10 Ways to Prepare for Life After Graduation

Rachel Weiss
Career China Digital Marketing Manager
Mar 11, 2020

The spring semester of senior year is a busy time for college students. In the middle of writing research papers and studying for midterms, there are also many on campus activities happening, upcoming graduation festivities to attend, and the big looming question to think about: what should you do after graduation?  Whether you’re hunting for the best entry level job or even considering moving to Teach English abroad, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed – but don’t stress. Here are a few tips that will help you prepare well and plan for life after college graduation.

1.  Prepare Your Graduation Checklist

Before you graduate and move on to the post graduate stage, make sure you’ve wrapped up your current college stage. Make a checklist of everything you need to do before graduation, such as meeting with your academic advisor to review your degree plan, ordering your cap, gown, and graduation invitations, and scheduling graduation photos (your mom will thank you). Also, make a study schedule to conquer those midterms and final exams! The checklist can seem a bit daunting, but the sooner you start on it, the less overwhelming it will be.

2. Plan Your Next Step

There are many paths after graduation to consider: graduate school, finding a job after graduation, and even the option of taking a gap year to travel or work abroad.

If you want to go to grad school, you’ll need to research universities and the programs they offer for the Master’s Degree you want to pursue, and then apply for those schools. If you’re going to look for a job, you’ll need to think about the company and position you’re looking for in your career field - check out these top entry level jobs for recent college graduates to get started.

If you are looking for a way to save money, travel, and have more time to consider what your next move is going to be, you might choose to teach English in China or teach English online. There are many great programs for teaching English abroad that will help you choose the best place to teach, and are also great for people seeking jobs that hire with any bachelor’s degree. Check out these available positions for teaching English with these top schools in China.

It’s important to think about what your ultimate end goal is. Everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t be afraid to dream big and work on building towards that goal. Break it down into smaller steps that you can take to reach that dream job. Also, think about your interests and passions and how those can connect with your career path.

No matter if you decide to go to grad school, find a job after graduation, or teach English abroad, there are many great opportunities to pursue after graduation. The sooner you decide what you want to do, the more time you will have to prepare for that.

3. Research

After you’ve decided what your next goal is after graduation, do some research. The internet is a game changer for people seeking new graduate jobs! Information is now readily accessible about everything – you can explore career options all around the world and search through online career boards to find great entry level jobs for new graduates.

When researching a new job, make sure you think about the job description, company location, job salary and also the benefits. Indeed and College Grad are two excellent resources to find jobs near you. These sites also have reviews of companies and tips for acing interviews with future employers.

If you are planning to teach English abroad, there are other important factors to research as well, such as what country you want to live in, the company to work with, and what the starting salary would be. Moving abroad can seem like a big transition, but the process is much easier when you work with a reputable company or school that helps you every step of the way. If your goal is to Teach English in China and you’re not sure where to begin, this guide will help you get started.

4. Look For Internships

Finding an internship in your career field is a great way to get an extra boost for your post grad life. Many students will intern during the spring semester of their senior year, or even right after they graduate. Having an internship will make you a standout candidate to future employers and show that you have real world experience in your field. It’s also a great way to help you narrow down what you really want to do.

Many internships also turn into great entry level jobs for new graduates! Learn more about how to turn an internship into your first full-time job.

5. Update Your Resume

During your college years, you’ve been taking classes and working jobs to plan for life after college. If you haven’t already, create a resume that reflects all the hard work you’ve put in with student jobs, internships, and on-campus positions.

If you already have a resume, make sure you update it to reflect the most important and relevant information for your related career. Here are some tips on how to write a killer resume for teaching English abroad.


6. Meet with your Academic Advisor and Ask For Recommendation Letters

Your professors want to support you and help you achieve your career goals! You’ve probably already been meeting with your professors throughout your college career, so check in with them before graduation and don’t be afraid to ask for tips and advice. Also be sure to ask them for letters of recommendation, because once you start interviewing for jobs those will come in handy.

7. Network

Building relationships and networking with people is a great skill that will benefit your professional career goals. Reach out to people in the career field you’re pursuing and find professional mentors. Visit your campus career center and join your school alumni network. You can also connect with people who graduated recently before you and ask them what steps they pursued.

Social Media platforms are another great way to start networking before or after graduation. You can connect with professionals in your career field on LinkedIn and also join Facebook groups for recent graduates and school alumni. Instagram also offers ways to interact with companies and current employees – follow our Career China Instagram page to see connect with current teachers and follow their adventures living abroad.

8. Budget for Post Grad Life

Money isn’t the most exciting topic to think about, but it’s an important aspect of post graduate life to consider. If you have student loans, make sure you settle everything with your school account, complete an exit interview if you’re on student aid, and get copies of all your loan papers. Make a budget for rent, groceries, car payments, insurance, and other monthly payments you’ll make after graduation. Also, if you don’t already have a credit card, you might consider applying for one to start building credit.

9. Review and Update Your Social Media Profiles

Social Media plays a big role in the professional world now. Even if your major is not directly related to social media, your online presence is easily searchable and is a way for future employers to learn more about you.

Make sure to update your LinkedIn with all your previous job experiences, and don’t be shy in asking peers and colleagues to endorse your skills. As previously mentioned, LinkedIn is a great platform for networking and job searching and also acts as a live resume where employers can have a more in-depth look at your past experiences.

Also be sure to review your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles and check your privacy settings. It’s absolutely fine to share fun photos of your life - but keep in mind that if your settings are open, this allows future employers to see everything you post, and there may be some photos of wild nights out that you don’t really want them seeing. It’s important to keep a professional image and represent yourself in a positive light on social media.

10. Enjoy Your Final College Semester

While pre-graduation season can be exhausting and busy, don’t forget to also enjoy your final semester at school. Take walks around campus, spend time with friends, and reminisce on your favorite memories from your college years. College is an exciting time to not only study and work towards your major but also build lasting friendships and be involved in campus activities and organizations.

Planning for Life After College

No matter what path you choose to pursue, there are many opportunities for college graduates - be it a Master’s degree, jumping into the professional world and finding a new graduate job, or moving to teach abroad. The sooner you start thinking about your future, the more time you’ll have start preparing and take the steps towards the awesome post-grad life you’re looking for.

Ready to make the leap to teach abroad after graduation? Explore these job opportunities for teaching English in China

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