How Do You Make Sure You Get a Solid Career After College? Go In With a Plan

Let’s paint a picture: You’re a beaming student in a graduation cap and gown, walking down the aisle of a college where you have spent several years of your life earning a diploma. And now you have it. What next? Land the career you’ve prepared so long for, of course!

Not that simple. In fact, I have some bad news. Many graduates don’t get the careers they trained and studied for. In fact, of the class of 2014, over half hold jobs that don’t require a college degree at all.

Not too long ago, having a high school degree was enough to land you a respectable job and comfortable living. But now the stakes have been raised. For most people, getting at least a four-year degree is pretty much a no-brainer if you want a solid career. In fact, so many employers are hiring master’s graduates for jobs that used to require only a four-year degree that the master’s degree may very well be the new bachelor’s.

But even while going to college has become the norm for American students, too many eager young adults enroll without a clear vision of what they should pursue. Why college? To find a job. What kind of job? The majority of students have no idea.

This is a serious problem. In 2012, 80% of students switched their majors at least once (the average student changed three times) because they aren’t sure what they want to do. Switching majors means more time at college, which means more money, which means more debt. And more debt means you get desperate to find a job—any job—fast. This is why someone with a BA in agriculture ends up with a job as a hotel receptionist. Or worse, they realize that in order to to qualify for a better career so that they can pay off student loans, they need MORE education, so back to school they go for that master’s degree. And rack up more debt.

Can you even possibly win?

Yes, you can. Go into college with a plan. What do you like doing? What are you good at? Where are you called to help others and solve problems? Find Your Calling helps you answer these questions.

1. Go to FindYourCalling.com and create an account:

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2. Take the Discovery Questionnaire. You can choose the long or short version, but both will ask you about your interests and preferences:

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3. The next couple steps will ask about your education (past and future) and where you live, and shazam! You just created a profile. Now you’re ready to explore careers.

4. Choose your top career interests. Pick at least three to give us some range:

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5. Finally! The results are in and you’ll see a grid of your strengths:

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From here, click on “Find Your Matches” to get jobs that complement your results. In each career, we tell you how fast the job is growing and how much the typical worker earns in a year.

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Also included is a list of colleges with all kinds of stats to help you pick the right school: how many students are enrolled, how much you’ll pay for tuition, how much debt the typical student carries, and more.

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College should be an exciting step towards your dream job. We can help you make it that way! Start planning now. Ask questions, find answers, and get ready for your next adventure.

It’s Find Your Calling Month! Take the Discovery Questionnaire, share your profile on Twitter or Instagram with #FindYourCallingDay, and you’ll be entered to win a $500 scholarship. See rules & conditions here. Follow FYC on Twitter, Instagram, and FacebookSign up for our monthly newsletter. Contact Gwen Burrow at gwen@findyourcalling.com

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