are looking to pay people like you to create relevant content.
If writing isn't your thing, what about teaching? Whether you are teaching English as a second language or creating your own college courses, tutoring is a thriving business with many avenues for success.
At the end of your gap year, you may discover that you won't need to find employment.
What to Do After Graduation: The Decision
The gap year is a transitionary period that happens once in a lifetime -- and it goes by fast. If you weigh your options and choose a path relevant to your passions and personal values, you can't go wrong.
Now that you know what to do after graduation, what are you waiting for? The workforce will be waiting for you once you've had some time to discover yourself. Find a job and impress employers with your newfound experience.