If you or someone you loved just graduated in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, this one’s for you.
This May’s college and high school graduates are headed into the worst job market since the Great Depression. It’s an anxious, uncertain, frustrating time.
First, take the time to grieve. You likely didn’t have the graduation ceremony or celebration you expected. Maybe you didn’t have time to say goodbye to friends before quarantining. There’s a lot going on, and a milestone has been abruptly interrupted so take space to process that.
More, now than ever, you’ll have to be (and remain) flexible. Be open to the possibilities tangibly related to your major and past experiences, rather than focusing on one industry or one career path. Look at other lines of work, consider applying what you know already in a new way and use your foundation to expand.
Also, know that your school and your support system has your back – so use them! Reach out to your school’s career center or advisors and look into the tools available to sort through feelings, reactions and next steps. The people around you can help you build a game plan, including some Plan Bs and Plan Cs, so you feel confident moving forward amidst the uncertainty. Some of your community may even know of current opportunities, so don’t be shy in asking around.
You can also use this time to learn new skills, expand your professional development and make new connections. A company or organization may not have any jobs available, but you can still reach out for informational interviews to learn more about someone’s position and even ask how their company is handling the pandemic. Being curious is always a good thing, and networking now may help you out in the long run.
Yes, life is always unpredictable but this is an entirely new reality we have to face. Stay grounded, open and creative as you navigate this next chapter post-graduation.
Photo Courtesy of JD Photography