Don’t panic yet. Take some time to organize your next steps with these suggestions for college graduates.
1. Write Down Your Goals
You might be one of the lucky graduates who finishes up school with a job offer in hand. You might be leaving college with no real clue as to what you want to do with the rest of your life.
Regardless of your ambitions to date, writing out your goals can help you get organized. They don’t all have to be big or completely life changing. You might want to dream as big as working for a specific company, or as small as moving out of your parents’ house.
Think both long term and short term, and then think about the actionable steps you need to take to reach those goals. Without a plan, those goals just stay words on a paper.
2. Be Honest About Finances
Many college students have worked before graduation, but you may not have worked full time or had to pay all of your bills.
With graduation comes looming student loan payments, along with health insurance and rent or a mortgage. Essentially, you could be looking at expenses you’ve never had to pay before.
You may also want to start thinking about your savings and retirement. Though you may not think it necessary at such a young age, there are plenty of benefits to an IRC 7702 plan, or life insurance policy.
The sooner you start investing in plans like these, the more time you have for cash value to accumulate.
3. Seek Employment
For some graduates, the dream job comes easily. They jet off to some glamorous big city and start living an Instagram-worthy lifestyle. The job market can be an unforgiving place, so don’t get too down on yourself if that dream job slips away.
Many college graduates won’t have the experience these positions require. Sometimes an entry level job will be your ticket to moving up within a company, or maybe it will just be necessary to pay the bills.
Not every person’s career trajectory will look the same, and that’s perfectly okay. Finding that first job may take some time, but it’ll help you set up the next phase of your life with some financial security.
4. Find Routine
College isn’t necessarily the best place for developing a routine. You can certainly try, but late night study sessions, parties, and last-minute campus events tend to wreck havoc on a carefully planned schedule. It also doesn’t help that class schedules change every semester.
A routine can be a key component to stability, which you’ll likely want once the structure of college life is gone. While a new job certainly helps, it’s not the only way to develop new rituals. This is a great time to establish a new healthy habit like going to the gym a few times a week, volunteering or trying out a new hobby.
other valuable tips:
5. Know Your Environment
Whether you’re moving away or staying at home, chances are you’re not quite connected with your post-grad living situation. Introducing, or reintroducing, yourself to your town or city can make it easier to get around on a daily basis.
Familiarizing yourself with public transportation can help alleviate anxieties about getting to work or finding that new bar everyone keeps talking about. Knowing your city makes it easier to put down roots and become a crucial part of your community.
Leaving college can be intimidating, but having the right attitude can make a world of difference. By following these tips, you can make a plan for seamless entry into your next chapter.
Image Credit: life steps by envato.com
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