After many years of hard work and financial sacrifice, you are not alone in asking yourself what the future holds for you now. There are a few key things that you should know before you begin the next chapter in your life and in your career.

1. Take a long-term approach to your immediate job search

Firstly, remember that your career is something in which you will be engaged for the next 40-50 years. Don’t concern yourself with job titles or starting salary/ focus on what you see yourself doing 5-10 years from now and ask yourself how you are going to go about getting there. For instance, if you have a liberal arts degree and want to transfer your abilities and education into a successful career in the advertising industry, then focus on finding any job in an advertising firm.

2. Do your research

Once you have identified a long-term career path or an industry in which you would like to work, do your research. Find out which companies in your geographical area are the most successful in their field or have a reputation for being a great place to work.

3. Think about working with a recruitment agency

Thinking about the next step after college can be a daunting task for many – especially when you are new to your desired industry. Going through a recruitment agency to seek employment can be greatly beneficial as recruiters will often have the inside track and first-hand knowledge of company culture. Therefore, by going through an agency, you can get the low down on many of your dream companies.

4. Be prepared to adapt your style to the world of work

Also consider that what may have been suitable in an academic setting may not work in a professional setting. It could be time to update or change your image. We all understand how important it is to make a good first impression. It is equally important it maintain that professional image over the long term. Dressing for success and communicating well are essential to long term career success.

Remember, if you are passionate about the company and the industry in which you are working, common sense dictates that you will be successful in your chosen field. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself. As a recent graduate, you know all about hard work, long hours, multi-tasking and most importantly, you have learned how to learn. Savvy those soft skills into a job offer and then chart your own course to success.