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The gown, the hat, the ceremony — graduation is the epitome of university life — marking the end, and a new beginning.

Finishing a degree is quite the achievement to be proud of. Some graduates will already have secured a job, graduate placement, or traineeship — whereas some will be resuming their studies. However, not all of us have it completely figured out. For many of us, there is a deep sense of uncertainty and hesitation, wishing you had attended careers fairs and spoken more with career advisors. The daunting question hangs over us: ‘What will I do now?! Am I really prepared for life as a professional after all these years in education?’ It’s perfectly okay to not know exactly what it is you want to do after university. After all, the academic bubble has protected you until now. It is only a matter of time that you figure it out.

Here is a list of just three actions required to not just get rid of the post-graduation blues but to make the most of your time from the get-go.

Get organised

The key to discovering what you want to do next is organisation. Being prepared is vital to success. Set yourself a task — whether it is planning your day the evening before, waking up earlier, improving your CV, or setting a fixed time to spend searching for potential jobs. Employers often look for organisational skills and potential employees that are well equipped to deal with various encounters. Having that control and preparedness from the beginning sets yourself up for anything that may come your way, whether positive or negative.

Set some goals

You are in control of the effort you put in towards your career and development. Set yourself goals — both short term and long term — with methods of keeping track of them. Write them down, memorise them, continuously go over them. Goals keep you motivated and give you a vision. With a vision in mind, start researching the potential careers you have in mind and how you can get yourself experience based on your current abilities and talents. Getting in touch with career advisors can point you in the right direction if you are still unsure.

Keep hunting

Take hold of every single opportunity that comes your way. The countless job applications, interviews, observations, training/taster sessions... as exhausting as they may be, they will bring you one step closer each time. Regardless of how small the job is, the skills you pick up and develop will increase your chances at securing something else in the long term. Do not let your loss of interest in a temporary field demotivate you. Remember, you won’t be stuck doing that forever. You have goals to hit, so do not lose sight of them!

So, there you have it — just three simple steps that will get you headed towards understanding the direction that you want to take. It’s not as overwhelming as it may seem.

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