Graduates preparing for their ceremony

From Campus to Career: Thriving After Post-Secondary

Congratulations Seven Generations Education Institute (SGEI) graduates! You’ve just crossed the finish line of your post-secondary journey armed with knowledge, experiences, and a world of possibilities ahead. As you celebrate this significant achievement, you might find yourself facing a new set of questions: What’s next? Where do I go from here?

Transitioning from student life to the professional world can feel like stepping into the great unknown. Whether you’re eager to dive into your dream job, contemplating further education, or simply unsure of your next move, this blog is here to guide you through this exciting yet sometimes daunting transition.

Join us as we explore practical advice on navigating life after graduation. From career planning and job searching to personal growth and resume building, we’re here to help you thrive in this new chapter of your life.

Celebrate Your Achievement

Take a moment to celebrate your hard work and success! Graduating is a significant milestone worthy of recognition and deserves to be marked in a memorable way. Here are some ways to celebrate:

Graduation Party: Organize a gathering with friends, family, classmates, and professors to celebrate your achievement. You can host it at home, rent a venue, or use a local park, depending on your preferences!

Dinner or Brunch: Treat yourself and your loved ones to a special meal at your favorite restaurant. This can be a more intimate way to celebrate and reflect on your academic journey.

Travel: Plan a trip to a destination you’ve always wanted to visit. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, travelling can be a great way to reward yourself for your hard work.

Gifts and Rewards: Consider rewarding yourself with a meaningful gift, such as a piece of jewelry, a gadget you’ve been eyeing, or something related to your field of study. It’s a tangible reminder of your accomplishments.

Graduation Photoshoot: Hire a professional photographer or enlist a talented friend to capture beautiful photos of you in your graduation attire or something formal. These photos can serve as cherished memories and be shared with family and friends.

Attend Graduation Events: Participate in your school’s official graduation ceremony. This can be a formal and symbolic way to mark the end of your academic journey alongside your peers. 

Give Thanks: Take the opportunity to thank those who supported you throughout your education — teachers, mentors, friends, and family members who encouraged and believed in you.

Reflect on Your Goals

Reflecting on your goals after graduation is a dynamic process that involves self-assessment, research, planning, and adaptation. Reflecting on your goals after graduation is an important step to ensure you’re moving forward with purpose and clarity. By taking the time to reflect on your aspirations and creating a clear plan of action, you can set yourself up for success as you embark on the next phase of your journey. Here is a structured approach to help you reflect on your goals:

Review Your Academic Journey: Take stock of your academic achievements during your post-secondary education. What courses did you excel in? What skills did you develop? Reflect on any challenges you faced and how you overcame them. What did you learn from these experiences?

Assess Your Skills and Interests: Identify your strengths, weaknesses, skills, and interests. What activities or subjects energized you the most during your studies?

Clarify Your Career Aspirations: Define what success looks like to you in terms of your career. What kind of job or role do you aspire to have? Research different career paths related to your field of study. Are there specific industries or organizations you’re drawn to?

Set SMART Goals: SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Outline specific goals you want to achieve post-graduation. For example, setting a goal like “Attain an entry-level position in marketing within six months of graduation” gives you a clear target to work toward.

Create an Action Plan: Break down your goals into smaller, actionable steps. What do you need to achieve each goal? Identify resources or support you might need, such as networking opportunities, further education or certifications, or improving certain skills.

Reflect on Your Values and Priorities: Consider your personal values and how they align with your career goals. What kind of work environment or company culture do you value? Think about your priorities in life –— work-life balance, career advancement, or making a positive impact –— and how these align with your career aspirations.

Seek Feedback and Advice: Talk to mentors, professors, career counselors, or professionals in your desired field for advice and feedback on your goals and action plan. Networking can also provide insights into different career paths and opportunities you may not have considered.

Monitor Your Progress: Regularly review your goals and action plan. Are you making progress toward your objectives? Adjust your goals or action plan as needed based on new information, changing circumstances, or feedback you receive.

Update Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

Updating your resume and LinkedIn profile after graduating from post-secondary education is crucial to effectively showcase your academic achievements, skills, and readiness for the professional world. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to update both:

Updating Your Resume:

1. Update Contact Information:
Ensure your name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile URL (if applicable) are up to date.

2. Update Education Section:
List your degree(s), major(s), university or college name, graduation date, and any academic honors or awards received.

3. Highlight Relevant Coursework:
If you have relevant coursework that is particularly pertinent to the jobs you’re applying for, list it under your education section.

4. Include Relevant Experience:
If you have any internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer experience related to your field of study, include them in your resume. Use bullet points to describe your responsibilities, accomplishments, and skills developed in each role.

5. Emphasize Skills:
List skills that are relevant to the jobs you’re targeting. These could include technical skills (e.g., programming languages, software proficiency) and soft skills (e.g., communication, teamwork).

6. Tailor for Each Application:
Customize your resume for each job application by emphasizing relevant skills and experiences that match the job description.

7. Proofread:
Ensure your resume is free of grammatical errors and typos. Consider asking a friend or mentor to review it for feedback.

Updating Your LinkedIn Profile:

1. Update Headline and About Section:
Your headline should be clear and descriptive (e.g., Recent Graduate Seeking Opportunities in Marketing). Use the “About” section to provide a summary of your background, skills, and career aspirations.

2. Update Experience:
List any internship, jobs, or volunteer positions you held during your studies. Use bullet points to describe your achievement and contributions.

3. Add Education:
Include your degree(s), major(s), university or college name, and graduation date.

4. Skills and Endorsements:
Update your skills section to include skills acquired during your studies. Ask classmates, professors, or colleagues to endorse your skills.

5. Projects and Publications:
If applicable, showcase any relevant projects or publications you worked on during your studies.

6. Professional Photo:
Ensure your profile photo is professional and appropriate for a professional networking site.

7. Engage and Network: Engage with your network by liking, commenting, and sharing relevant content. Connect with professionals in your field and join relevant LinkedIn groups.

8. Request Recommendations: Reach out to professors, mentors, or supervisors for recommendations that highlight your skills and achievements.

9. Keep It Updated:
Regularly update your LinkedIn profile as you gain more experience or skills. This shows potential employers that you are actively engaged in your professional development.

Job Search or Further Education

Whether you choose to pursue a job or further education after graduating, thorough research, preparation, and networking will be key to achieving your goals. Stay focused, persistent, and open to new opportunities as you navigate this important transition in your career journey. Here are steps you can take to effectively navigate your next steps:

Job Search:

1. Reflect on your skills, interests, and career goals. Identify the type of job roles or industries that align with your aspirations.

2. Explore job opportunities in your field of study. Use online boards and company websites to search for openings. Attend job fairs, career events, and networking sessions to connect with potential employers and learn about job opportunities.

3. Network: Leverage your network of professors, classmates, alumni, and professionals in your field. Attend industry events, conferences, and workshops to expand your network and learn about job opportunities.

4. Prepare for interviews: Research companies and practice common interview questions. Be prepared to discuss your education, skills, and how they align with the job you’re applying for.

5. Stay organized: Keep track of the jobs you’ve applied to, follow up on applications, and maintain a professional online presence.

Further Education:

1. Determine why you want to pursue further education. Are you seeking specialized knowledge, a career change, or advancement in your current field?

2. Explore graduate programs, certifications, or specialized courses that align with your career goals. Research quality institutions in your field of interest and review their admission requirements.

3. Research tuition costs, scholarships, grants, and financial aid options available for further education. Develop a budget and explore part-time job opportunities or internships to support your studies.

4. Submit your applications by the deadlines, ensuring all required materials are included and formatted correctly. Follow up with institutions regarding the status of your application and any additional requirements.

5. If accepted into a program, prepare for the transition by reviewing course requirements and connecting with faculty and advisors. Consider how you will balance academic commitments with personal and professional responsibilities.

Personal Growth

Personal growth after graduating from post-secondary education is a natural continuous process that involves self-reflection, goal setting, learning, and adapting to new experiences. By taking proactive steps to nurture your personal growth, you can build a fulfilling and meaningful life beyond your academic achievements. Here are several ways you can foster personal growth during this transitional period:

1. Reflect on Your Academic Journey: Take time to reflect on what you’ve learned throughout your studies. Identify your strengths, weaknesses, and areas where you’ve grown the most. Consider how your perspective or understanding of your field of study has evolved and what new insights you’ve gained.

2. Set Personal Goals: Define personal goals that align with your values and aspirations beyond academics. These could include health and wellness goals, personal development goals, or goals related to hobbies and interests.

3. Explore New Interests and Skills: Use this time to explore interests that may not have been covered in your academic curriculum. This could involve hobbies, creative pursuits, or learning new skills. Consider taking up activities that challenge you intellectually or physically.

4. Seek Feedback and Mentorship: Seek feedback from mentors, peers, or professionals in your field to gain insights into areas where you can improve or develop further. Engage in mentorship relationships where you can both learn from and contribute to the growth of others.

5. Embrace Continuous Learning: Cultivate a habit of lifelong learning. Stay curious and keep abreast of developments in your field of study and other areas of interest. Attend workshops, seminars, or online courses to expand your knowledge and skills beyond what you learned in school.

6. Build Resilience and Adaptability: Understand the transitions, such as graduating and entering the workforce or pursuing further education, can bring challenges and uncertainties. Develop resilience by facing setbacks with a growth mindset, seeking solutions, and learning from your experiences.

7. Cultivate Emotional Intelligence: Enhance your emotional intelligence by developing self-awareness, empathy, and effective communication skills. Practice active listening, seek to understand diverse perspectives, and cultivate healthy relationships both personally and professionally.

8. Take Care of Your Well-Being: Prioritize your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Develop healthy habits related to nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management. Practice self-care routines that help you recharge and maintain a balanced lifestyle.

9. Reflect and Adapt: Regularly reflect on your personal growth journey. Celebrate your achievements, learn from challenges, and adjusts your goals as needed to continue growing. Stay open to new opportunities and experiences that contribute positively to your personal development.

recent graduates celebrating

Graduating from post-secondary education marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter filled with possibilities and opportunities. Whether you’re diving headfirst into the job market, pursuing further education, or exploring alternative paths, remember that this transition is about discovering your passions, honing your skills, and shaping your future. Embrace the journey ahead with enthusiasm, resilience, and a commitment to lifelong learning. As you navigate this pivotal time, trust in your abilities, stay connected with your support network, and remain open to the unexpected paths that may lead you to success and fulfillment. Congratulations on reaching this milestone, and here’s to a bright and promising future ahead!

Seven Generations Education Institute (SGEI) is an Indigenous-led educational organization that provides high school, post-secondary, training for employment and cultural programming to all Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the Treaty 3 area and beyond. Are you interested in furthering your education and becoming a future graduate of SGEI? Apply now to our upcoming September programs at our campuses in Fort Frances, Kenora, and Sioux Lookout on our website!