Post-Grad Tips: 7 Reasons To Keep Your Options Open

by Olivia Adams on April 29, 2014

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Image Credit: Happy girl in graduation cap image from Bigstock

After you graduate college, the years will start flying by. Obviously, this means you can waste time waiting for doors to open. 

Having an open mind as a young professional is essential to your success. It will help you stay interested in your career and discover the best opportunities. Plus, it’ll give you the chance to have a wide range of experiences throughout your entire career.

You’re going to feel the pressure to do it all once you graduate college. You’re going to want to find your dream job, find a job that fulfills your needs, and also pursue other goals outside of your career. Because of all this, you’re going to feel challenged to keep your options while also heading down the right path.

As you begin to prepare for your post-grad journey, here are seven reasons why you should always keep your options open during your career:

 1. Don’t get settled into a job you don’t love.

Your first “grown-up” job after college may be one you love, absolutely despise, or are simply content with. This first job will have its fair share of ups and downs and will also teach you about what you want out of your career. Not only that, but it will also give you a clearer perspective of the career move you’ll make next.

If you happen to find yourself working a job you don’t enjoy and the last six months have consistently been unbearable, it could be a sign the job isn’t the right fit. However, you’ll be tempted to keep it for financial security.

Now, when you’re working a job you don’t like, it’s important not to settle. When you discover yourself wanting to leave, this is obviously a sign it’s time to begin your job search. If you make the decision to leave your current job, make sure you don’t make a decision until you have something else lined up. This will help you have a smoother transition into a better job and prevent you from having to worry about unemployment.

2. Allow yourself to pursue your passions.

One of the biggest post-grad decisions you’ll have is to pursue a career you’re passionate about or one that provides a nice paycheck. Ideally, you’d want a job that provides everything you want, but sometimes it’s hard to achieve a job that fulfills both needs.

When you keep your options open, you’ll allow yourself to pursue your current passions, as well as open yourself up to new ones. Your immediate post-grad career is time for you to discover what you want and don’t want out of your career, and also a time to determine if you can turn your passions into your career. If there’s something you want out of life, don’t be afraid to go after it. There is not better time than now to make the most of the beginning of your career.

3. Seek out new learning opportunities.

Keeping your options open is great way to continue your learning after college. When it comes to your career, you need to discover new ways to give yourself a competitive advantage. By keeping your options open, you’ll allow yourself to discover new learning opportunities and have the chance to develop as a professional.

For example, if you have the opportunity to travel across the country for an industry conference or your boss invites you to join them for a workshop, don’t turn down the chance to learn a new skill. This will help you build upon your current skills and diversify what you have to offer to current and future employers.

4. If you want to travel, do it!

Not only will you have a number of career opportunities after college, but also you’ll have a variety of ways to develop yourself as a person after college. One of those ways will be through traveling and gaining different experiences outside of your job.

If travel has been on your post-grad to-do list, carve out some time in your career to accomplish that goal. This is the time of your life where you have the flexibility to gain valuable life experiences that will shape you as an individual. If you’re able to afford to travel and can time time off from your job, then you should definitely take advantage of that opportunity. You never know when that option will be available to you again.

5. Never let someone else’s expectations hold you back.

When you begin your post-grad career, you’re going to have a variety advice coming your way. Not only that, but there will be influential people in your life (such as parents or mentors) who have an idea of where they’d like to see you go in your career.

At the end of the day, it’s truly up to you to decide where your career path takes you. Although the mentors and colleagues in your life will have wonderful advice, it’s all given to you for your consideration. Throughout your career, you’ll have to weigh a number of options in order to find the best fit for your career. Never let any person’s expectations hold you back from making a career move that you think is the best for you.

6. It gives you a chance to find your purpose. 

Most professionals have the goal to find a job that gives them with purpose and adds value to their career. Finding a meaningful career path isn’t always easy, but it’s a rewarding journey you’ll experience.

Whether you’re looking to give back to people with your job or you simply want to find your calling, keeping your options open will guide you in that direction. Job seekers who listen to their needs and goals have much better luck finding a job that gives them purpose. This is yet another reason why you need to keep your options open after graduation because you never know what opportunity will come your way.

7. You end up with a collection of experiences.

The best part about keeping your options open in your career is the opportunity to gain a variety of experiences. If you’re given the chance to have a job you’ve never dreamed of having or attend a conference outside of your career path, you could end up with some very cool experiences under your belt.

When you allow yourself to be open to opportunity, you allow yourself to have more control over your career path. Instead of letting a particular job or career goal lead the way, you allow yourself to pick and choose the experiences you gain. Your career goals don’t have to be set in stone when you open yourself up to opportunities. The whole purpose of having an open mind is allowing yourself to mold your career goals. This will give you a much more rewarding and fulfilling career.

Why do you believe it’s important for college graduates to keep their options open?

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