Browsing Tag

post-college life

Health Other

The Doctor is Out: Non-Medical Career Paths in Healthcare

March 9, 2020

Maybe you’ve always thought about a career in medicine, but blood isn’t really your thing. Or maybe you’ve actually embarked on a career as a healthcare provider, but the road is long, and you’ve got to make ends meet while you chase your dreams. The good news is you have a lot of options for pursuing a career in the healthcare industry outside of the practice of medicine itself.

Think About What You Want

As you explore your options in the healthcare industry, you’ll want to consider not only what kind of work you want to do, but also what you need from your job. Before you accept a job, you need to ensure they offer a benefits package that serves you today as well as tomorrow, especially if you’re considering staying for the long haul. Ensuring that your prospective employers offer benefits, such as retirement and medical, dental, and vision insurance, can help protect you now and well into the future.

The Good Enough Job

If you’re not yet ready to settle into your forever job, you can still find great ways to make a solid living while you work toward your ultimate career goals. For example, if you’re a medical student looking to earn some income and garner some experience in the healthcare industry, there are a lot of great sites you can turn to. Major job boards like Indeed and Monster can help you tailor your job search to your particular requirements, while other sites like College Recruiter are dedicated specifically to helping undergraduate and graduate students connect with prospective employers.

Turning a Job into a Career

If you’re ready to start your career now instead of waiting on that advanced degree or those years of clinical training, you don’t have to abandon the healthcare industry to do it. There are endless options for stable, well-paying, and richly rewarding jobs in the healthcare industry. For instance, if computers, as well as healthcare, are at the top of your interests, then why not combine them by pursuing a career in Big Data and healthcare AI?

Or you may want to be a bit more hands-on while sparing yourself the rigors of med school. Studies show that careers in home health are among the most in-demand and fastest-growing in the US. Or, if you’re ready to commit yourself to a bit more time in school, you can build an exciting and very lucrative career with a Masters’s degree in health law and policy!

The Takeaway

Even if you feel a career in medicine isn’t for you, that doesn’t mean you have to abandon your interest in the healthcare field. Whether you’re looking for a temporary job in the industry to make ends meet while you cultivate vital professional experience, or you’re hoping to launch your professional career, your options are virtually endless. The healthcare industry has something in it for just about everyone, from health AI and Big Data to home healthcare to health law. So do a little exploring to find the career path that’s tailor-made for you!

Career Other

Choosing a Profession After College

November 21, 2019

Despite the fact that you envisioned graduating from college and immediately finding the perfect career to bring you financial and personal success, perhaps the search for the job of your dreams isn’t going as well as you’d hoped. Rather than get discouraged, try a few strategies to uncover what your major makes you suitable for, what will challenge you and what might truly make you happy.

Conduct Interviews

Although you may have expected to be the one answering questions on job interviews after college, conduct some research yourself before choosing a profession to pursue. Consider various ways to network to hear about different opportunities and meet the actual employees who perform those duties. Ask if you can shadow staff members on the job or at least take the time to inquire about their tasks on a typical day, what the company culture is like, who they report to, what the biggest challenges and rewards are and if there are many opportunities for advancement, for example. The answers to your questions may be the tipping point on whether you’d care to follow up or not.

Follow a Passion

If you have an interest that you love researching or a hobby that you love participating in, consider ways you might be able to turn it into a career. If you don’t feel that you’d be able to find a financially-viable position in a field that you’d love, talk to a counselor from your school to see if there are any related jobs you may have overlooked. If you like decorating your home, for instance, you might enjoy working as a set decorator, retail store manager or a design coordinator. An interest in criminal justice, for example, might lead to court reporting Seattle, forensic science or background screening.

Experiment

When you’re unsure about committing to a career or obtaining the additional education to qualify you for a new job, consider the different types of apprenticeships that will enable you to work in an industry to see how much you enjoy it. In addition to gauging your interest level, the training will give you the added benefits of earning a salary, providing work experience, pairing you with a mentor and developing your skills should you decide to go into that field.

Take a Gap Year

Despite the fact that a “gap year” typically refers to taking time off between high school and college, you can also use the break after graduation to clear your head. Pass the time wisely by traveling, trying out a variety of part-time jobs, volunteering for various organizations or spending time with friends and family who work in different industries to give you some possible job ideas for the future. The time off may help you feel refreshed and instill you with a new sense of purpose and direction.

Don’t be alarmed if you’ve graduated from college and still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. Take the months after graduation to continue growing into the person you want to become and discover the career to bring you fulfillment and contentment.

BIO: Brett Clawson has a degree in Business Management and has started a couple of small businesses. When he’s not focusing his time on those, he spends time with his wife and two sons. His oldest son has entered the wonderful realm of college, and he now enjoys sharing tips that he and his son have found essential for college life.

Other Transition

Recent Grads’ Guide to Homeownership

November 6, 2019

There are so many things to look forward to upon graduating from college, like new careers, new cities, new friends, and much more! Life after college looks different for everyone, but for some, the first big step might be a transition from dorm-dweller to homeowner. In which case, we’re here to help you plan your next move (literally).

Decide Where to House Hunt

Determining the type of house you want to buy as well as its location can be almost as challenging as it was choosing your major in college. Start by researching important aspects of different areas like safety ratings and median home values. Then, narrow down choices based on other criteria important to you. Is the commute distance to your first post-grad job reasonable? Is there enough nightlife to help you make new friends after college?

Think Long-Term

Don’t feel the pressure that your first home needs to be your dream house or forever home. Instead, a starter home is a perfect option for first-time buyers—especially someone fresh out of college—as they are generally smaller in size and more budget-friendly. Ideally, you should live in a starter home for at least five years and plan to complete a few home improvement projects along the way. 

Even if it’s not on your radar at the moment, home remodeling updates can help you get the most resale value for your home once you outgrow it. In general, kitchen updates are one of the most value-adding renovations—and are do-able even with a low-income entry-level job. To help you budget accordingly, take a look at the average project costs for minor kitchen remodels. Remember, you should only spend 5–15% of your property’s total value if you plan on selling in the near future.

Consider Financial Factors

With all of the transitions of life after college and the excitement of potentially owning a home, it’s not uncommon to overlook various expenses. Therefore it’s vital to plan early and thoroughly. Be sure to research the additional costs of purchasing a home, which may include:

  • Down payments
  • Property taxes
  • Homeowners’ insurance

More importantly, consider how your personal finances will change after college and what you need to account for in your budget. Examples include:

  • Student loan repayments
    • Is your six-month grace period for your federal student loans coming to an end?
    • Are you on an income-based repayment (IBR) plan? If so, it might be more challenging to get approval for a mortgage.
  • Health insurance
    • Is your student health plan ending?
    • Are you in the middle of a health coverage gap until your post-grad job benefits kick in?

Assess Your Credit

Once you establish your budget, it’s time to begin the mortgage process. When you apply for a mortgage loan, most lenders start by looking at your FICO scores—a summary of your credit report. The type of loan you qualify for will depend on your credit score, but the higher your credit score, the higher your chances are of getting approved. Most grads don’t build a credit history until after college; But to remain in good standing, below are tips to improve your credit before applying for a mortgage:

  • Pay off any existing credit card balances
  • Avoid making purchases with credit cards (i.e., using available credit)
  • Don’t apply for credit elsewhere that will generate a hard inquiry (ex: credit cards, car loans)
  • Consistently make all payments on time, especially student loans

Buying a home is an exciting and expensive investment that will undoubtedly impact your future, so take these considerations into account when searching for your first home and don’t rush the process. 

Career Other

From New Grad to Entrepreneur: Starting a Business Right After College

October 30, 2019

Thousands of ambitious graduates each year walk out of the halls of college life to take on the real world. These graduates will make up the next generation of scientists, inventors, founders, entrepreneurs, and business owners. Each armed with their career plan and determination, they tread the road to career building and make bold moves in professions they want to pursue. 

Naturally, nothing comes easy and almost everything requires a solid plan. College grads that crave the excitement and control of entrepreneurship also need to follow a set of guidelines to run a flourishing business. We’ve gathered some of the best entrepreneurial advice for those looking to start a business fresh out of college. 

 Refine your idea through research

Those who are considering starting a business, likely have a brief idea about the product or service they wish to sell and the market they want to enter. All potential business runners must do some research on existing firms, their products and advertising techniques in their selected industry to figure out how to do it better. Identify and understand your targeted audience; learn what grasps their attention and pay close attention to their demands. 

Your aim is to stand out and offer something that other businesses lack, while also providing a stellar user experience. Scout the idea you’re most passionate about. If it’s something that doesn’t inspire you then it’s time to brainstorm some fresher ideas. 

Learn from the inside

Graduate students need to have some level of employment history or experience, before starting a business. This is because learning some key skills from seasoned professionals in bigger companies can help in networking and connecting with the right people. These are practices that are oftentimes not introduced in school and learning them in real-time can be an incredibly knowledgeable experience. 

Learning from management leaders and business tycoons in your desired industry allows you to gain first-hand experience on the operations that go on within a smooth-running business in a short amount of time. Additionally, working in a variety of establishments helps to build a stronger network and contacts that could later guide you in what you wish to accomplish. 

Use your tech knowledge

College grads can harness technological tools and devices to develop, promote and expand their businesses. Technology allows us to access information and data that wasn’t available a decade ago, so making good use of it to promote and advertise your brand increases audience engagement. It also lets us search solutions and answers to several everyday-related business issues, making our work easier and more streamlined. 

For instance, if your firm is located in London and has important business guests visiting so you need your carpets and upholstery cleaned; look up London carpet cleaners online and you’ll be provided with a list of reviews that can help you decide the best deal for your company. 

Figure out finances

One of the biggest hassles of starting up a business straight out of college is securing sufficient financing. This could be your investments, a bank loan or in some cases through angel investors. Potential entrepreneurs are required to understand all the elements in running a business, including the financial aspects like budgeting. Starting small is always a smart move, and expanding as you gain momentum is the way to go. This way you have more control over what is spent and consumed by the business. 

Cultivate Determination

Success is never guaranteed from the starting point. You are bound to fail a solid number of times before you get the hang of things. What matters is your undying dedication and commitment to your business to see it prosper and succeed. 

Perseverance and devotion are what makes a successful entrepreneur, so don’t fear failure and turmoil. As long as you face every challenge with a clear mind and a positive attitude, you’ll pound your way through them. This is the reality that prospective business owners need to understand before venturing into this competitive realm.

BIO: Anne Taylor is a serial blogger with a technical and business background. She loves writing about digital marketing, the IT industry and workplace productivity. She is currently the content writer for Carpet Cleaning London.

Career Other

How to Get the Most Out of Your School’s Career Fair

August 9, 2019

With undergraduates and graduates returning back to school, career fairs will start to occur at numerous universities and colleges. Whether you’re a freshman, a senior or a graduate student, career fairs are the perfect opportunity to help find yourself the right internship and/or job. As every student likely wants to make the best impression possible, here are some tips on how to do just that. 

Dress the Part

The first and most important thing when attending a career fair is to look presentable while there. If you’re dressed nicely, put together and professionally, companies will take notice. The same will go if you’re dressed down and wearing sweatpants or any unprofessional clothing. If you look like you don’t care, prospective employers will think just that. By no means do you have to wear your finest clothing, but putting together a nice outfit can only help when attending a career fair. If the career fair is happening during your classes, dress ahead of time so you can just pop over to the career fair once you’re finished with classes for the day or have a break in between. Along with making sure you have the right outfit, you’ll also want to have the right beauty look to go with it. By no means should you go heavy on the makeup. When in a professional setting, many find that less is more. Applying an everyday beauty look to go along with your outfit will make you feel as confident as ever. If your hair is in need of a refresh before the career fair, use a hair mask or revive with a high-quality hair color that will give you head-turning locks.

Be Open to Every Company That’s There

While you may have a field of interest in mind of what you’d like your career to be in, it’s most beneficial to be open to all the opportunities presented to you at a career fair. Whether it’s finance, marketing, engineering, etc., the kinds of jobs available are endless. Even if you see a table that may not be in your exact area of expertise, stop by to check it out anyway and see what kind of opportunities are available. You never know what you might come across or what might pique your interest. 

Be Prepared 

When attending a career fair, it’s only natural to engage in conversation with any table you approach. In order to make sure you make the best impression possible, it’s helpful to be prepared ahead of time. Not only do you want to make sure you have a handful of copies of your perfected resume but you also want to make sure you’re prepared to answer any questions that may come your way and have perfected your elevator pitch, otherwise known as your career pitch. “What kind of past work experience do you have?”, “Why would you want to work for a company like this?”, and “Are you interested in relocating?” are only some of the questions that will likely be asked at a career fair. Having prepared answers and a career pitch stating some of your biggest strengths will only help and show your potential employer that you’ve thought seriously about your future. 

Follow-Up 

Following-up is one of the most important and often most forgotten things to do after attending a career fair. Following-up with recruiters or the companies you’re interested in is an amazing way to show your professionalism, your interest and to ensure they keep you in mind for any future openings. After each table you attend, make sure you get contact info in the form of a business card, phone number or email of the company and/or direct recruiter as this will make following-up incredibly easy. Sending a note or an email thanking them for the time they spent talking to you will be much appreciated and will give you an edge that will be hard for others to beat. 

For more tips on entering the workforce check out more of our blog posts and follow us on social media!

Career Other

5 Common Mistakes You Can Make at Your First Post-Grad Job

July 30, 2019

Being hired for your first post-grad job is an exciting life event. It’s also one that comes with apprehension, confusion, and a fear of making mistakes. This is all normal. Everyone messes up at least once, and chances are, you will, too. Fortunately, most people are willing to forgive mistakes and help newbies get situated. However, you also can do your part by actively trying to sidestep common blunders. Here are five mistakes people often make at their first post-grad job and ways to avoid them.

1. Not asking for help

It can be intimidating to enter a new workplace, especially one composed of long-time veterans who go about their days like clockwork, automatically knowing what needs to be done. While it’s understandable you’ll want to fit in as quickly as possible, it’s a bad idea to pretend you already know everything. It’s far better to ask for help right away if you don’t understand something or need further clarification. No one expects you to learn by osmosis.

2. Not researching a job before accepting

Many newbies to the workforce are so excited about landing a job that they forget to do their due diligence before saying yes. For instance, if a job offer is in a new city, you’ll want to carefully research the company before you accept it. And if you need to relocate, be sure you are moving to a city you can afford. You don’t want to end up in a circumstance where you’re set up for failure from the get-go.

3. Arriving late in the morning

Late arrivals are generally under your own control, so as “mistakes” go, they’re not as forgivable as some other blunders. While in social settings, being fashionably late can be seen as cool, at work it’s definitely not. Make an effort to be on time every day with these tips:

  • Get in a habit of getting out of bed at the same time every day.
  • Go to bed earlier if you can’t get up in the morning.
  • Avoid hitting the snooze button.
  • Set several alarms if you do tend to snooze or turn alarms off.

Make whatever changes you need to do to be punctual. While occasional lateness is usually forgivable, it’s not acceptable for most workplaces on a regular basis.

4. Including too many people on emails

Email is still a primary method of communication for most workplaces. People often start a chain of emails that includes dozens of recipients, sometimes more. Before joining the conversation, consider these rules of thumb:

  • Read messages carefully and determine if a response from you is warranted, or if the email is purely informational.
  • If a response is warranted, be brief and discriminating about your reply.
  • NEVER hit “reply all” — unless your response provides value to everyone, offers more information, or asks a relevant question.

Hitting “reply all” is a common mistake, sometimes even for seasoned professionals. But try to avoid this one because it’s an annoying time-waster that can earn you some ill will. No one wants their inboxes filled up with “OK, got it” or “thanks for the information” types of responses.

5. Losing your work

It’s upsetting to discover your work has gone *poof!* after spending hours on a project or document. Don’t make the rookie mistake of losing your work. Instead, make the use of cloud computing software a routine part of your day. Navigating cloud technology is also a good skill set to add to your professional toolbox.

At the end of the workday, it’s a given that everyone makes mistakes. The best thing to do is own them and do whatever you can to rectify them. If you hide your mistakes or fail to own up to them — rather than fix them — people eventually catch on and lose respect for you. It’s wiser to accept that it’s OK to screw up sometimes rather than beat yourself up. Try to learn from your slip-ups and discover ways to avoid mishaps in the future. 

Career Other

5 Tips for Writing a Rockstar Resume

July 15, 2019

If you want to get hired, you need to learn how to write a winning resume. It’s one of the most important things you’ll ever write your whole life – a personal marketing document where you “sell” your knowledge, skills, and abilities to a potential employer or recruiter. 

Sadly, employers have seen their fair share of poorly-written resumes crossing their desks. To top it off, you only have 6 seconds to grab their attention and leave a strong impression. So what can you do to put yourself on top of the resume pile? Following are five key tips to ensure your CV doesn’t eliminate you from consideration.

Tip #1: Identify keywords in job postings.

If you’re just about to write a resume, the best way to get started is to carefully read job postings that interest you and are suitable to your profession. If you’re applying for different jobs, take some time to study each job description and identify key words and phrases that the recruiter is looking for in an applicant. And then, make sure to include them in your resume where relevant.

For example, if you’re applying for a job as a Nurse, the HR manager might list keywords like “assessment”, “management”, “care”, “clinical”, or “patients” in the job description. Pay close attention to what’s listed in the “Requirements” and “Qualifications” section. If you have the required skills, consider adding the keywords, right in the “Skills” and/or “Experience” section of your resume.

Tip #2: Format your resume wisely and appropriately.

No matter how well-polished your resume is, a potential employer may not read it thoroughly the first time through. Remember that a resume gets scanned for no more than 20 seconds. And if it contains over 2 pages of poorly organized, hard-to-read information, your chances of getting invited for a job interview will shrink even further. 

  • Use the a proper, logical format with wide margins; and clean and concise headings
  • Help guide the reader’s eye by using bold and italic typeface (Times New Roman is a popular font choice for CVs)
  • Use bullets and numbered lists to point out important details, like your achievements and skills

Tip #3: Use a template that suits you.

There’s a whole plethora of resume templates to choose from, making it difficult to choose just one. But in order to make a good first impression (and a long-lasting one, too), it’s best to pick a simple yet visually attractive template. These days, being conservative and minimalistic is better than going for vibrant colors and chaotic visuals.

The way you present information is also important. For this, you can go for a chronological, reverse-chronological, or a targeted type of resume template. Whatever the case, choose one that best highlights your strengths as a candidate. 

Don’t know how to get started? An online resume builder may just be your answer. You can find a lot of services that offer them for free or for a small fee, at Resumance.

Tip #4: Focus on your achievements.

Recruiters and HR managers, particularly those in technical fields like computer science and engineering, look for candidates who can help their company solve a problem or accomplish a specific need. That said, a candidate can’t be the solution to their problem if they don’t state how they’ve solved similar issues from previous job experiences or situations.

  • Do away with generic descriptions of the position you had or applied for
  • Focus on the actions you took in a particular situation at work – NOT what your job was 
  • For each achievement you include, ask yourself: ‘How did this benefit me and the company?’
  • Write down one or two first-line job descriptions, and then list your achievements
  • Only list down achievements that are unique to – and done by – you, not what someone else did

Apart from achievements, highlighting key responsibilities is just as important, but don’t make a list of your daily workload. Focus only on those that will make you stand out as the ideal candidate.

Tip #5: Make your resume an interesting and compelling read.

The tone of your CV must not only be professional, but upbeat and enthusiastic, as well. Your strongest and most relevant points as a professional must come first, using positive action words like “managed”, “completed”, and “developed”, among others. Make use of superlatives like “best”, “top”, and “highest”, as well.

Using such high-impact words to showcase your achievements is a key component to making your resume highly compelling for the one who reads it. 

Applying for a job can be a long and arduous process. There are many steps to take – ones that require careful consideration on your part. Writing a rockstar resume is just the first stage of this process, but it’s a crucial one that will secure an interview if done right. Hopefully, the tips and tricks above can help put you ahead of the competition. Best of luck!

For more advice on finding a new job or navigating life after graduation visit GradGuard or follow on our social media @gradguard

Author: Abigail Jackson is an independent management and career consultant, specializing in professional services, with 10 years’ experience. During her free time, she works as a resume writer for a number of professional online platforms and provides expert advice on how to create a winning resume.

Other Transition

Getting The Most Out of Life by Planning for Graduation

June 25, 2019

College is a liberating time in a person’s life. The time right before graduation is a last chance to get some fun in. It’s an opportunity to grow with the full freedom of both time and youth and to consider the future before you’re forced into it. That’s why it’s important to focus on three very important points before you graduate.

Learn How And What To Cook

It is important to learn the valuable skill of cooking before graduating from college. A poor diet takes considerable time to hurt us and it could be years or even a decade after graduation before you realize how tired and out of shape you’ve become.

When you learn early, you’ll have the time you need to find healthy foods that you actually like. It’ll not only set you up for a healthy life after graduation but it’s also a fantastic skill to share with others in your life.

Get An Early Start On Fitness

Like with your diet, when you realize that you need rather than want to focus on it you won’t have the time. When you’re still in school you’ll have the chance to really test what workouts work best for you.

You’re also using this time to figure out if the workout is something you could keep up for the rest of your life. If it’s not, this is the chance to try something new or modify your routine until it’s maintainable. Plus, there are quite a few additional benefits to working on physical fitness.

You’re developing an important tool that’ll help you be there for the people you care about. There’s something fantastic in the knowledge that your body is strong enough to ensure you can be of help in times of danger or stress.

Physical fitness is a great way to regulate your mood. Amazingly enough, it even serves as an effective treatment for some mental illness. For example, exercise and fitness often help people suffering from depression.

Travel And Study In A Distant Land

It’s essential that you get some travel and vacation time in before you graduate. People tend to assume that they’ll have all the time in the world for travel. But in reality, vacations tend to become more and more scarce over time.

Any student capable of doing so should consider looking into any chance to study abroad. Different cultures tend to be a bit healthier than ours in regards to diet and fitness and getting that help early on can provide a number of benefits down the road.

There are many benefits to focusing on building a foundation of wellness in college and taking advantage of opportunities that are presented to you. This is a critical time in your life and there is no reason to squander it. GradGuard is committed to aiding college students by protecting their investment in their education and protecting the items that are most important to them.

Follow @GradGuard on social media for more advice on how to make the most of your college experience.

BIO: Brett Clawson has a degree in Business Management and has started a couple of small businesses. When he’s not focusing his time on those, he spends time with his wife and two sons. His oldest son has entered the wonderful realm of college, and he now enjoys sharing tips that he and his son have found essential for college life.

Career Other

6 Tips For Nailing a Skype Interview

May 21, 2019

Job interviews are nerve-wracking enough, but having to sit in front of your webcam can make them even scarier.

Job interviewers are increasingly relying on Skype interviews as an intermediary step between a phone interview and an in-person interview. If your college semesters are coming to an end and you’re prepping for a video interview, these tips will help you make the perfect impression.

1. Perform Some Background Research

Preparing for a Skype interview should be no different than preparing for any interview. You can easily stand out from other applicants by learning as much as you can about the organization you’re applying to. Research the position through the organization’s website or through tools like Career Search, Vault.com, or Glassdoor.

2. Curate Your Space

Pick a clean, well-lit space with simple furniture or decorations, and angle your camera parallel to the wall behind you. If you live with roommates or pets, make arrangements before your interview to keep them out of the background.

3. Dress to Impress

First impressions matter—and this might be the truest in an interview. Dress professionally from head to toe. By dressing up for your interview, you’ll also be mentally preparing yourself to present your most professional side. Caring about the details will stand out and help you feel more confident.

4. Prepare Your Equipment

At least an hour before your interview, take some time to set up your computer so you’re ready to go before the interviewer calls. Test your internet speed to make sure your video call won’t drop or have to buffer. And ask a friend or family member to help you test your sound and video before the day of your interview.

You can also place the Skype chat window directly below your computer’s webcam so that it’s easier to look into the camera while still seeing your interviewer’s face. This will help the conversation feel natural on both sides.

5. Use Confident Body Language

Body language can make or break a remote interview. Avoid looking stiff by sitting up straight while relaxing your shoulders. Leaning in slightly when your interviewer is speaking shows your interest and engagement. And finally, focus on keeping your arms relaxed at your sides.

6. Send a Follow-Up Email

Once your interview is over, it’s important to follow up. A good follow-up email is polite, direct, and brief enough to leave another positive impression. Confirm that you’re ready to take the job by gently requesting an offer, or simply state outright that you hope to be hired for the position. Finally, make sure to include any follow-up materials promised during the interview.

Skype interviews may not be your favorite activity, but they’re quickly becoming a fact of life, especially if your degree means you’re applying for jobs across the country. Make the best of the opportunity by leveraging these tips from GradGuard, and you’ll soon be a video conferencing expert.

BIO: Victoria Schmid enjoys writing about technology for the “everyday” person. She is a specialist in online business marketing and consumer technology. She has a background in broadcast journalism.

Health Other

The Importance of Self-Reflection for the College Grad

May 8, 2019

The years that follow college graduation are unlike any other in your life.  For the first time, you’re not following a course of action and structure set out by others— parents, teachers, and coaches.  Now it really is up to you.

The way you show up for work, treat coworkers, your supervisor and how you navigate being self-sufficient will be governed by you.  However, the workplace alone is not where your success is defined or determined. Your achievements and ultimate happiness are reliant on the CEO known as your mind.

Being in charge of your thoughts through reflection, as opposed to reacting to the world around you, will bring greater awareness, joy and even longevity to your life.  

One way to start the journey of self-reflection is to ask yourself a series of questions, think about them, write down answers and talk about them with people who are close to you.

  • What do you tell yourself about your future, your relationships and your requirements for happiness?  
  • Do you know your strengths and talents?  
  • What are your needs for rest, relaxation, recharging and having fun?
  • Are you surrounding yourself with people who are a support system for the life you want? Or are they pulling you away from your ideals?
  • Do you find it easy to forgive?  Are you holding on to anger?
  • For what things and people are you most grateful?   Do you openly express gratitude and how often?

This is the time to go deep building the most important relationship you will ever have—the one with yourself.  While you may have left school, peer pressure can show up anywhere. There will be situations in your personal and professional life that will test your commitment to your ideals of honesty, faith, and being a good listener with an open heart and mind.

How many times do we see people in all walks abandoning basic truths of what it means to be a good person?  The question is did the decision to cheat, for example, happen overnight? Or was it a slippery slope of little lies that escalated over time?

Technology has made many things so much faster and easier.  And it has driven a wedge between human connection and true self-reflection.  Before you once again stare into your screen mindlessly liking and sharing, close your eyes to tap into your curiosity and imagination.  Meditate and breathe deeply to quiet external stimulation.

The CEO known as your mind will promote you to the life you want when you have command of your options and choose the road of good character, humility, optimism, and concern for others.  This time in your life will form and forecast your future. It’s all up to you and the CEO known as your mind.

As your graduation day approaches, be sure to welcome the changes that are coming and embrace this new part of your life. Remember to continue to follow GradGuard even after you graduate for all the insights and advice a recent grad needs.

BIO: Lisa Shumate is General Manager of Houston Public Media, Associate Vice President at the University of Houston, and also Executive Director of the Houston Public Media Foundation. She is a mentor in the University of Houston PropPel Leadership Development Program for high potential staff.  She serves as Advisor to Public Media Women in Leadership and also is a mentor to the group’s founder. Lisa is also the author of Always and Never: 20 Truths for a Happy Heart and Always and Never: The Companion Journal.