Making The Next Decision Between College And Career: Part 1

Unfortunately, I cannot speak to everyone’s specific situation, but I will do my best to touch on the majority. One of the biggest decisions people are faced with after graduation is what to do next. Should it be continuing school and achieving the next level of your degree path, finding an internship, starting the job search, taking a break, living with your parents, or traveling the world? Usually, this decision is made based on three conditions: mental state, financial situation, and career goals.

If you are currently in the darkness between college and starting an actual career, first understand that you are not alone. In America, roughly 21 million students were expected to enroll in college in the fall of 2014. Although the rates of actual graduation are a bit less, I am confident in saying that there are others out there experiencing very similar situations. If 20,999,998 graduate and know exactly what they are doing with their dream job lined up for them, at least we have each other.

If you have not read the previous article, I suggest clicking back and reading it now. I briefly touch on how the mind is the first thing that needs to be active in this life transition to ensure the best outcome. Below, I come back full circle and explain in a more specific way what the mind looks like in the decision process for the first of the three conditions.

MENTAL STATE. Are you completely drained from the 16+ consecutive years of schooling you just underwent? I know I was. Do you possibly think that taking some time off of life could help you in the long run? News flash: you do not have to go immediately to work after college. Maybe you don’t know or are not currently ready for the next step and spending a few weeks or months traveling the world can give you that rest you need to hit the ground running when you return. Or maybe you just need to take a break and live at home. Contrary to popular belief, this is a current trend and can be beneficial if there is a plan and it is not a one way ticket. 21.6 million Millennials lived in their parents’ home in 2012, up from 18.5 million of their same aged counterparts in 2007.

FINANCIAL SITUATION. Sometimes decisions have to be made based upon financial restrictions. Maybe there is absolutely no way to continue living on your own and living with a few roommates or back at home makes the most sense from a financial standpoint. You can always continue taking out loans, but this may be digging yourself (deeper) into unnecessary debt. If traveling is something you really want to do, you will be surprised at what is possible. If you can afford it or cannot afford it, go for it!

To briefly sum up the first two conditions, I just want to explain that the normal and so-called expected path is not what it used to be. We have so many more resources at our hands now that we can do whatever we want. The hard questions is just figuring out what that is!

Action Step: Do some reflection. Is there anything holding you back? What is best FOR YOU and not anyone else. Write this stuff down on paper. Positives and negatives of each of the options you have. Take action!

Share your story! Leave a comment or email me directly with any questions, comments, or concerns at:

Next up: The Third Condition where I go in depth on the final condition in making one of the biggest decisions after graduation of what to do next.

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