We reached out to a recent AmeriCorps NCCC alum to get his perspective on Life After AmeriCorps and figuring out your next steps. Here’s what Adrian Skabelund had to say:
There comes a point in everyone’s term with an AmeriCorps program when attention begins to be dominated by what the future holds.
For me, that was the last two months of my term with the National Civilian Community Corps. Each day my members and I would head off to the worksite, building trails and wood sheds at a camp in northern Minnesota, and each night we would sit together rewriting resumes, applying to jobs, and discussing our general angst towards the future.
Those periods can be a stressful time. Anxieties about the next few months start to dominate thoughts, all the while there is still work to be done, service to be completed, quantifiables to track, and team members to support.
In that way, the feeling can be similar to that of graduating high school or college. For months, you’ve generally known what comes next.
To have a date looming on the horizon, edging ever closer, that will bring about the end of the structure, security, and connection that a service term provides can be as testing as it is exciting.
Each member of my team came to their own unique solution. Some looked to continue with AmeriCorps, serving again as a VISTA or a team leader in another program. Others decided it might be time to go back to school, whether that was starting or finishing a bachelor’s degree or heading on to graduate school.
Where each and every member ended up, what they did after their terms of service ended, was as varied as the members themselves and the experiences they had through the program. Some members applied to the PeaceCorps while others had discovered a new passion – one they’d never thought to try before – and got a job with an organization they had worked with through the program.
When our term ended and Gerrick, the youngest member of our team, prepared to depart for his freshman year of college, he told me with a smile, “I still don’t know exactly what I want to do but I’ve learned there are a lot of things I don’t want to do. And that’s probably more than a lot of my fellow freshmen can say.”
A transition like this is always challenging, but AmeriCorps can be unique as programs and staff can assist members in determining and achieving that next step. And it certainly helps to start thinking about those next steps before the end is only a month or two out.
Enter Betsy Prueter and the team at Do Good, Be Good. Betsy is leading a virtual workshop on March 29th to provide tips and strategies to figure out what you may want to do after your stint in National Service.
Often, figuring this out takes reflection, sometimes with other AmeriCorps members, family and friends, or supervisors, and considering your experiences and what was most enjoyable or fulfilling during your term of service.
This workshop is the perfect place to start that reflection. Throughout the workshop, your members will have the opportunity to hear stories from AmeriCorps Alums who have navigated this transition in different ways. They will also have the opportunity to reflect on their service with Betsy, and with other members from across the country.
Betsy will discuss how to leverage the experiences your members have had, the connections they have made, through their service into their next steps for after the program comes to an end.
Are you a current member who wants to join the workshop? Please ask your program director to contact us at email@example.com. Are you a program staff member who wants to purchase tickets for your members? You can do that on our website here.