Is it Common to Question Your Next Steps After Graduation?

Once the excitement of graduation fades away, there’s a question that may be weighing heavily on your mind: “What now?”

It’s a moment that can feel daunting – even overwhelming. But, it’s important to realise that you’re not alone.

Transitioning from the familiarity of school and university to the wide-open possibilities of the real world can be difficult to come to terms with. This time of uncertainty is when you’ll start to explore different paths, try out new things, and figure out what you’re passionate about. It’s all part of self-discovery, so take a deep breath and trust that you’re on the right track, even if it doesn’t feel that way yet.

Feeling overwhelmed after graduation? Embrace the journey!

Feeling uncertain about your prospects after graduation is totally normal.

Up until this point, your path has probably been relatively straightforward due to being in full-time education. But now, the world is your oyster and while it should be an exciting time, many graduates feel intimidated about what is to come.

In school, you had a clear roadmap to follow — your role was to complete assignments and pass exams in order to progress. The same goes for university life. However, post-graduation, that clear pathway disappears, and you’re suddenly left to figure out your own way.

But instead of worrying, think of this situation as a golden opportunity to find out what truly interests you and makes you tick.  Instead of a graduate job, you could volunteer for a charity, travel the world, or even try out several different jobs to find out more about yourself, including your strengths and values.

Remember that new industries and job roles are popping up all the time, therefore, the perfect job for you might not even exist yet. By staying open to opportunities, you’ll discover new avenues and potential career paths that you may never have considered before. Don’t be afraid to explore the unknown and you may just be surprised at what appeals to you.

While it’s easy to feel as though your peers have everything figured out, the reality is that they probably don’t. Social media can be misleading. It only shows the highlights of their life, rather than the daily struggles they face. So, don’t put pressure on yourself. Take each step in your stride and allow your professional journey to unfold.

Top tips for navigating post-graduation uncertainty


One of the most valuable steps you can take after graduation is to engage in self-reflection.

Begin by thinking about the activities and subjects that genuinely excite you.

  • What do you love to do in your free time?
  • What topics do you find yourself researching just for fun?

Reflect on your academic experiences too. Were there any projects or classes that you found particularly engaging? Identifying these interests can provide crucial clues about potential career paths or hobbies you might want to pursue.

Next, consider your talents. Think about the skills and abilities you’ve developed through different occurrences, both in and out of the classroom.

And finally, think deeply about your passions. What do you find yourself doing in your free time? If nothing springs to mind, take a class, join a club, or volunteer for different causes. The more you explore, the better you’ll understand what truly resonates with you. Sometimes, passions emerge from unexpected experiences, so keep an open mind and be willing to try new things.

Seek advice

It’s highly worthwhile to reach out to career advisors if you’re still unsure about which route to take.  From CV reviews to mock interviews, they equip you with the tools and strategies necessary to excel in your job search.

It would also be highly worth registering with a graduate recruitment agency such as Inspiring Interns. We specialise in connecting recent graduates with entry-level positions and internships across various industries. Plus, we work with hundreds of top employers actively seeking fresh talent, providing you with access to opportunities you might not easily find on your own.

Get some experience after graduation

If you’re fresh out of university without any work experience under your belt, making the most of your time off by gaining practical experience can really pay off. Here are a few options to consider:


Internships can be a fantastic way to dive headfirst into a particular industry or company. Whether it’s a short stint over the summer at a tech startup or a longer placement at a nonprofit during the semester, internships let you put your classroom learning to the test in real-world scenarios. Plus, they’re great for networking, finding mentors, and honing your skills in a professional environment.


Volunteering is a fantastic way to learn and grow while making a difference in your community. Whether you’re tutoring students, helping out at a local food bank, or pitching in on environmental projects, there’s so much you can gain from these experiences.

When you volunteer, you’re not just gaining a sense of purpose; you’re also picking up some valuable skills. You’ll become a better communicator as you work with different people and learn to express your ideas clearly. Teamwork becomes second nature as you collaborate with others to achieve common goals. Plus, you’ll get plenty of chances to step up and take the lead, whether you’re organising events or spearheading fundraising efforts. These are all critical skills that employers will appreciate when you apply for graduate jobs.

Part-time jobs:

If you find yourself without a full-time job immediately after graduating, consider applying for part-time positions. Think of these roles as a way to bridge the gap between university and your ideal career. They allow you to continue learning and growing while you navigate the job market and determine the direction you want to take in your professional life.

Keep in mind that your first job out of university doesn’t necessarily define your entire career path. It’s okay to take some time to explore your options and figure out where you want to go. In fact, they offer opportunities to develop essential skills, gain practical experience, and expand your professional network. Additionally, they provide financial stability while you continue to search for more permanent career opportunities.