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In an article about what to do after college, a picture of four people on laptops working around a desk

You’re finished with school. Now what?

After the end of every school year, thousands of fresh graduates move on from student life to real working life. For young adults, adjusting to the dynamics of adult life after so many years of studying and depending upon their parents can be challenging and sometimes stressful. For many, it is the time to figure out their next moves in an environment full of competition and thousands of other graduates. There are many different paths and career choices for students to make that could involve moving onto employment, starting up their own business or continuing with their studies. With many options to choose from, it’s important to plan your next moves in advance before you graduate.

1. Seek Employment Advice

Many graduates might have an idea about their career path by the time they graduate, but the job market requires more than just the knowledge you got at school. You should start by making connections and learning more about your desired career as early as possible. One of the most difficult tasks is getting the job experience you need to succeed after graduation, and work positions or volunteering might help you gain valuable experience. Starting early will increase the chances of meeting people who can help you land your dream job. Try to look for mentors in your field by attending workshops and joining career-related social media groups. Your college career service can also be a useful resource for employment advice on things such as all the do’s and don’ts to look out for when applying for jobs and more useful information.

2. Practice and Perfect Your Interview Skills

Whether your chosen path involves employment, work placements or further study, it’s highly likely that you will need to complete some interviews. Interviews are becoming more competitive every day as more and more graduates flood into the job market. One way of increasing your chances of passing the interview is by standing out from the rest through excellent performance. You can brush up on interview tips online to learn about what to expect in interviews, what questions might be asked and what you should wear. All interviews are different, but practicing beforehand can keep you prepared, boost your confidence and help you perform better at the real thing.

3. Start Your Own Business

If you are uninterested in further studies or working for someone else, have you ever thought about working for yourself? Self-employment is a path that many people consider so they can create their own dream job and business. If you have a business idea in mind, now is the best time to turn it into a reality. Start by organizing your ideas into a business plan and find some mentors who are already in the business industry if you feel that entrepreneurship is your passion. There are a lot of factors that will need to be considered so it’s important to think things through thoroughly to make sure that creating your own business startup is the right path for you.

Forbes has some great articles on business and business leadership, and even some insightful statistics about startups such as:

— Mentored startups grow 3.5 times faster than other startups.

— 42% of innovations fail due to a long development time.

— Founders of failed startups have a 20% higher chance to succeed in their next venture.

— Companies that presell services and products close 40-50% more leads.

In this new What Are The Chances? quiz, you can even find some interesting statistics on the chances of something happening. For example, did you know that startup businesses have a 25% chance of failing within the first year? This is likely due to the steep learning curve of starting your own business. A lack of experience in record keeping, planning and management is just one of the reasons why startups might fail early on.

4. Study a Postgraduate Course

Staying in education might seem like an easy choice for students to make, but any decisions you make will determine your future. You might want to take your current subject further or you might want to specialize in a specific area, or you might even want to try something entirely different. Choosing further education can be rewarding in the future, especially if you are considering an academic career. Some careers and jobs might also require postgraduate qualifications, so it’s important to do some research on which career path you would like to go down. You can even want to take your studies abroad to experience new locations, learn new languages and learn about different cultures.

5. Find an Internship or an Entry Level Job

Finding a job is not always easy if you don’t have much on your CV or resume. Working for a year as an intern or any other post related to your study can give you the experience that will impress future employers. Internships will also help you learn more about the working environment and creates a platform where you can meet valuable mentors. Internships can also be a great advantage if the company you work for has new job openings or allows you to stay on after your internship has finished. If you are looking for a job, internship or volunteer work, there are many online tools that you could use to help assist you in your search.

According to the iCIMS ‘The Class of 2019 Report,’ college seniors in the United States used these useful tools to help them in their job search:

— 73% used online job boards (e.g. Indeed and Monster)

— 62% used career fairs to seek employment

— 61% used social media (e.g. LinkedIn and Facebook)

— 59% used Google to search for jobs

— 55% looked on company specific websites

41% had a referral by a current employee

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