Tips for New College Grads
Congrats— your years of hard work and studying have finally paid off and you’ve earned your degree. You’re probably ready to put your college years behind you and enter the working world. As you begin your first job after college and start to earn a living, you’ll learn a lot about being a working adult. To be a success, here are a few tips college grads should follow to enhance future opportunities.
Live Within Your Means
When you receive your first job offer, it may seem like you’re rich, especially after years of working part time jobs in college. However, once you factor in expenses such as rent, utilities, car insurance, student loans, and other living expenses, you’ll likely go from prince to pauper pretty quickly. The best thing you can do to ensure you have enough money at the end of the month to pay your bills is to live within your means. Don’t give in to a glamorous lifestyle, as tempting as it may be. Instead, strive to make smart money choices such as renting an apartment that you can easily afford, eating your meals at home rather than at restaurants, and not giving in to the latest trends.
Think Before Applying to Grad School
For some college grads, attending graduate school makes sense. There are certain fields where earning a master’s degree is required and others where it may not be necessary in order to secure a good job. Before you take the leap and apply to grad school, consider the cost vs. benefit in the long term. Grad school, while it provides you valuable knowledge in your field, can come at a hefty price tag that could hold you back from reaching your maximum earning potential, so give yourself time to work first before seeing if it’s right for you.
Clean Your Social Profiles
You’re not in college anymore, so you probably don’t need all those late-night photos on your social media page where everyone can see them. Not only could they prove to be potentially embarrassing as you continue to age, but they could be seen by a potential employer when they’re looking to hire you. Most employers these days check social media profiles to see who they may be hiring, so keep it G-rated and be sure to highlight your more appropriate activities and contributions, such as volunteerism and work-related skills.
Learn to be Domestic
If this is your first time living on your own, you may not be used to doing certain things by yourself, such as cooking and cleaning. However, domestic chores such as cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and completing simple repairs are all valuable skills to have for anyone who plans to live on their own. Not only does it make you a more valuable partner to a significant other, but it’s also a great money saver because you don’t have to pay someone else to do them for you.
Once you start earning money, you should develop a plan on how you want to manage your money. You should plan to create a budget to help you manage the money coming and going out each month. Don’t get behind on your bills— it’s a poor habit to fall into and could potentially create lasting damage to your credit, which could prevent you from making larger purchases, like a house, in the future. You should also learn to invest your money into a retirement account so you’ll be taken care of when you finally retire after a career of working hard. You shouldn’t deprive yourself of having fun either. One of the best things you can spend your money on is experiences over things. Items lose their value over time and can’t leave lasting memories the same way traveling and trying exciting new things can.
College Grads Never Stop Learning
Life is an ongoing learning experience, and you’ll find things that work for you and others that don’t. As long as you’re mindful of how you spend your money and are responsible, assimilating into post-college life should be a breeze.
Taryn Barnes is a freelance writer and blogger obsessed with HR, Millennial culture, work life balance, and all things tech.