4 Ways to Stay Productive Post-Grad, Pre-Job
It’s grad season and while it’s a very exciting time—there’s also so much anxiety. When you’re a new grad there is a lot of pressure to find the perfect job doing exactly what you want to do, but that doesn’t happen for most people. Career paths are less like highways and more like waterslides in my experience.
When I graduated with my Journalism major and English Minor, I signed a lease in Brooklyn with no job lined up, enough savings to get me through the next month or two if I was really careful, and a willingness to make it work. It wasn’t an easy time but eventually but I started dog walking and picking up any random freelance job I could. And before I knew it, one of those random, freelance gigs I had picked up led to my first full-time jobs in tech.
So, while you’re still waiting for that first job to come along, here are some ways to stay productive:
🎓 Find a way to use your degree.
For most people, not working after graduation isn’t an option. So while you’re still working on finding that first full-time job, find ways to use what you studied to make money. Tutoring, for example, is a way to stay sharp and make some cash.
📆 Make a schedule.
When you don’t have a 9-5 job, it can be easy to lose focus and productivity. To counteract this, set goals and make a schedule. For example, challenge yourself to apply for 5 jobs and reach out to 2 contacts in your network a week, and work for 1 hour a day on your side project. Having something to work towards will motivate you to really get stuff done. Pro-tip: get out of the house when you apply to jobs or work on a project, it can help to go somewhere with the purpose of working.
🤝 Find meetups, networking events, or hackathons near you.
When I was looking for a job I made a commitment to myself to go to one event a week (I was in New York City so that was possible for me.) There are people I met during this time that I still keep in touch with and even work on side projects with occasionally.
✨ Do what you love.
Even though this might be a nerve-wracking time in your life, it’s also a really special time. Right now you have the time and energy to work on something you love. Make time between the job searching and survival job working to dive into an idea or project that means something to you. That is what will get you through this—and who knows maybe that project will lead to your first job or even become that job!
Congratulations to all you high school and college grads, you’re going to absolutely crush the next chapter of your life!