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This post was written by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran, creator of “Should I Stay or Should I Go!” e-workbook, on behalf of the Happy Grad Project. As advice goes, most of what you may hear as you plan your graduation will be details about how to job search, use social media, and prepare your resume. Not here. Related: 4 C’s To Career Success This advice is about something you want to get ASAP, and keep getting it, as it will serve you now and at all points in your career. What I’m talking about is: Clarity. Clarity is one of the most undervalued things yet it is vital to driving your decisions, planning, and success. When you are clear about where you are going in your career, your path ahead is easier to plan. Granted, getting Clarity can be tricky. One of the biggest failures I’ve seen as a Leadership & Career Coach is people who were seriously unhappy with their career, who ended up somewhere simply because getting Clarity was hard to do. Some of you are abundantly clear on where you’re going. That’s great. Stay that way. For the rest, just because your path ahead is hard to figure out, don’t avoid doing it. You will avoid heartache down the road. Here are some things you can do to help you get clear:

1. Realize this is about figuring out you

You may not have much work experience, and knowing what you do and don’t want to do is a new experience. Oh well, time to do some navel-gazing.

2. Get experience

There is nothing more defining than work experience. If you don’t have much, get some. By working, it will help you better understand yourself. While you’re at it, get work experience related to your field of study – it will help you land a job after you graduate. Don’t listen to the advice that says you should wait to work until after you graduate so you can focus on your studying. That’s hogwash. Most of the people who follow that advice regret it later.

3. Spend time doing research

It’s surprising just how many people end up in a career and are completely shocked at the various tasks it includes. These surprises can be real showstoppers. You can reduce the shock and awe of a career by researching it ahead of time. It’s part of getting clear.

4. There is no place with one simple answer

Unfortunately, there is no career assessment, book, or counselor that is going to have your answer. Rather, each one of these will offer you a puzzle piece to help you get clear. You have to realize that, if it were easy to get clear, you would already BE clear. Keep collecting your puzzle pieces - one day, you will realize you have the entire picture of your career destination.

5. Don’t wait

Another bad piece of advice is that you can wait to get Clarity. The sooner you are clear, the sooner you can start preparing yourself for that specific career you will pursue. The bad economy of this past decade has produced a complete intolerance for lack of experience and lack of focus (read: Clarity). Gone are the days of “finding something." Think of a lack of Clarity like driving without a destination in mind. It’s pointless to jump in a car if you don’t know where you’re going. Without it, you will waste time, money, and probably not like where you end up. The same is true for you and your career. Get Clarity, you’ll be glad you did. Get your copy of "Should I Stay or Should I Go!" system by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran - The Introvert Whisperer & Leadership Champion - dedicated to helping you claim and live to your full potential.

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Graduating? Know someone who is? As a perk of the Happy Grad Project, we're offering a FREE download of our e-book, "The Recent Grad's Guide To Getting A Job." This e-book is JAM-PACKED with tips from experts and recruiters, videos, and additional help. Don't put off your job search any longer - Download our e-book today and get started!   Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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