Congratulations to all you youngins that just graduated university! This is a major accomplishment, all those sleepless nights and day time naps were worth it, weren’t they? But if you’re like I was, you’re probably thinking, what now? *Queue Nicki Minaj- Freedom*
I graduated with likely one of the most challenging and useless degrees known to man, an Honours Bachelor of Science with a Specialization in Psychology. This basically means I wasn’t smart enough to get through Physics and that my uni grades weren’t good enough to get me into a post grad. Things started out great but Organic Chemistry in second year took a few of us out. Ok I’ll admit, took me two tries to pass that mofo and the only reason I didn’t quit was because my father lectured me, saying, “you must persevere Tyson”, “you’re just as smart as any of those other kids”, but the best advice he gave was “well you’d better go talk to your professor” and ya, that’s how I got through the second time. Oh Professor Boddy, he was so kind re-marking my midterm pushing me from a 32% to a 60%.
OK, but enough about my past, let’s talk about your future. For reals this time. You’re educated? Great! But now what to do with that $40,000 piece of paper. That reminds me, where is that piece of paper?
Seriously though, here are 5 questions you need to ask yourself, and this does not include, “What am I passionate about?” No way my friend this is real life now, Daddy doesn’t get to call the job interviewer the same way he called your Organic Chemistry professor.
- What are you good at? Don’t waste your time trying to force something that just ain’t ever gonna happen. Ok I know my Dad told me to persevere in school, but that does not apply to work. If you have to persevere through your job after the first year you will end up in the mental hospital or with a burst coronary. Figure out your skills, if you didn’t figure that out in university try something like StrengthsFinder. If you work in a field that requires some skills that you are good at you are more likely to be successful. For example, I am good at talking, therefore I picked Human Resources.
- What are your priorities? Priorities might fall along the same lines as your values. Think about the things that you want to get out of work. Do you want to travel? Create meaningful relationships? Help people? Build stuff? Create things? This might narrow down your search or at least point you in the right direction.
- What type of lifestyle do you want? OK so this is a touchy question and as a woman I have to tread lightly here. But think about things like, do you want to have lots of babies? Will you want to travel a lot in your personal life? Do you want to be work-centric, family-centric, party-centric? Some people feel a lot of fulfillment from work, I am one of those people. My career is what motivates me above all else. But I recently realized, that’s not everyone. Some people like spending time with their kids or travelling the world. Some jobs are more conducive to different lifestyles.
- How much money do you want to make? I thought I wanted to work as a youth counsellor until I realized most people in this profession could barely make ends meet. I’m sorry but let’s be real here, no judgement. I have a certain taste, and that tastes likes tuna tartar and designer handbags. Again, I’m not superficial but this is just life. Maybe for you money isn’t as important, or maybe money is more important.
- Are you willing to go back to school? Sorry to break it to you but your uni degree, probably won’t land you a job. Most of the millennials I know went to college following university to learn some more applicable skills. Despite self-determination theory being the the shining star on my thesis, awarding me that recognized A-… not super relevant you know? Like to the real world. I picked a post-grad certificate because after 4 years I couldn’t think about going through school from day one again. A Master’s is another OK option but honestly if you are ready to start working now, go to college. Save the Master’s for later. And make sure you pick a college program with a co-op term. This will give you the experience you truly need to land a job.
Alright now you go get em tiger. Best of luck. Plenty of fish in the sea. And remember when applying to jobs, just remember what my Dad told me, “you must persevere Tyson.”
And if you’re interested in how I ended up in my job check out my video, How I Ended Up in HR.