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Know Your Worth: Why You Do Not Need to Have a Job Secured Directly After Graduation

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

It started over the holidays. “Do you know what you’re doing after graduation?” As May grew closer, the questions continued. “Do you have a job yet?” and “What are your plans after graduating?” are inquiries I dodge on the regular now. It’s not a big deal — it’s to be expected at this point in our lives.

It’s also not a big deal to not have a job secured directly after graduation.

Let me repeat myself: It’s not a big deal if you don’t have a job lined up directly after graduation. End blog here.

But seriously, if you’re in this situation yourself, here are some quick talking points I’ve been using that you can use if you need help justifying your time off in between graduating and finding a job:

In public relations, it’s common to not have a job lined up the moment you move your tassel over. This is the nature of the industry, especially if you want to work at an agency. Most agencies hire based on the clients they have and they work they need done at the time. If you found a job now, they would likely want you now. Waiting a little bit after graduation gives you the flexibility to be ready to jump into an amazing opportunity when you find it, rather than needing to ask an agency to not fill the position until you graduate.

Taking time off gives you the opportunity to live in the moment your last few weeks of your undergraduate career. Take a breath, look around and talk to people you’re going to miss. Once you graduate, you’ll have all the time in the world to work on your résumé, LinkedIn and portfolio. You’ll be able to put your best self forward and subsequently find the right next step into your life as a young professional.

If your senior year is particularly busy, you might fall into the trap of taking the first job you’re offered post-graduation, even if it isn’t the right fit for you. Giving yourself a break regarding the job hunt will allow you to have a clearer head and make the best decision.

You deserve time off! When you accept your first full-time job, you’ll begin a (hopefully) decades-long journey of being employed. You have the rest of your life to work. Now, you’re in the rare place of not being tied down in that way, and you’re going to have to wait for retirement until you get this chance again. Take a vacation or something.

These lines of thinking could either help you answer your family’s questions, or serve as your own mantras if your self worth is suffering due to the lack of securing your dream job whilst juggling senior year.

Just remember that everything happens for a reason, and you never need to defend your decisions if they’re best for you. Everyone is freaking out around this time, so don’t worry yourself with comparing your own journey to others’.

Chill out and make the most of this time.

Written by Emily Hillhouse


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