How to Handle the “What are you going to do when you graduate?” Question Like a Pro!

university of denver after graduationAs graduation approaches, countless graduating seniors have a sudden urge to avoid all family gatherings and parental phone calls in an attempt to dodge one of the most dreaded questions of the college student experience:

What ARE you going to do after graduation?

I don’t know!

While a number of students have an offer in hand, for the rest, this questions makes one feel terrible, like the hard work and late nights of studying for the past four years don’t count for anything.

Well, the past four years DO count. A lot. Taking stalk of the skills and qualities you have developed through your major(s), minor(s), activities and jobs will give you the perfect response even if you haven’t started your job search…yet.

Make a list of the skills you are good at and would love to use in a future job and share exactly that. Don’t worry about exact job titles or organization names. Then, ask for ideas. If people care enough to ask about your future, they will care enough to help.

Let. Them. Help.

So, what are you going to do after graduation? 

I am looking for a full-time job in the Denver area where I can use my love of research and writing, preferably for a non-profit or government agency. Do you have any ideas of jobs or organizations I might want to target or people that I should talk to?

Better. Much, much better.

By Heidi J. Perman
Heidi J. Perman Assistant Vice Chancellor, Career & Professional Development