Unsure what to do after graduating? These are your options

By Robert Half on 09/08/2023

Got your diploma? Congratulations! No sooner has the champagne been drunk, and you’re facing one of life’s most important decisions: what direction to take your career?

We’ve made a list of options for you. One route does not have to exclude the other. Reflect on your career path and, above all, go for it!


Prepare your CV

First of all, update your CV. You will need it when you start applying for jobs. The more information you provide in your CV, the more accurate a picture a potential employer will have of you. And, therefore, the greater your opportunities of getting invited for a job interview.


Continue your studies

If you still have an appetite for studying, consider taking a postgraduate or a master’s degree. You don’t have to have more qualifications, but they will increase your opportunities on the job market. At any rate, be sure to inform yourself well and check whether your plan is financially feasible. During your studies, you can also prepare yourself for employment by doing relevant internships or holiday jobs.

Did you know that some vocational immersion internships are paid? They allow you to get relevant experience in a sector that appeals to you, while you get something out of it at the same time. And what is perhaps even more important is that you will be in an excellent position for a possible job offer. After all, your internship supervisor will know precisely what you are capable of.


Apply for a student job

Continuing your studies does not necessarily preclude gaining some initial work experience. A student job is a perfect compromise between a permanent job and an internship. You gain relevant experience and earn your first salary without having to commit to anything.


Start your career right away by finding a job

Alternatively, you can get started right away. Plenty of companies are open to young, ambitious candidates. Consider the following when you’re applying for jobs:


Find a job that best matches your skills

Keep checking those job sites and start applying. Finding a job that truly suits you is not always easy. Recruitment agencies can help you in that process. Here at Robert Half, we match talented candidates like yourself with exciting jobs every day. Benefit from our extensive network: get help.


Full-time or part-time?

People often start working full-time immediately. Full-time positions let you gain a lot of experience and learn valuable skills on the job.

If you’re considering continuing your studies, a part-time job is an option. You will be gaining work experience while adding new skills to your CV or enhancing existing skills. Or perhaps you want to start your own business as a secondary activity alongside your part-time job? A part-time job gives you that flexibility.


Temporary or permanent?

If you are not yet sure about the type of job you want to start with, temporary assignments may be an excellent option. You’ll gain experience in different jobs, which each carry their own responsibilities. And that in different sectors that appeal to you.


Company culture: just as important as your salary

When applying for a job, be sure to consider the company culture as well. Of course, you want to earn a good living, but equally important is a good match with your future colleagues and their way of working.


Become self-employed

You may want to start working but don’t fancy a 9-to-5 job. If you have a good idea and the drive to turn it into a reality, self-employment might be for you.

Talk to people in your network who started out on their own, do thorough research and take advantage of free start-up advice. The government provides advice through VDAB.



An increasing number of internships turn into permanent jobs. It is an excellent way of getting your foot in the door at that large company you always wanted to work for. For companies, it is an economical way to have temporary extra capacity, while assessing whether you have potential. So be sure to aim high when you’re looking for an internship. After all, you have nothing to lose.


Take a sabbatical (abroad)

Many people take a gap year after their studies to go travelling before starting employment. International (work) experience looks good on your CV. You’ll acquire all kinds of experiences and skills. You’ll learn to be independent, think outside the box and adapt to different cultures – all of which will be valuable in the workplace. If you want to make yourself truly useful, consider volunteering.

Whatever you choose, make sure you explain that gap in your CV when you apply.


Download our cv template for free and increase your chances of a job interview.

The curriculum vitae or cv determines the first impression a potential employer has of you. Be sure to pay enough attention to the content and the format of it.

Download our cv template for free and increase your chances of a job interview.

  1. Download the example as a Word file
  2. Enter your details
  3. Export as a PDF
  4. Mail your brand new resume along with your motivation letter to companies
  5. Don't hesitate to send in your resume to Robert Half, we are happy to help you with your job search
  6. Print it and take it with you to your first interview

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