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Candidate Help & Advice

Graduation and Transitions Are Your Time to Shine

Graduation photo from ShutterstockIt’s that time of year when commencement addresses are in the air and all those years of hard work are coming to fruition. Graduation is truly the culmination of your hard work… Enjoy it. Revel in it. And, make sure you are ready for the next step. Which, gasp, will take more work on your part.

Graduation is important. It proves something. It proves that you can complete something. That means a lot. Take in the full measure of your ability to complete something. This will serve you well in your career and in your ability to complete your next thing. And the next thing beyond that.

Graduation is also a transition and may be the biggest thing you’ve done in your life, but there is a lot more to come.

Note: These points can also work for you even if you will be returning in the fall. That just means you have more time to plan.

As you get ready to graduate there are a few things to think about as you are preparing for your transition onto your next stage. These are just a few things that you have probably already thought about and perhaps already completed.  As you get ready to graduate these steps will require a little more work on your part, but the work you put in now will pay dividends later.

  • Thank You Notes
    • Take the time to thank the people that helped you get to this point. I’m not suggesting you thank everyone on the planet, but there will likely be a handful of people that made it possible for you to get to where you are today. Thank them. Sincerely and profusely. If possible deliver it in person and let them know the impact they have made on your life.
  • Recommendations
    • Ask a favorite teacher (before its too late) for a recommendation. Make your request now while your achievements are fresh in their mind. If you are looking for a specific type of recommendation it’s OK to provide guidance. It doesn’t mean they will follow it, but having it may help them complete your recommendation quickly.
  • Job Preparation
    • If you know you will need to pass an accreditation exam or join a specific business organization now is the time to get those efforts under way. At least get the forms and know what the process entails.
    • Communication Skills – If you’ve always wanted to join Toastmasters now is the time. If you want to improve your storytelling skills, writing skills or anything else. Now is the time to seek out those groups that can help you develop these skills.
  • Clean up Facebook and other Social Media platforms
    • Now is the time to look back at what you’ve been posting. Since you will likely be entering the working world you will want to make sure your Social Media profiles show you in your best light.
    • LinkedIn – Including getting your profile on LinkedIn “ready for business” consider doing a few of these:
  • Volunteer
    • You’ve probably already been doing volunteer work in various parts of your life. Now you might have a little more time and you likely will have a lot more to give back too.

Have Some Fun

Don’t forget to have some fun. The points above will take a little work and some thinking on your part. You’ve worked hard. You deserve some time for fun. So, take it. Whether it’s hanging out for a few days or taking a cross-country road trip this is the time to take advantage of the one thing you likely have in abundance now… time.

Graduations are Transitions

There will be a lot of news about commencement addresses in the next few weeks. There have been some classic commencement speeches delivered by a few famous people, including Steve Jobs and Kurt Vonnegut / Mary Schmich (via Baz Luhrman). There have been and will be countless other incredible commencement speeches delivered by both famous and not-so famous people this graduation season. No matter who delivers yours… enjoy it. Revel in it. And, if at all possible, take action on what you hear.

Enjoy this moment. Enjoy this transition. And Congratulations!