Thursday, February 18, 2016

What’s Next? 3 Simple Career Planning Tips for New Grads

Have you recently graduated with your degree? Congratulations! What a wonderful accomplishment!

Now that you are done and you have some "free time" on your hands, you might find yourself asking “What’s next?”  What new opportunities are on your horizon and how will you seize them? Whether you are a career changer seeking new employment or someone established in your field trying to decide whether it is time to seek new pastures, keep these 3 simple career planning tips in mind:

  • Learn about yourself – Many of us launch a job search without really knowing what we want. We just know that we want something else.  The CareerBeam self assessment tools available on the WGU Career & Professional Development website are a great place to start the process of career exploration. You can gain valuable information on your temperament, personality, interests, skills, and talents. CareerBeam also has assessments to help you define your industry, leadership, corporate culture, and networking preferences. By learning about yourself, you will gain greater clarity and be able to formulate stronger career goals.
  • Stay up-to-date – Staying current in your field will help keep you relevant and more competitive when you are looking for a new position or a promotion. The WGU Career & Professional Development Center offers two excellent resources:
    • The Riley Guide is a curated career management e-library that houses the latest information on career management resources for a wide variety of occupations. Simply use the alphabetical index to locate your area of interest and you’ll be directed to the best sites available. 
    • CareerBeam’s Industry Reports offers profiles covering more than 1000 industry segments. Profiles include in-depth national and international information, creating a comprehensive suite of data that is continuously updated. An added bonus: all reports include “call prep” questions which is helpful in preparation for networking and interviewing.
  • Get involved in your profession – Taking time to engage in your profession not only keeps you on the cutting-edge within your field, it also allows you to network with other professionals and develop your professional brand – all of which can advance your career!  A great place to start is LinkedIn where there are a plethora of groups that cover almost every occupation and industry imaginable. Try participating in groups by posting discussions or answering questions posed by other members. Be sure to check out additional professional development resources on the WGU Career & Professional Development Center website, including college specific links to professional associations, continuing education opportunities, and job boards.

WGU graduates have access to all the resources and services offered by the WGU Career & Professional Development Center. Make an appointment and a CPD Specialist can help you create your career plan, explore options, and assist in the design of your job search. We look forward to working with you!


  1. These are all great areas to look at. I have personally done the CareerBeam items. There are a ton and it took me about 2 weeks to get through all of them. It really solidified what I had been thinking and even gave me a few choices that I had never thought of. One down side to this though is that it does not help you with a career path. So I'd make a great CEO, but how do I get there?

    1. We'd love to assist in putting a more concrete plan in place. Please contact us at and a career specialist will be in touch!