Have you heard of the post-grad slump? Graduation depression is a real thing for many who emerge from school bright-eyed and excited about the future, only to face rejection, reduced motivation, and life choice questions. To help you cope, Annette “Annie” Rodriguez, attorney and author of Lifeforce, offers empowering words below.
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Annette Rodriguez guest posts: How to empower yourself to manage the post-grad slump
Congratulations!! What’s next?
I – A new way of life
For many grads, the accomplishment feeling that they get once graduation is within their grasp gets eclipsed by the vast uncertainty that such a relatively simple question can produce–now that you’re done with “this”–read-school or trade apprenticeship–what is next?
It can certainly be overwhelming for most, if not all, of us. Some students, now grads, will have their first “officially professional” job lined up, some will want a week’s rest before seriously beginning to look and apply for jobs, and some will be at a loss on how to start.
II – Find and keep your tribe
First things first, don’t go it alone! Colleges, Trade Schools, Community Organizations–all have great resources! If you are not sure of your plan, or even if you are–use these resources.
Use the counselors, career centers–they’re there for you! They know the market, and they will have suggestions on how to put grads in the best position to succeed–whether they want graduate school, a job in their hometown, or away.
They might even have networking opportunities that have jobs not listed yet! Do not limit yourself to what you see other people with your background do; branch out–be open–and keep your connections close and updated.
III – Allow yourself to leap to an opportunity you did not expect
I found my publisher by allowing myself to go on a writing retreat, even though, as an introvert, the upcoming experience was anxiety-inducing. I also got my current job as an attorney by going on an interview that did not have an opening in the field I wanted to practice in but wanted to interview me anyway based on my background.
Even if your interview and your first job [are] not what you pictured you wanted, these opportunities are never wasted and can lead you to either your original goal or even a new passion that you never realized you wanted. But you will never know until you try!
IV – Allow yourself some leeway to pursue your passion
I knew I wanted to be a writer from an early age. But knew that writing would not provide a steady income.
I allowed myself to be practical and pursue other career choices while always keeping in mind what I wanted to accomplish. As a writer, my ultimate dream is to be a screenwriter–I love dialogue and cherish it more than description. But I knew that most people have to start somewhere and that the screenwriter profession had higher stakes than I wanted to pursue right then, so I started with a novel.
No one knows yourself better than you–pursue the higher stakes if you’re up for it! But also allow yourself to know it’s ok to start slow and build your career that way. Remember, success does not have a timeframe!
More empowering words to overcome the post-grad slump
V – Empower and help other people
Once you find some success, even if your story is still a work in progress, remember how far you have come and how you got there. You did not do it alone. And you owe it to yourself and others to pay it forward.
Do not underestimate your own abilities–to mentor a young person who wants to follow your path is very empowering and a very humbling learning experience. Do not shy away from it. You never know how far those connections will carry you, them, or your passion.
The quickest, easier way to accomplish our goals is to help each other. Do not shy away from asking for help, but do not shy away from giving it. You are in competition only with yourself, and you will never get far by putting other people down.
VI – Do not shy away from making uncomfortable decisions
Life is full of small challenges and you might think that at this stage of your life, your input is not as important as other people that might have more experience. While experience on the job is important, life experience is unique to you. And people will benefit from hearing about an impression or a suggestion you have based on that life experience.
When I was publishing my book, I made some executive decisions that made me uncomfortable because my publisher was suggesting something else, but I went with what I thought was right when I heard the suggestions. Similarly, I find myself making important decisions in my work within the cases I get involved in.
Be always open to learning, but also help make the learning experience beneficial by offering your own input. Everyone, including yourself, will benefit from it.
VII – Keep it real!
Do not forget to always stay true to yourself. Follow your vision, even if it does not look quite like you pictured. Do not conform, bring your own experience and input into the mix.
You were put in this world to be yourself and bring something to it. Your experience is what you make of it!
About today’s writer, Annette Rodriguez
Annette “Annie” Rodriguez was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and started to write consistently when she was in tenth grade. As her writing and creative imagination progressed over the years, Annie became confident enough to share her work and create her own characters to go with these magical plots, and, alas, the first draft of Lifeforce was born.
Fast forward what felt like endless revisions and consultations, Annie’s beloved writing project was picked up for publication by Green Writers Press, and her first novel was published in February 2019! Lifeforce’s sequel, Immortality’s Peril, is already in the works!
Annie’s writing is accompanied by her impressive background as a practicing attorney, holding 2 Bachelor’s degrees and 2 Masters! Lifeforce was actually published during her first year of law school! A minority woman who has worked with students, Annie’s passion for writing keeps her sane in the sometimes harsh reality of training to practice law and her many other endeavors.