Career & Education/College

6 Career Challenges That Might Hold You Back Post-Grad

By | Tuesday, October 31, 2017

There’s an enormous sense of accomplishment and optimism for college graduates as they complete their long educational journey and prepare to venture off into the working world. However, most are quick to discover that the world outside of college is quite different than what they have been accustomed to. It can be a vicious, cut-throat place, that’s difficult to navigate through. Acclimatizing yourself to this environment can take some time, and recent graduates are likely going to face several career challenges as they attempt to establish themselves and get their working lives underway.

1. Choosing a career path.

After years of studying the intricacies of a single subject, it would almost be assumed that graduates would pursue a career directly related to what they were studying. But, the truth is that most graduates are still unsure of the career path they want to go down, even after they’ve graduated. They may very well love the area of study they pursued in college, but may not necessarily be fully committed to that same area as their career.

It’s shown that workers nowadays will move through between 15-20 jobs throughout their working lives, so for this reason, the job a graduate starts out with isn’t as crucial as it used to be. Gone are the days where you got a job upon graduating and stayed in that same job until retirement. Having a vision of where you want to eventually end up is great, but there needs to be a little room for flexibility along the way.

2. Finding available jobs.

When the economy is going through a slow period, jobs are tough enough to find, let alone finding and landing a job with little experience but the diploma hanging on your wall. If there’s a slowdown in the economy and jobs are scarce, don’t let that slow you down. “Keep your experience and search going by volunteering in a related area, networking with people you’re volunteering with, and looking to employment agencies for connections. It may seem as though it will never end, but remember that the market is cyclical, and whatever goes down will inevitably come back up again,” says Annie Johnson, an Academic Advisor at State of Writing.

3. Minimal experience.

Graduates may have lots of knowledge floating around in their heads, but what they generally lack is a good amount of real-life experience. Because of this, they have little to show employees with regards to their accomplishments and achievements in their field. Experience in volunteering is a great way to gain some real-life work in your field, while also networking with people who are able to see you in action. For many graduates, volunteering or interning somewhere is their only opportunity to add practical experience to their resumes.

4. Failing.

It’s never easy to fail. But, it’s how someone reacts to failure which shows the true nature of their personality. It’s almost impossible to avoid failure in life, whether it’s personal, professional or otherwise. Scott Walsh, a Recruiting consultant and an expert from Huffington Post comments: “Learning how to deal with failure positively can demonstrate a true sense of confidence and willingness to own up to a mistake. Rather than run from failure, graduates should embrace it as an opportunity to learn and grow. They should also not be afraid to admit to their failures because it shows a true sense of character when one is able to stand up, admit they were wrong and outline how things should have been done.”

5. Continuing to learn.

Although there are better-paying jobs in each field, most of those require a higher level of education, which means more years of schooling and additional costs. The pros and cons need to be weighed for each graduate, as to whether they will be able to continue pursuing their education or whether they should take a job that is possibly below their expectations. Consideration needs to be given to their financial situation and the support they receive from their family. There’s always an opportunity to pursue further education down the road after a graduate has worked a little, gained some experience and saved some money to put towards their continued education.

6. Unfair internships.

Although they can offer a great point of experience on your resume, some internships can appear to take advantage of the need graduates have for them. Whether they’re paid or unpaid internships, they always seem to take advantage of a graduate’s situation and necessity to gain experience. “But, on the upside, getting through an internship successfully and with showing your value means you can add that to your resume and references, increasing your chances of landing the well-paying job you’re really after” – shares Trevor Erickson, a Career Advisor at UKwritings.


Each graduate will need to face different challenges as they move from the world of education to the world of work. Having a good idea of where you want to get to can help you navigate and work through these challenges, motivating you to get through because you know there’s a light on the other side.

Gloria Kopp is a journalist and a content manager at EssayRoo. She shares her professional advice at Huffington Post and Boom Essays columns. Gloria is an author of Studydemic blog, where she writes her guides and reviews with students and educators.

Image via Unsplash

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