3 tips for new graduates starting their careers

Graduation season is here. Fresh graduates arrive at an important crossroad in life as they are leaving school. Career coach, Sarah Vermunt gives valuable advice about embracing uncertainty and moving on to the next stage of life.

Graduation is usually paired with anxiety for many people — they’re excited to be done school, but feel unprepared for what comes next. A lot of young adults suffer from post-graduation paralysis and don’t know how to move forward from being in school. Career coach, Sarah Vermunt has three insider secrets that can help you deal with post-graduation stress and feel good about starting your career:

1. You’re not supposed to know what you’re doing.

Before graduating from college/university, your entire life had pretty much been a prescribed path. You attend elementary school, then move onto high school, and finally get into university. When you receive your university degree, you’ve suddenly reached the end of this straightforward path. It’s normal to freak out about not knowing what to do next.

You’re probably also thinking that the adults in your life have it all together. In reality, nobody knows what they are doing and we all face uncertainty in life. Nobody talks about it because we all want to look and feel like we know what we’re doing. The truth is everyone has doubts and fears that are constantly following them around. At some point, you will get used to this feeling of confusion and be able to move forward with life despite it. If you feel like a loser because you don’t know what you’re doing right now, there’s nothing wrong with you. Welcome to adulthood!

2. You don’t have to work in the field you studied.

This is a huge shock and relief to many people. Most of us assume that we have to work in the field we studied in school, but this is not necessarily the case all the time.

When you are still in university, you may realize that what you chose to study isn’t actually a great fit for yourself and you’re not excited about that field of work. If that’s the case, don’t spend the rest of your life on that path! Take some time to figure out what you really want to do instead of rushing to sign up for a life that drags you down.

3. What you want to do for your career will probably change over time.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could plan your whole life out with absolute certainty? But it’s straight-up impossible to figure out your entire life and career in your 20s. You certainly can plan, but you should remember that your plans will change over time. Here’s why: because you’re human. You’ll change and evolve and grow over time and so will your interests. A career is an organic, evolving thing. I never expected to be doing this work when I was in my 20s and there’s no way of knowing what I’ll be doing 10 years from now. This is true for everyone.

Those of us that are control-freaks will hate this. On the other hand, it can be incredibly freeing. It means that you don’t have to have your whole life figured out at once. This takes away the pressure from you and gives you more time to get to know yourself better.