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What next?
Shannon Merchant, career counselor |
UW Career Center | MGH 134

Now what?
> I dont know what Im doing next, what do I need
to worry about?

Job search
Identifying interests and strengths

> I know what Im doing next, what do I need to

worry about?
Identifying interests and strengths

What comes next?

Fill out the top half of the front sheet:
Current Status
Turn to your neighbor and share:
> Your name
> Your immediate goals following graduation
> One concern you have about life after UW

Professional development isnt always linear. For

most people it looks something like.

Identifying and exploring interests: The

Wandering Map
> Think about memorable events, places, things
and people in your life.
> Write the ideas all over the page using short
words, phrases, mini-drawings and symbols.
> Consider: favorite memories, childhood heroes,
past jobs, hobbies, classes, skills, travel, books,
values, accomplishments, friends, movies,
games, traditions, family, favorite activities
> Dont try to organize items or censure anything!
> Spelling doesnt matter!
> Mini drawings instead of words are cool, too.

Lets make connections

> Draw lines to connect related things together on
your map. Use color or shading as desired.
> Assign categories to each grouping.

Further thinking
> Is there a pattern to the types of jobs or positions
youve held?
> What might seemingly very different experiences
have in common?
> What did you learn or what skills did you develop
from items on your map?
> What themes run through your map beyond the
major categories?

Possible themes you may or may not

Adventure. Art. Aesthetics. Challenge.
Contribution. Creativity. Diversity.
Education. Expertise. Faith. Family.
Friendship. Harmony. Health. Helping.
Heritage. Independence. Integrity. Joy.
Justice. Leadership.
Learning/Knowledge. Leisure. Nature.
Physical Work. Power. Prestige.
Productivity. Security. Social Justice.
Spirituality. Variety. Wealth.

> Which items are most important to you?
> Which items or themes might influence your next
step or decision?
> Which themes relate to your values?
> What items have you pushed aside that you
> Write down what and how you will reintroduce
those into your life.
> Note any other reflections as well.

So what?
> If you identified strong themes:
Make a list of what contributed to the theme (values,
skills, types of experiences)
These can become criteria for searching for positions,
evaluating jobs, and topics for informational
interviewing questions

> If you identified many experiences:

What did I like about specific parts of the experience
What did I not like about specific parts of the experience

3 main strategies for job searching

Job Boards


> Minimum 2-3 months is common
> 6-7 months is not uncommon either
> What speeds it up? Multiple


Effective job searchers

> Use more than one method or strategy
> Tailor resume and cover letter
> Know why they want the job and how their
qualifications match the posting
> Understand that job titles are not always the
most accurate description and search by keyword
> Familiarize themselves with the industry and
follow related news and update sources
> Follow up after applying

Lifelong skill that you should always be engaging in.
It is a rewarding activity for identifying your
interests and own professional development (as an
employee or a student).
How many of you found a job or volunteer
position from someone you know or someonewho-knew-someone?

Networking = Relationship building. Talking
to people
> Formal networking events (i.e. Career fairs,
alumni gatherings, program events, happy hours,
> Informational interviews
> Volunteering, interning, participating in RSOs
> Conferences, lectures, open houses, professional
> LinkedIn, social media
> Block parties, family reunions, social events, etc.

Networking tips
> Play the student or recent graduate card
> Connect on LinkedIn and follow up with them to
notify about life changes/events
Ask about:
> Advice regarding career goals or positions
> Their own experiences
> Suggestions about organizations, places to engage and
> Potential referrals or other contacts they would be willing to
put you in contact with

> 30 Days: Learning stage
Learn and observe; establish expectations; develop
professional relationships with colleagues; learn your

> 60 Days: Integration stage

Obtain feedback; establish good workflow; create
insights/ideas list; take on projects; contribute to
conversation; job teams or committees

> 90 Days: Transformation stage

Know your goals and think strategically; learn from your
mistakes; bring solutions to your boss; be proactive;
seek opportunities for professional development; reflect

Other considerations
Life after college is both exciting and scary. You
dont have to know exactly what you want to do,
but some sort of plan or strategy is a good idea!
Complete the remaining portions of the
worksheet as you think about moving forward
with your own goals.

Life after college looks different for every person.
Resist the urge to compare yourself to other peers
and instead maintain focus on your goals,
strengths, and next steps.
> If you need extra support, schedule an
appointment with a Career Counselor (
www.careers.uw.edu) for up to 24 months after
> 15-minute Same-Day-Sessions (134 MGH, 10am3pm)
> On-going workshops and employer events
Follow-up questions? Contact me at: