To all those who just graduated in May, CONGRATS! I hope you’re enjoying your summer full of graduation parties, but when all the presents and cards full of money disappear, do you know what to do next? Here are my 6 steps to start a life for yourself after graduating from college.
1. Find a place
Find a place you can see yourself living for 5 years. You will want to stay in one place to build a reputation and create a network. Moving form city to city will make it hard to build a reputation because every time you move you will have to start from square one again. It is also hard to be referred across states for entry level positions. 5 years is, on average, how long it takes to climb the latter a little bit and build a name for yourself.
2. Create a Financial Plan
Now that you know where you want to live you can start creating a financial plan. You can do this even before you move, in fact it’s better if you do! Look at the prices of renting an apartment in different neighborhoods. Will you have to pay for public transportation or gas? Will you want cable and internet? What about utilities, what will that cost? The answer to all these questions will help you decide how much you need to make, how much you can afford realistically and will help you start creating your own budget.
3. Find A Job
The next step is to find a job you enjoy and pay the bills. Apply to jobs that fit within the field you want to work in or will give you some identity capital. Do not apply to just any job. Applying to jobs you don’t care about or aren’t beneficial to you is a waste of time. Employers can tell when you’re just applying for applying. Find jobs you’re actually interested in and would be proud to have.
4. Meet New People and Network
Get out of your circle! Meet new people! Network! Surprisingly, you will not advance in your careers because of your closest friends. Most of the time it’s from people you barely know; the weak ties. Also, meeting new people and networking will open you up to a whole new set of resources and advice you couldn’t get anywhere else.
5. Work Hard and Build Your Brand
Work hard at your job. Show that you want to be there. Build your skills and your brand. Building a brand for yourself is probably the most important thing in this economy. The best way to start is with a website. Build a brand for yourself so people know what you are about right away. More and more recruiters and employers are going online for their next hires. Make sure they can find you!
6. Learn About Yourself Along the Way by Listening and Observing
As you start your journey as a young professional learn about yourself. See what your strengths and weaknesses are. Try new things, test your boundaries. Being in your twenties is the best time to take some risks to find out more about yourself. Decisions and habits you create during your twenties will form who the adult version of you will be, most likely for the rest of your life. Take advantage of your time while you can still mold the clay of who you are.
Are you having any trouble starting a life after college?
Tell me below or email me at asktheyoungprofessional (at) gmail (dot) com!
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