A Letter To Those Graduating College Without a Job

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dear Graduate,

First and foremost, CONGRATULATIONS! You did it! You made it through your final semester. Welcome to the end but also a brand new beginning. In just a few short weeks you will be walking across that stage donning your well-deserved cap and gown and probably downing a 40 oz beforehand. Bring on the champagne!

Although, I bet it is kind of hard to celebrate your efforts when you're leaving college with no job offer, no prospects and everyone asking you “What do you plan to do now?”

You are probably feeling slightly defeated, but mostly unsatisfied. You’ve completed all the proper steps. You have completed the internships, applied for jobs, have gone to all of the interviews, and even experienced some early on rejection e-mails in the process. As a graduating senior, I felt cheated. “Go to college,” they said, “so you can make a better life for yourself.” I don’t know about you but, I was not feeling too confident in myself and my stack of student loans that will gracefully be making an appearance in 6 months whether you like it or not.

There is nothing harder than admitting you have no idea what your next move is. You might be feeling disappointed in yourself because you worked so hard for this B.S. and are walking out feeling cheated.

I want you to know it is OK not to know. 

Not everyone is going to walk out with a degree and their life being lined up for them. In fact, 4 out of 5 college graduates leave college without a job offer. So if you’re are one of those 4, you are not alone. You’re actually among the masses.

For the first time in your life, you are in complete control. You have done your required K-12 and then your highly encouraged four years in college.  No one is telling you what you have to do next. Maybe another degree is in the works, or you will dedicate more time to the job you work at currently to pass the time. There is a little bit of glory in knowing your next step is entirely up to you.

There is nothing wrong with not working in your field RIGHT after college. Jobs are hard to find and can be extremely competitive when you do see them. Take this time to figure out what you genuinely want to do. What do you like or not like about your degree? Maybe you don't even like the degree you got? This is the time for some serious self-reflection and goal setting.

Hold on. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. Give yourself a year and see where you are. You maybe precisely where you want to be or have an entirely new life plan.  Remember how you switched your major three times? Yeah, that’s going to happen in your life consistently. Get used to it. You are always growing and changing. Do what feels right for you and tell those pesky people asking what your next move is that you have no freaking clue and you are 100% okay with it. 

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