Life After College, should I get a job or start a business?
George stared down at himself in his graduating gown and his certificate held tightly in his hands. The bustle of the graduation ceremony was still well on.
Well, so after College what next?
Life After College: Generally, this question is one that every graduate asks himself/herself after graduation (i.e Life After College); some even ask this question while they are still undergraduates and this could go a long way in helping them make decisions while still in school.
Here we are going to look at three categories of people:
Life After College: A Job or a Business; Categories of Graduates
- Those that want to pursue a professional career path in line with what they studied
- Those that just want to get an “education” and then pursue a personal goal/dream (mostly entrepreneurs)
- Finally, those that have no idea or are not sure of which to do.
We are going to be taking these three points one after the other:
- Those that want to pursue a professional career path in line with what they studied: This group of graduates/undergraduates already have a career path in mind. They have decided to take up a job in their field of study as their career path. For example, medical doctors, lawyers, physiotherapists, bankers, teachers/lecturers, nurses, medical laboratory scientists and technicians, radiographers and so on. These people have no confusion about what they really want and so they just go for it after graduating.
- Those that just want to get an education and then pursue a personal goal/dream: This group of graduates are in school just because they want to go through college and let college go through them;
what is meant here is that they want to get a feel of education and higher level learning so that after school they are equipped to pursue their personal desires. These are mainly entrepreneurs that are looking to start up their own business once they are done with college. This group of people could also be studying a related course like business management that would be helpful to propel them forward to their goals.
- Those that have no idea or are not sure of which to do: This group of graduates are still not sure of what they want to do. They are in for the “let’s see what life brings” slogan. The set of people under this category could be people that have been “forced” by parents to chase a particular career path that they are not really interested in taking that career path and because they are unsatisfied with what they have studied, at the end of the day they could end up not really practicing what they studied or they would probably still do what they studied but without zeal and so they tend to stop after a while and look for something else they are passionate about. Another set of people here are those that just took up a course “just because”. After College they tend to just “hustle till we make it”.
A job or a business after college life?
Life After College: All things being equal, each of these set of people should get what they set out for. A doctor practicing, an entrepreneur being successful in business, a hustler doing what he knows best, etc. But we all know that all things are really not equal. A medical graduate could be out on the streets 2-5 years after graduation still looking for a job.
Life After College: A business minded graduate could still be struggling with a business without profit for years. The forced/confused graduate could still be confused, not really knowing what to do or taking up a career path that could keep him/her frustrated because he/she doesn’t really want it.
These days, most people tend to find a different part away from what they planned or studied about. The key here is to be flexible and open to changes while still keeping your dreams/aspirations in mind.
Life After College: A medical graduate that just got out of school could start a practice on his own after getting a license instead of waiting for a job. This means he would need capital to set up his clinic and where does this take him? He has to get a side job. This is why skills are important. Let’s say this medical graduate learned graphic design while in school and has become good at it. He could start doing work for it and getting capital with which to begin his clinic since there is no job yet.
An entrepreneur could also begin to gather capital for his business through skills that he/she has acquired whilst in school.
The third category of people who have no idea what to do should also acquire skills as they could begin from there and slowly progress or find out what they could do. Who knows, the skills you acquire could be what you would end up doing full time.
Here are examples of relevant skills to acquire in this age. Life After College requires the followings skills:
- Computer literacy
- Graphic design
- Social media management
- Real Estate
- Web development
- Content writing
- Digital marketing
- Mobile app development
- Copy Writing
Sometimes, what we see as menial could be what would be our propellant into relevance.
Another important thing to note for graduates is to find what you are really good at and improve upon it. A graduate with skills can never look for what to do; keep that in mind. Remember that the importance of networking and connections cannot be overemphasized. It is believed that your dream job or business is just one or two or three persons away from who you already know; so take people that you come around seriously.
Hard work has no replacement. People say work hard like a drop out. I’d say work hard and work smart!
a. Acquire skills no matter what path you choose to take
b. Be flexible and open to change. Don’t be so rigid in your plans because things could change
c. Make networks/connections that would be of help to you after College
d. Start early, fail fast, fail forward
e. Have a plan
f. Work hard, work as though you have no certificate to fall back to.
As a graduate your life has just begun, make the most of it!
Onuoha Anna from the Department of Medical Rehabilitation, University of Nigeria. She loves travelling, writing, reading.
She loves research when it is something she is interested in.