Three Tips to Thrive in the Transition from College to Career, with Satya Byock

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You’ve survived years of schooling, finals, group projects and finally have a hard-earned degree in your hands.

You’re still looking for full-time work and your career route is an open road in front of you.  While catching your breath, you get this question, “What are you going to do with your life?”  It’s an overwhelming question, even for mid-career professionals.

So how do you answer that question just a few weeks after graduation?

Satya Byock, founder of Quarter-Life Counseling shares three tips for you to thrive in your life after college. She reads her contribution to our new book, Land Your Dream Job in Portland (and Beyond).


Mac Prichard:

This is Find Your Dream Job. The podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life. I’m Mac Prichard your host and publisher of Mac’s List. On today’s bonus episode, we’re sharing exclusive content from our new book, Land Your Dream Job in Portland and Beyond.

Land Your Dream Job in Portland and Beyond compiles all of our best jobs search tips in career management tools into one simple easy to read guide. It’s the definitive toolkit for anyone looking for meaningful work. The book clause will include special contributions from an array of job search experts and today, you’ll hear from one of them.

Here is Satya Byock of Quarter-Life Consulting reading her contribution, Three Tips to Thrive in the Transition from College to Career.

Satya Byock:

Congratulations graduate. It’s been quite the ride. You worked hard and can now look back on almost two decades of school and say, “Phew. I made it. Now what?” I’m not going to lie to you. This next phase of life after college can be difficult and the transition into the working world does not come with a lot of guidance. You’ll have to figure it out largely on your own, but you can do it.

Here are three tips on how to transition into the next phase of your life. Tip number one, acknowledge that you’re in a transition to your self and to others. If you’re lost at sea and someone asks you where you’re going, it’s only insecurity that would lead you to puff up your chest and make up an answer. “Oh, I’m headed to that island up north.” If you do that, you’re certain to stay lost at sea for a long, long time.

If you don’t know where you’re at at the moment, do yourself a favor and admit it. There’s no shame in it and you’re not alone. Being honest with where you’re at will take a load off your shoulders and it will tip off helpful good Samaritans about your need for support. Find the way to speak about the transition you’re in. Be confident. Let’s practice.

Say you’re moms friend says something like this, “So, what are you up to this days now that college is over?” You can answer, “Well, I’m taking a breather from the stress of school and I’m also sorting through the next phase. I’m not sure yet what’s next for me, but I’m figuring it out, little by little.” Then, you can share a little bit about what you are doing. Your creative and social life, the job you may have, even if you don’t love it. Then, your moms friend may just say, “Wow. You sure are mature. I wish I’d been that thoughtful at your age.”

Tip number two, create a community around your career pursuit. If you have ideas of what’s next, but could use some help in getting there, your friends are likely in the same boat, so gather together. With good food and levity, convene with others in a supportive atmosphere and share the goals you’re hoping to make progress on. Encourage discussion and have someone write down all of the goals. In a month, meet again. Check in on the progress you’ve made and set new goals.

These creates accountability for all of you and it will help you move closer to the life you’re seeking. You can set big goals, but try to focus on the smaller ones. “I want to take three people in the design industry to coffee this week and pick their brains,” or, “I want to write two blog entries on my cooking blog and practice new recipes.”

Great, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Supporting these small steps together with friends provides incentives to stay on track and it keeps you from feeling so lonely. If you don’t know enough people in town to form a group, create one through Craig’s List or Community is out there waiting for you, so don’t be shy.

Tip number three, journal about what you want and what you are feeling. You are your greatest guide these days. Listen to what you’re thinking about, wishing for, and striving after. Find some time to write a few times a week and include dates with your entries. With each entry, you’ll help to unjumble your thoughts and find clarity.

Writing what you’re feeling provides the same support for reflection that talking with friends can. In writing, the core of what you’re feeling can begin to emerge and patterns and who you are begin to rise out of the fog. You are a unique person with unique interests. As you continue to get to know yourself, the pattern of who you are will begin to shed light on your path ahead. Keep writing.

Looking back at all the entries in the future, you’ll be glad to see the progress you’ve made and you’ll discover that you are more on track than you thought at the time.

Mac Prichard:

If you’re looking of more expert advice and insider tips like what you just heard, check out Land Your Dream Job in Portland and Beyond. You’ll find everything you need to get a great job, whether you’re in Portland, Oregon, Portland, Maine, or anywhere in between. The 2016 edition includes new content and for the first time ever, it’s available in paperback as well as in an array of e-reading devices, including Kindle, Nook, and iBooks.

For more information on Land Your Dream Job in Portland and Beyond, visit