A Student’s Perspective: The World is Your Oyster as College Graduation Nears – Are You Ready?

As we crossed over into 2022, we saw many winter college graduates move onto the next stage of life: work! Summer grads are not far away, and many students are embarking on their final year, making decisions that will shape their #futureofwork.

Do modern graduates feel ready for the #futureofwork?

We asked Delaney Brassard, a student at the University of Florida who has also been expanding her skills as a content marketer as she builds her resume and skill set. Her response was an honest, authentic reflection of what she is experiencing as a student preparing for graduation. Still, it can apply to people already in the work world who question their career future as well.

Starting a fulfilling career: the greatest challenge of post-grad life.

Graduation opens extraordinary opportunities for recent graduates. New beginnings mean you can choose to be a new self, a better self that may pursue any career you choose in any city you see fit. The world is truly yours; you may go in any direction you could ever desire.

Although exciting and freeing, these opportunities act as a petri dish for anxiety. I started pursuing a major four years ago with little knowledge of what a job in the field looks like day-to-day. As my finals slow, I have been looking toward my future with this notion of uncertainty.

The job market has been forever warped through quarantines and variants, although some changes have offered a light in this bleak time. A new attitude of life has welcomed reformed office dynamics. Recent employee empowerment has put a few of my worries to rest, but the daunting task of projecting my future remains. The first job post-grad sets the scene for long-term aspirations. Choosing a company with an overall positive culture and upward mobility allows for temporary security. Yet, the duality of my entry-level job fears almost seems contradictory. On the one hand, I worry about being put in a position far below my skill level in a field I have little to no interest in long term. On the other, the imposter syndrome directly juxtaposes this fear as I worry, I will get a job that I do not feel fully deserving of, struggling day to day with feeling out of place. The sensations almost seem to contradict each other, proving the complexities of aspirational anxieties.

Facing these fears, I have taken a few proactive steps to subside these feelings. My biggest worry about the job search is finding a career I am passionate about. To combat this fear, I have been searching for a mentor. Many LinkedIn searches and conversations with family friends within my field have guided me towards a more specific professional direction. Job shadowing has given me the sneak preview I have been longing for. Even experiencing “a day in the life” of professionals in the field has given me insight into the work I want to pursue.

I have also looked towards my friends for the familiarity they house as we endeavor on this journey together. Leaning on people who understand the whirlwind of emotions makes the burden feel more insignificant as we carry it together.

Instead of a first job, I have been considering an internship. An internship would give me the guidance and experience I worry about in a program that directly transitions into a full-time position. In addition, the intern-to-full-time pipeline guarantees I will be qualified for the job and helps me reach higher-level positions as the company trains me themselves.

These proactive measures may seem relatively minuscule, but they have made all the difference in calming me. I feel more confident than ever about my future.

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SSI thanks Delaney for a realistic look into what our future work professionals face. In the last two years, college students have suffered the most unprecedented disruption to their college experience and education and are met with different choices than previous working generations. At SSI, we build relationships with the next generation workforce to not just fill placements but to help them find fulfilling and rewarding work opportunities that will set the stage for their #futureofwork.

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