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My advice for graduates: 5 Tips you won’t hear from your professors

I recently gave a lecture at the Institute without Boundaries where they wanted me to present my path after school and how I became a design strategist. What was probably the most valuable part of the presentation was the questions I received during and after from the students. And, upon reflection, I feel that if they had these questions, there are probably many others who have the same thoughts and concerns as they enter the workforce. So, here are my answers to 5 burning questions the graduating class had for me.

“I have so many options where should I go?”

Honey, until you actually have offers, you don’t have choices. Sorry to burst your bubble. Unless people are knocking at your door and wanting you to work for them, you don’t have options. So I would apply to as many places as possible.

“How do I know if a job is right for me?”

Why don’t you reach out to people in the industry who are in the jobs/roles you are curious about and ask them for a zoom call? The lockdown has made it clear that people aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. As social beings, we are craving connection. People love talking about themselves. So reach out and ask. There is no risk in trying. And you never know, it might land you a job 😉

“How did you know where to apply to?”

My advice to applying to places, especially if you are taking a post-graduate, master’s, or pivoting in your career is:

1) Apply to jobs where you currently have your degree in or previous experience in
2) If you learned some new skills in your program, I would apply to this new area or field
3) Apply to a field that you are really good and passionate about regardless if you have experience in it

“How do you know if the job will be the right fit?”

First, do you want to work for one company that has your shared values? Like a Plan Canada or Facebook? Or do you want to work for a company that works with many brands and organizations? Like a Humanise or SidLee? This will give you some direction into a company, brand or organization you resonate with.

And finally…

“How do I know what my purpose is?”

It took a long time for me to figure this out. You won’t figure it out by the time you graduate (or maybe you will). But the fun is trying. Take some time time to do some real inner soul searching. There are books that can help you figure out how to apply your passion to something useful to make an impact. One book that I recently read was Jay Shetty’s Think Like A Monk. He has some great tools to determine your dharma.

And as always, if you any questions that you would like me to answer feel free to reach out on Linkedin or Instagram and I’d be happy to answer to the best of my ability.

Richelle Sibolboro
Richelle Sibolboro

Design strategist and content creator for hire with a passion for arts and culture specifically in design, architecture, and travel. She has produced content for designboom, Azure magazine, Open City Projects, Digifest, and World Design Weeks. Follow her on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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