So You've Graduated, Now What?!
Graduation season has just come to a close, so congratulations to graduates on every level. You have reached yet another milestone in your life. This is a time of excitement and celebration for some with uncertainty and fear for others. Whichever side you identify with, nothing can take away the hard work that you completed in order to obtain your degree. There are skills and knowledge that you have acquired throughout your journey, so use them to your advantage. Speaking of advantage, let’s discuss the next steps after graduation.
Everyone does not have the luxury of graduating with a job offer, internship, or fellowship in hand. Most struggle with actually being happy after graduation due to not feeling accomplished. The question of “What do I do now?” always lingers. What if I don’t find a job? What if I have to work at McDonalds? What if I have to move back home? How will I pay back these student loans? The stress and anxiety continue to form questions in the back of your mind, even depression. Don’t let it keep you down though.
If you are in the social sciences, it’s most likely because you had a passionate or relative purpose for pursuing that degree. Remember what it was that inspired you to choose this field of study, hack into that, and get to hustling. For example, most people state that helping others is their reason for being in the social sciences. Lucky for us, people will always need help. Picking a target population is imperative. You most likely made a similar choice during your required internship or externship. Do you want to work with the geriatric population, Veterans, children, teenagers, addicts, hospice, etc.? Answering this question will provide guidance in your next steps.
Location can also be affected by your target population. You might have interest in a certain facility or subgroup that is only available in a specific state. Location also aligns with licensure and/or certification. Unlike nursing, the social sciences do not have compact agreement, so your license to practice must coincide with the specific state you wish to work in unless it is with the Federal government.
From location leads to income. Certain states pay more but also have different costs of living. Research, compare, and contrast all of these aspects, and you should be off to a good start. You have a specific number in mind when you are thinking about pay, so keep track of how much living expenses will impact your ballpark number while on the search. These are only a few tips to get you started. Good will hunting!