5 Tips to Prepare for Your Career Postgrad   

Students in red gowns throwing their black caps in the air after graduating
By Toni Critelli

Graduating from college is an exciting and bittersweet moment. As you celebrate all the great friendships made and the hard work you put into earning a degree, it’s also time to start an entirely new life chapter. The transition from college to career can feel overwhelming; however, there are many great ways to prepare, even during the last few weeks leading up to graduation. In today’s blog post, we cover five tips to help you be successful as you prepare for your postgrad life.

1. Secure recommendation letters.

While asking for a recommendation may seem daunting at first, there are likely plenty of professionals whom you’ve met along your college journey who will vouch for you and support your future goals. Recommendation letters give you a significant advantage when it comes to future job applications, as they validate your hard work and accomplishments.

When seeking recommendation letters, choosing individuals who know you well and can speak to your skills, achievements, and potential is essential. This may include professors, advisors, supervisors from internships or part-time jobs, or other professionals whom you have worked with during your time in college. 

2. Utilize your campus career services. 

Career services are available on most university and college campuses and offer a wide range of resources and support to help students achieve their career goals. These resources may include assistance with creating a résumé or cover letter, networking opportunities, job and internship search strategies, and support with evaluating job offers and negotiating salaries.

By taking advantage of career services, you benefit from the expertise of career advisors and access to resources that can help you prepare for the job market and achieve your career goals. Don’t miss the opportunity to benefit from their expertise and resources so you can set yourself up for success after graduation.

For inspiration and motivation, check out the St. John’s University Career Services Instagram account, @GetHiredStJohns, and hear from other St. John’s students who successfully navigated the college-to-career transition. 

3. Create a LinkedIn profile and add your college network. 

Staying connected with professors, advisors, and fellow students can be invaluable as you embark on your professional career. LinkedIn provides an excellent platform to maintain these connections, as well as to network with other industry professionals, potential employers, and like-minded individuals. 

By creating a LinkedIn profile before graduation, you lay the foundation for your professional network, which may prove beneficial for job referrals and networking opportunities. If you haven’t started developing your LinkedIn profile, read “LinkedIn Tips and Tricks to Maximize Your Profile” or watch the video below. 


4. Set small and large goals. 

As you approach graduation, you may feel a mix of excitement and uncertainty about what lies ahead. Whether you already have your entire plan set up for after graduation or are embarking on the unknown, setting small and large goals can be a highly proactive activity to undertake before postgrad life.

By setting goals, you create a roadmap for yourself that will guide you as you navigate the world. These goals may include short-term objectives, such as landing a job or internship, developing a new skill, or networking with professionals in your field. They may also include long-term goals, such as pursuing a graduate degree, starting your own business, or achieving a specific career milestone.

Setting both small and large goals can help you stay focused, motivated, and accountable as you work on your post-graduation plan. 

5. Most importantly: self-reflect. 

Self-reflection is a process that helps you assess your personal growth and development; identify your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement; and better understand your values, interests, and passions. By reflecting on your college experience, you can determine your goals and priorities, which can guide your decision-making and help you navigate the challenges and opportunities that come after graduation. 

Self-reflection can ultimately lead to more fulfilling and successful post-graduation outcomes, so take the time to reflect on your college journey and gain a greater sense of self-awareness and direction.

A paper pinned to a corkboard, with the words "your journey starts here"

In conclusion, preparing for life after graduation is exciting and challenging. By heeding this advice and securing recommendation letters, visiting career services, creating a LinkedIn profile, setting small and large goals, and engaging in self-reflection, you can successfully navigate the last few weeks of college and enter the “real world” with confidence and purpose. 

Remember that this is just the beginning of a new chapter in your life. With hard work, determination, and a positive attitude, you can achieve your career and personal goals. Congratulations on reaching this milestone, and best of luck in all your future endeavors!

Young female professional

Toni Critelli

Digital Content Creator

Toni Critelli is a full-time staff writer for Johnnie's Blog. Through engaging content, she captures the essence of the institution, its students, faculty, and alums.