The world can feel like an intimidating place after graduating from college. Far away from the comfort of predictable routines, and even further from most, if not all of your friends can be scary. Many graduates are often both excited and nervous, with their whole lives ahead of them but unsure what to do next.

Listed below are a few tips to help you come to terms with the new-found independence, freedom, and responsibilities after leaving college.

Figure Out What You Are Good At

Having a college degree is great, but you must build an extensive skill set to strengthen your resume. Therefore, you must figure out the things that you are good at, those special traits or abilities that make you stand out. Once you know this, you are able to work towards building those skills as they will prove useful in the search for a job and even as you move up the career ladder.

Keep Learning

Just because you do not have an exam at the end of the financial quarter does not mean you should stop learning. Being hungry for more knowledge and opportunities to learn will help you grow your career immensely. You are able to do this by taking up more responsibilities, and also by doing work outside of your job description or comfort zone. Another avenue for learning is to take courses and attend workshops for various areas of interest in your professional field.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Many fresh graduates are often afraid to ask for help, fearing that they will seem incompetent or foolish. However, there is no shame in seeking assistance. There is always someone out there open to helping you. Achieving some life goals is often a team effort.

Even if you are not in formal employment, asking for help along the way might still be useful. It could be on how to fix your CV or handle interviews, to seeking out internships and volunteering opportunities. Whatever it is you need help with, you should not let fear hold you back. Most people land jobs and grow through the networks they build when they take the initiative to ask for help.

Don’t Forget Your Passions

Many people forget to make time for the things they are passionate and enthusiastic about once life begins to get a bit serious. This is a mistake as these passions are a big part of you. Making time for the things you love can become an escape from every-day stresses, and it reassures you that you haven’t lost your personality even in challenging times.  

Some people find ways to transform their passions into careers. Others decide to turn their talents into profitable side hustles. You can also opt to volunteer your time and skills to worthy courses by simply following your passion. Confucius, a Chinese philosopher, once said, “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Be Kind to Yourself

In the age of digital connectivity and social media, you are constantly exposed to other people’s highlight reels. It can be easy to feel like you are lagging behind or doing something wrong when you compare yourself to others. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that everyone is running their own race, and you must focus on your own path without being distracted by how others are faring. You must also cut yourself some slack, it may not happen immediately, but if you put in the time and work, you will eventually realize your goals and dreams.

Life after college is full of its fair share of ups and downs. However, you must learn to keep your head above water, even when nothing seems promising. Remember, getting a mentor to guide you through your early adult years and various transitions can prove valuable to your career development and life choices.

Guest writers and carefully selected for Career Enlightenment. Thanks for reading!

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