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Life After Grad School: Choosing a Career

Congratulations! You’ve finally finished graduate school, and you’re ready to move on with your life. So, how do you choose a career now that it’s finally time to step into the real world? I would have to say that I went through a five step process after graduate school as I attempted to chart my next step.

1. The Sky’s the Limit

The great thing about having your graduate degree is that the sky’s truly the limit. You can choose to do almost anything because you have both a bachelor’s and an advanced degree. This is especially true if your degrees are in two different, but complementing, disciplines. You will have the knowledge and the experience to head into a variety of careers all because you kept working hard in graduate school.

2. Career Services

If you are having trouble choosing a career, talk with career services about your options based on the discipline(s) in which you received your degrees. They have information on every job imaginable, and they will be more than happy to set you on the right path toward finding a career that fits your experience and your goals.

3. Talk With Your Professors

In this situation, your professors may be your best source of information. Since they have actually worked in the area for many years both as teachers and likely in the workforce as well, they have an infinite knowledge about how to use your degree best. Talk to them, and they may even be able to point you toward contacts in certain fields who can help you find a job.

4. Evaluate Your Own Desires

Remember to consider what you really want in this process as well. Why did you get your graduate degree in this area? What was your plan then? Is that still something that interests you now? If you really decide that you don’t like the area, you can always go back for more schooling, either before or after you find a job to begin paying off your loans. People change careers about 8 times during their lives, so if you change your mind later, you’ll just be normal.

5. Begin Job Hunting

Another way to choose your career is to simply begin job hunting. What’s out there? What’s practical? You may find a really cool job in your field but it may be so competitive that you would need several years of experience in order to qualify. Even if you have to wait a while, you can still consider this job your ultimate goal. In the meantime, bide your time by working hard in another job. Job hunting helps you choose a career by letting you know what’s out there, what’s practical, and what you want to do.

Amber Smith is a frequent contributor to Amber Smith is a feature writer that covers topics relating to MBA Programs and online colleges.

Image taken on 2009-09-30 00:00:36. Image Source. (Used with permission)

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