What's the Wave?

Transition guide from college to workforce

The dreaded date is quickly approaching.


College graduation.


You are feeling overwhelmed by the countless questions asked by your loved ones. What are you doing after graduation? You are feeling, and carrying the weight of this pressure, and are feeling unsure of what direction you want to go in.


You selected your major in your college advisor’s office 4 or so years ago as an 18-year old and you chose it because it sounded interesting. Now, you are unsure of how you envision that major transitioning into your CAREER. You have studied and worked so hard to get to this point and now you feel a bit lost. Where do you begin?


If you are experiencing similar feelings, you are not alone. Here are some tips from a current Recruiter that was in your shoes not too long ago.


  1. Reflect – take some time to think critically about this next step for you:
    • This transition from college student –> adult life happens quickly! With the transition come many emotions.
    • It might feel as though you need to know what you want to do after graduation the moment you step off the stage and receive your diploma. However, it doesn’t always work out that way, and that’s ok!


It can be helpful to take some time to reflect. Here are some helpful prompts to get yourself thinking:


  • What did/didn’t you like about your studies in college?
  • Did you have any professional internships in college? — if so, what did/didn’t you like about those experiences?
  • Create a list of things that are important to find in your first job out of college
  • This typically is different for everyone — some people simply and broadly just want experience, others are hoping for the most competitive salary they can find — these preferences vary, and again that is OK!
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
  • What do you feel are your strengths?
  • During your studies, what did you enjoy learning most about?
  • What do you NOT want to be doing?


  • Some of these questions seem vague and silly, but they will certainly get you thinking!


  1. Network – use your resources, and use them often! :
  • Begin talking to people that are in the workforce about what they do, and what they think about it. This can be extremely helpful in getting first-hand insight into a specific workforce or industry.
  • Update your LinkedIn, and expand your network — do not fear reaching out to folks – or connecting with them on LinkedIn, that might be working at a company or in an industry that you are interested in learning more about.


  1. Do not judge YOUR process based off of others’ experiences:
  • Talking to your friends about their processes can be helpful in many ways but try not to judge your personal process based off of others’ experiences. Everyone’s process looks a bit different. The speed of the interview process, the salary, or the benefits can vary significantly across industries, companies, locations, etc,.
  • Some people receive their diploma and already have a job lined up for after graduation, while other folks take some time off and land a job 1 or more months after graduation. There is no right way to do it – don’t judge yourself if your process looks different than your peers’ processes!!!


  1. Interview!!!
  • Interview as much as possible.
  • The more experience you get, the more prepared you will be in your next interview!
  • Prepare for every single interview, regardless of how excited by the opportunity you are.
  • Organically, you will gain confidence with each interview. Oftentimes, you will see similar questions reworded and recycled.
  • An interview is not just an opportunity for the employer to get to know you — it is also an opportunity for you to get a feel for the company, the culture, the people, the day to day, etc,.
  • Be prepared with many questions and ASK away — this will be helpful for you, and also shows the employer you are prepared, did your homework and are interested!
  • After the interview — take a few moments to take some notes and highlight your key takeaways. If you are interviewing frequently, it is possible for conversations to blend and details to be forgotten. Take notes on your initial thoughts and feelings, and any key points that you liked or did not like about your conversations with the employers. This note taking can also serve as an opportunity to reflect more than you would have naturally.



In conclusion: This transition is a big step in everyone’s life. Be confident in the knowledge and experiences you have gained up until this point and know that support is out there. Take your time and be patient and know that something is out there for you!


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