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Article: Advice for graduates: start now

Rada pre maturantov

Advice for graduates: start now

I visited several graduation parties and had fun with students and their friends. Some knew exactly what they wanted to do next, others weren't sure which direction to go. When I asked if they had any experience in the field they wanted to focus on, most admitted they had almost none.

It's easy to argue.

"I have no basis to find a job in my field."

"In my field, they only offer internships in the last year of university."

"How would I even know where to start?"

Fact: There is no reason to stop you from gaining experience now.

Find your field

Write a list, draw a mind map, or create a collage of the things that made you feel most alive, invigorated, confident, and energized. Think about all aspects of your life, including hobbies, not just work and school. It can be big things or just little things that made you feel happy and you didn't even notice the time.

All right. Now figure out why you felt so wonderful in those moments. What skills did you use? What connects all those moments? What needs to be done in the world where these skills could be used?

Think about what is wrong with the world. What do you care about so much that you want to do something about it? See who is working on such problems, where and how. How could you get involved with your skills? What could you do to combine what you care about with what you love to do?

Start learning

Once you are clear about what field you are interested in, learn as much as you can about it. Don't wait for an opportunity to come up to decide if that's what you're looking for. Most schools only offer internships in the last year, when you already know something about the subject.

You should start caring about what the job you are interested in looks like:

  1. Follow people in the same field on social networks.
  2. Read professional blogs.
  3. Note which authors and resources experts recommend, comment, ask questions.
  4. Talk to people in the industry, few will turn down an invitation for coffee.

The interaction will help you absorb a lot of second-hand experience and also get a picture of what a career in this field looks like.

What area do you want to learn more and more about? What areas are you absolutely not interested in? Do you feel that this field attracts you? Excellent! If not, great! Now you have more information to work with. In any case, try to recognize what pulls you up and what pulls you down. If you identify these things, you'll have more information to help you find a field you'll fit into or some related field that might interest you.

Try different things

Learning is a critical first step, but the sooner you start gathering real-world experience, the sooner you'll have feedback and information that can help you.

  1. Ask someone who helped you in the learning phase if you can spend a day at work with them.
  2. Try doing some volunteer work just to experience what it's like to work every day. Offering free work is a powerful secret weapon. He opens the door.
  3. Ask about an internship (even if no specific position is offered). Paid or unpaid, it's a very valuable experience.

Getting your hands dirty is worth it. Once you have first-hand experience, you can make more informed decisions. While it may seem counterproductive, gaining experience in something you find uninteresting or frustrating can lead to new skills and contacts.

Don't let graduation season turn into a season of indecision. You might think it's a last resort where you can hang around, but you can't rest on your laurels. Set some goals and commit to a plan to try new things to gain the most valuable tool of all: experience.

Ready Steady Go!

The article is translated from the Czech language from

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