Graduation season is upon us! Whether you, your kid or someone else you know is graduating from high school or college, one thing is clear-graduation means big things ahead. We mark these events with solemn ceremony, punctuating the event with hugs and cheers for what we’ve accomplished, and perhaps more so, what lies ahead. Your graduation truly is an accomplishment, but sometimes in the celebration of it all, we forget to consider…what comes next? Maybe you have it all figured out, or maybe you are freaking out because you don’t. Either way, everything is going to be okay! Change is happening, whether you’re ready or not, so today Profession Concession is offering up advice for recent grads to maximize the potential of this truly transitional time in your life. Here we go!
You don’t have to go into a four-year degree program. That’s right. For years, traditional college has been touted as essential for professional and monetary success. While it is true that college can be a part in your education and development, it is not necessary to pursue a traditional four-year degree to succeed. Increasingly, the areas of the economy in greatest need of employees are those requiring highly-trained technical workers. What does this mean for you? Choose an area of study that interests you. If that means a four-year degree, great. If not, look into technical programs focused in advanced technology. These programs can be less than a year up to two years and can provide a solid foundation for you to begin your career. For more information on the current needs in the labor market and why college isn’t your only choice, check out this video https://vimeo.com/67277269.
Develop your soft skills. While it is critical to pursue some sort of post-secondary training or education to be competitive in the workplace, remember that there are skills that you need no matter your career choice. Punctuality is key. When you get a job, you will be expected to show up on time everyday. Another big one is professionalism -this is a big one, encompassing a variety of traits, but a tidy appearance, professional speaking and writing skills, and the ability to control your emotions/anger are big ones. There are even programs that will train you specifically in soft-skills if you feel that you would benefit in instruction in that area.
Seek advice, ask questions and learn as much as you possibly can. This is the time of your life to seek after wisdom and knowledge from those at a different place in their journey than you. If you open yourself to all of the experiences your are offered and become a sponge for information, you will feel yourself integrating that information into your life, using it to advance yourself professionally and personally. Don’t discriminate. Learn as much as you can about as many things as possible, then take that general information and begin to hone in on where your talents and interests are focused, then begin to shape your career accordingly. Organizations like SVAM can be a huge asset in your quest for knowledge. With insight into the manufacturing field and resources for job seekers, we can provide tips for breaking into and succeeding in a manufacturing career. Don’t be shy about seeking out professional advice from your community.
Do you have any advice for recent grads or reflections on what graduation feels like? Comment below.
Oh yeah, and congratulations!