A whole class just graduated and was released into the workforce. If you are one of these grads: Congratulations! Most of these graduates started applying for jobs weeks, or maybe even months ago, but have not found work. That’s because finding a good job is actually difficult. The transition into work life is a hard process since everything changes and you have to find not just a job, but a career. This is a new chapter in your life. Because many things change, many new grads get discouraged quickly by the obstacles this period of life brings with it. So I’ve compiled a list for all those new grads on how to be smart during this time of transition.
- First things first: Execute a thorough and consistent job hunt.
Leave no rock unturned, use your connections, don’t be afraid to ask. Make friends in your field, conduct informational interviews to learn more about the professional side of your desired career path. See which niche you are the right fit for and train yourself to be that right match.
- Dress for Success.
After sending out all those resumes and making friends in all the right places, you will start going to interviews. Be aware that, for interviews, one size does not fit all. Gone are the days of going to your interview in a black or navy suit, white button down shirt and your hair tied in a bun. You should dress one step up from what regular employees at that company wear. That means you have to do specific research for every company you’re interviewing with, but you also have to adjust your wardrobe to every interview. This doesn’t have to be pricey. Check your closet and you’ll probably find that you can put some nice and fitting outfits together. And if not – there’s always your local Goodwill store to help you dress for success within your budget.
- Don’t change your living style quite yet.
You have just graduated, you think you’ll have extra income, you can afford all those things you couldn’t afford as a student. The truth is, though, that life is expensive and unexpected expenses come your way (Just ask your parents!) at the most inopportune times. So the secret at this point in your life is to be frugal, not to splurge. Start saving for your retirement now, start saving for your first home purchase now. Start saving for all those eventualities your parents will no longer pay for. You can even save on furnishings for your new apartment. If you don’t like exactly what you see, there are easy ways to “dress up” old furniture, and that’s a fun project, too! If you need help being frugal – Goodwill is always a great place to start!
- Live within your means.
Not recommended at this point in your life is opening credit cards. While they seem convenient at the time, it’s easy to lose track of the money you spend. Then, in addition to your student debt, you’ll have credit card debt. This happens very quickly, so be aware of that pitfall.
- Overall, the best advice would be to seek wise counsel and make wise decisions.
Listen to those who have been through this period successfully and copy them. Nothing wrong with copying what works.