Leiden University Career Zone

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LU Career Zone Develop your skills

Transition to the labour market

And then the time has come. You're a graduate and ready to make the transition to the labour market.

Transition phase
After all these years of hard studying, many students are looking forward to the next phase in their lives. Still, you can have mixed feelings about this period. You may have your diploma in your pocket, and happy and proud to have it, but at the same time you may find it a difficult period. Everything is going to be different from now on. The transition to this new phase in your life is therefore not easy for everyone. You may experience all kinds of emotions or have thoughts such as:

  • A feeling of sadness about the loss of your student life and maybe even your group of friends: everything is changing...
  • The feeling that you no longer have any spare time, that you have lost your freedom.
  • Maybe having the tendency to postpone this and continue studying (so that you don't have to take responsibility yet).
  • Having no idea how to proceed, what you would like, and feeling stressed about it.
  • Uncertainty about whether it will all work out.
  • Feeling pressure / expectations from others, also the feeling of being forced to perform.

In short, a transition phase that can be quite difficult, and also called by some the well-known 'black hole' after graduation. If you recognize this, you are certainly not the only one.
Nevertheless, try to take the time to enjoy the graduation period and the parties and the feeling of satisfaction and recognition for what you have achieved. 
Maybe you will travel, or go on holiday, do other things before you start your first job after graduation. Whatever you do, give yourself the time to experience all the positive and negative feelings associated with this transition phase, the transition from your student identity to your work/professional identity.
Give it time to adapt to this new reality - transitions are rarely quick and painless! In addition, it can take some time to find a suitable job anyway.
Discuss your situation with others and ask for help when needed, not only from family and friends, but also, for example, from the career advisors of the Career Service.

Career Services
Especially if you find it difficult to determine what you want to do next and how to do it, you can still turn to the Career Service for support up to a year after graduation. 
You may already have gone through the Career Planning step-by-step plan, but if not, start with that. This module can help you to make the transition to the job market as smooth as possible.

Your first job
And then you have conquered your first job and your first day at work is about to start. You might need some tips for that.