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Graduation is Here… Now What?

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Congratulations on this momentous accomplishment! Graduating from college isa lifechanging milestone. It signifies the completion of years of rigorous education and your commitment to personal development and growth. Graduating also opens the door to your career and the next phase of life.

Of course, you are likely filled with mixed emotions and anticipation about what lies ahead. Whether you are preparing to start a new job, still interviewing for the right career opportunity, or planning a gap year, the most important next step is to have a plan.

If you are going to start a new role, spend the next few weeks researching the company culture. You should familiarize yourself with the company’s policies as you enter the workforce, particularly around dress code and in-person attendance as many companies have updated policies in these areas in recent months.

Harvard Business Review shared an informative video, How to Succeed in Your First Job Out of College. The video suggests setting expectations with your leader, getting to know your colleagues, asking for feedback, and prioritizing your time for learning and personal development. This is very useful advice that can help you focus your energy and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Another idea is to create a 100-day plan by identifying what you would like to accomplish in first few months on the job. For example, you may want to schedule time for coffee or lunch with various leaders and co-workers to introduce yourself and to learn more about them, their roles, and what they see as the future of the organization. Maybe there’s a series of trainings that you would like to complete to have a better understanding of your role. Consider involving your manager in the development of your 100-day plan to determine what they believe would be most impactful in your development. Take your time and don’t be discouraged if there are things not accomplished as expected. Most importantly, be realistic and consider embarking on your plan as a marathon and not a sprint.

As you enter the graduation season filled with final exams, senior projects and emotional gatherings with friends and family, know that you have lots to celebrate as well as what you need for future success. The NASBA Center for The Public Trust is here and happy to help with your transition.

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-Sedrik Newbern, Consultant, NASBA Center for the Public Trust