Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I Just Graduated…Now What?

Now that many of you are coming down from the natural high of graduating, reality may have started to drift in.  Or, for some, reality may have hit you like a mack truck.  People are asking you left and right “What are you doing?  Do you have a job?  What are your plans?  What’s your next move?”  It’s exhausting!  There is so much pressure to have all those answers.  You might feel like “everyone else has it figured out, so why don’t I?” 

Well, what if I told you that it is okay to not have “the” answers right now?  What if I told you it was brave to say, “I’m not sure right now”?  You might not trust my opinion but how about the opinions and stories of about thirty famous and/or successful people?  Someone recently recommended the book I Just Graduated…Now What? By Katherine Schwarzenegger.  In the book, Katherine Schwarzenegger talks about the concept of pausing.  Instead of hitting the “fast forward” button on your career and future, hit the “pause button.”  Here is an excerpt from the book:

“Pausing allows you to take a beat-to take a breath in your life.  As everybody else is rushing around like a lunatic out there, I dare you to do the opposite.”

Full disclosure:  I have not read the book yet.  It is on my list of books to read.  However, I am definitely intrigued by her message and think “pausing” is a useful tactic as long as it is not used as an excuse to procrastinate.  Pausing, in my opinion, doesn’t mean that you put a halt on exploring or doing things that might interest or challenge you.  It means that you don’t have to make definitive decisions at the moment.  It means taking the time to venture into opportunities that excite you to just “see where they go” without a full-fledged plan of action.  It is okay to take things on step at a time.  

If someone had asked me when I graduated what my plan was, I would not have said, “I am going to become a career counselor.”  It was the culmination of volunteering, having conversations with professionals, and other unplanned events that led me to my current career.  You will find, with the more people you speak with, that this is a common theme.  So, whether you read the book or not, the moral to this story is don’t panic, just pause.   Feel free to leave your comments below or make an appointment with a career counselor to talk about your “pause.” 

Deanna Rodin, Associate Director 

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