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Top Tips for Recent College Grads

Navigating the Post-Grad Life in Connecticut

So, finals are over, and you’ve got your degree in hand — what’s the next step?

If you’re a recent college grad navigating new waters, here’s some advice on starting up a career and learning to love post-grad life.

Don’t overlook opportunities in your own backyard

Not sure where to plant yourself after graduation? Before you start dreaming about a big move, consider all that’s right in front of you.

Whether you went to school in Connecticut or were born and raised here, or if you’re ready to move from out-of-state, there are plenty of booming industries from bioscience and aerospace to tech, advanced manufacturing, arts, and even craft brewing.

And in a compact state like Connecticut, you can stand out early in your career and really make your mark.

Consider your path (and who’s on it)

Think about how you want to use your skills. Do you see yourself on a team? Or working solo? If collaborating in a top-notch company sounds cool to you, then join an already thriving industry.

But if you’re big on innovative ideas and want to do your own thing, Connecticut has amazing resources for entrepreneurs to turn ideas into businesses.

Match your workplace to your values

Want to build a happy career? Choose a company (or even a field) that aligns with your values. When you care about your work — or work within a culture that cares about its employees — you’re sure to enjoy your professional life more.

That may mean going down a path like sustainability, where your job helps work toward a better planet. Or it might mean working somewhere that upholds important principles, like these DEIB-focused companies in Connecticut.

Make connections (and make them last)

It matters who you know — so network, network, network. One introduction can lead to a job, and, ultimately, to an entire career path. And once you’ve made a good connection, it’s important to stay in touch and maintain a good rapport. 

So, how do you start? Try young professionals’ groups, which help you connect with people in your area and/or industry. You’ll get to meet new people, attend fun events — and since the groups meet regularly, you can keep the relationships solid.

Measure your success beyond your work

Post-grad life isn’t all about working. And success isn’t all about salaries and promotions — it’s about happiness too.

In Connecticut, you can have the right balance. When the workday is done, get out and pursue other passions. Join sports groups, arts groups, or culinary groups. Or volunteer for a cause you believe in.

There are plenty of ways to get involved in the community and make the most of this new chapter.

Get inspired by the possibilities

Take a look around — opportunities are everywhere. Before choosing an exact company or neighborhood, do your research … and let it inspire you.

Connecticut is ranked the #1 state with the happiest workers. Plus, it’s the state with the third-highest annual salaries in the country. And it attracts more Fortune 500 companies per capita than any state in the country.

Sound good to you? Learn more here.

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