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How to figure out what to do after college

Wondering how you’re supposed to answer the question “what are your plans after college?” This blog post will help you figure out what to do after college.

During my senior year of college, I was often asked the question, “what are your plans after college?” I hated being asked this question and I think it’s because I didn’t know the exact steps I needed to take after college. I knew I wanted a marketing job, but that was about it. So I came up with a system to help me organize my thoughts and put it all in a letter to myself.

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How to figure out what to do after college

  1. Define what success looks like for you:
    • Write down your absolute dream situation
    • Write down why this is your absolute dream situation
  2. Set expectations for yourself:
    • Write down what it will take to make that dream come true
  3. Prioritize:
    • Rank them in order of importance
    • Focus on the most important goal
      • The most important goal is the one that will get you to your dream situation the quickest
  4. Create a plan:
    • Work backward

How this helps you figure out what to do after college

The three main reasons to write a letter to yourself is to:

  1. Define what success means to you
    • Success looks different to everyone. For some, success is climbing that corporate ladder. For others, success is being able to travel the world. And there are so many more visions of what success looks like. You need to decide what success looks like for YOU.
  2. Set expectations for yourself
    • Setting expectations for yourself helps you create borders. This is an important one and it’s one I didn’t realize until way later. Let me explain. My (senior-year-me) definition of success was living and working in the city. But I didn’t set expectations for salary or what work-life balance looked like.
  3. Prevent you from playing the comparison game
    • When you write down your expectations and what success looks like, you can only compare where you are to where you were yesterday or where you want to be.

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Example:

  1. Define what success looks like for you:
    • Write down your absolute dream situation
      • Live and work in the city
    • Write down why this is your absolute dream situation
      • I always wondered what it would be like to live and work in a big city.
  2. Set expectations for yourself:
    • Write down what it will take to make that dream come true
      • Find a steady
      • salary marketing job in the city
      • Live a short walking distance away from work
      • Pay off student loans
      • Enjoy the city life (go to events, coffee shops, and eat out)
  3. Prioritize:
    • Rank them in order of importance
      1. Find a job in the city
      2. Pay off student loans
      3. Become friends with my coworkers
      4. Move into the city
      5. Enjoy the city life
    • Focus on the most important
      1. The main thing is finding a steady, salary marketing job in the city.
  4. Create a plan:
    • Work backward:
      1. Find a place just outside of the city to lower living expenses while job hunting
      2. Find a part-time temporary job to pay bills while I job hunt
      3. Find an internship (preferably paid) to build experience and start networking in the city
      4. Attend networking events
      5. Apply to jobs

Now it is your turn!

Now that you know defining success and setting expectations will help you figure out what to do after college, it’s time for you to get started. Grab a piece of paper or your journal and start writing.

Don’t forget to grab the free job-hunting game plan to find out the exact steps you need to quickly land your first marketing job.

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