Many of us like the idea of studying for degrees and qualifications through college and university, but once the structure of classes has gone, what next? When we are younger, we can get enclosed in a safety bubble of routine and structure, student financing and accommodation. However, once it is all over, we are required to start being an adult and taking responsibility for pretty much everything. It can be a huge eye-opener.
While studying is ultimately helping you for the future in terms of the career you may want to have, when the university course is over, what next? There are plenty of things you can do once the studying has finished, and it can be a worthwhile thing, especially if you are still unsure what you want to do. It is always worth being as prepared as possible with that in mind, here is a quick list of some of the things you need to know about when leaving education for good.
Get a job in your chosen field
If your course has finished then it might be time to consider getting a job in your chosen field. For some, it might become a natural progression as some companies have close links with universities in some industries. It may be you need to start applying for those jobs.
Get some work experience
If you can’t get a job in your chosen field or find that you may need to get some work experience first then it could be a good idea to communicate with potential employers. Work experience might be voluntary, so you will also need to consider how you will find that moving forward.
You need to apply for jobs and brush up on interview skills
The time has come to stand up on your own two feet and head out looking for a job that you have studied so long for. You may find that there are several students just like you in the same situation, so it is important to try and stand out from the crowd. Maybe brush up on your interview skills and prepare in advance for some of the most commonly asked questions. At the same time, you may want to look into how you present yourself for interviews. First impressions count.
Your relationship with money needs to change
It is important to realise that once the safety net of student loans and studying has gone, your relationship with money may need to change. There is quite a lot to become responsible for once more, bills need to be paid, and perhaps student debt needs to be paid off. Thankfully, there are a lot of resources online. You may find that now is the time to start making disposable income work harder for you, especially if you have managed to land a job in your chosen field and you now have a regular income. If you are a little unsure of the wise paths to take when it comes to finances then a financial advisor could be a great option to consider. It may seem daunting at first, but realising what you can and can’t do sooner rather than later will stand you in good stead for a more successful financial future.
Budgeting will become your best friend
Back onto the subject of money again and you may find that while searching for a job you need to budget a lot more intensely than ever before. This is when meal planning could help, as well as having some form of budget planner that you can write up and refer to so you know exactly where you stand with your finances. There are a lot of finances to consider once you leave university and you don’t have a student loan to help finance food, a social life, and your accommodation.
Is it time to move back home for a while?
There is no shame in moving back home after university. It can be a great decision to make. Being in your home town and close to a community you know may open up temporary work solutions and give you a chance to start saving some money ready for your next step.
You could consider further education
Just because your course is over, or you have achieved something, doesn’t mean that your educational journey needs to end. It can only be the beginning. You could study part-time for additional skills or qualifications, or perhaps take on a master’s or a higher degree for the subject you have chosen. This is a great way to give you extra presence when you eventually decide to start a job in your chosen career field.
Why not go travelling?
Once university is over, many students look to go travelling. You could decide on backpacking, or maybe look to explore different parts of the world. Travelling while you are younger gives you so many great experiences and opportunities that you may not get if you start working straight away and choose to travel later in life. A lot of students take gap years precisely for this reason.
Another option could be to volunteer abroad. You could go and work with a charity in various parts of the world. You could utilise the skills you already have, learn a language, or even teach English abroad. There are so many wonderful opportunities and this could be a great way to combine travelling while gaining experience.
This stage of your life can be a little tricky as you navigate between finding work and settling into a new pace of life. But it is only temporary, and things will start to improve. Keep positive with your thinking. A positive thought process may be hard to master at first, but like anything, it is just a case of developing a habit.
Let’s hope this helps you decide on what your future holds after your university course has finished and helps you make the decision that is right for you.