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What to do when you graduate

The day you don your gown and throw your cap in the air (literally or figuratively) is a momentous occasion; one that remains in your heart and mind forever. More often than not we feel as though the finish line will never come and then, all of a sudden, it is upon us and catches us off-guard. So much so, plans for what’s next may not have been made.

If you are nearing the end of your course or qualification and are exploring your options, here’s a list of some exciting ‘next steps’ that you may want to consider:

Kick back and relax: while many of us like to capitalise on the momentum we’ve built up during our study and head straight for the workforce, it’s also completely understandable if you want to pause for a breath, take time for reflection, and enjoy some well-deserved R&R.

Create a personal brand: this is a valuable asset as you embark on your career. Having a personal brand helps you to define your professional development, understand your values, and sets the tone for what impression you want to make on prospective employers and colleagues.

Build your network: social capital is a very valuable commodity when you are in the market for a new role. But remember, quality is more important than quantity, so have a clear plan about what strategic partnerships you would like to build so you can create meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships. A good place to start is to look at whether your chosen industry has a professional body – these bodies may require a subscription fee but can offer myriad networking and upskilling opportunities. LinkedIn is also a great way to put your feelers out for future opportunities and to connect with likeminded people.

Develop your C.V: your C.V will always be a work in progress so don’t despair if it feels a bit empty at first – you’re just starting out! There are some great templates online or you can take advice from a careers counsellor or your course facilitator.

Further study: building on your qualification is always a valuable investment in your future. TANZ eCampus has qualification pathways charts that will help you navigate your learning journey so you can make informed decisions about how you want to fulfil your academic potential and in turn your professional potential.