You did it! You’ve graduated college and are on your way to continuing your life with your new degree. But now, here’s your next big question: what are you going to do now?
Life after college can seem very intimidating as you may feel like you have no idea what you’re going to do or where your life is going. But, it doesn’t have to be difficult at all. Let’s look into a few ways to prepare for life after college.
One of the most important things you can do is to learn how to network. Many people will tell you that a critical key to their business success is reaching out and connecting with other people. It’s important to find which networks will allow you to meet the right people in your industry.
As you look for a job, having the right connections can serve as a huge advantage. The people you know or have access to are your network; be it friends, family, classmates, co-workers, or even instructors, as an example. These people can be connections for you to help you land a job or opportunities for life necessities.
Keep building your network by staying in touch with people you meet; such as in class, internships, jobs, or even online through a professional business network. As your career develops, the people you know can notify you of job openings or other professional opportunities you wouldn’t have known. Networking is a critical key to job success!
Finding a mentor can help provide a necessary perspective to ensure you can develop a quality career. A mentor can be a trusted professor with experience in your desired field, an industry expert you’ve connected with on LinkedIn or even a family friend. The person you pick as your mentor or coach may depend on which field or career you want to succeed in and their experience level in it.
You should have a general direction of where you want your career to go. As your mentor or coach teaches you skills and provides guidance, ask specific questions of your mentor and get the most out of their teaching. Mentors and coaches can provide a significantly positive difference in your career, but only if you fully implement their strategies and utilize their guidance to the full.
Possibly, along with asking your coach for their input, try to figure out a plan to keep yourself focused on your ideal career outcome. If you decide to start your own business, you can hire a business coach to figure out how to go about this plan. Regardless of how you go about your future profession or career, finding a coach or mentor will always smooth out any bumps along the way.
You should start actively searching for jobs by your senior year in university. Some job fields, such as finance or other higher-up professions, expect to receive potential candidates to start working as early as their junior year. So throughout your last year or two of school, particularly your final semester, stay aware and search for entry-level roles you can apply for.
By senior year, you should be actively searching for a job. Some fields expect candidates to start as early as junior year. Throughout your final year, keep an eye out for entry-level roles you’re qualified for.
This would be the perfect time to utilize your network and available connections to widen out your career scope. Anyone you know may have access or “secret intel” on jobs that haven’t been made available to the public yet. As mentioned above, networking and forming professional connections can be invaluable tools to have in your career.
Given this is the digital age, many employers check out your social media profile before hiring you to learn your character. This is the best time to ask yourself, are your social media accounts a positive image of you? Also, would you be embarrassed if an employer were to see you like this?
Potential employers may disapprove if they see you publicly posted a photo of yourself drinking or doing something unkind to others. There have been plenty of public instances where someone posted an unkind or thoughtless post or image online, believing it to be funny. However, others saw it as cruel and it cost that person their employment or job offer.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to delete your account! Just be sure that any posts or photos you make public are ones that you’re comfortable with a potential employer viewing. This same mindset also goes for any controversial or sensitive topics, such as politics.
Many organizations and companies tend to look for employees with skills or, more preferably, experience. Even those without a degree can score impressive roles as long as they have the experience that makes them valuable.
You can gain this experience by taking on internships during college, allowing you to gain hands-on skills that teach you to handle assignments and challenges. Remember, you don’t have to wait until graduation to build up job experience! During any long breaks and periods with fewer classes, you can use this chance to take on internships or jobs that let you gain training.
Where your interests lie are the building blocks to your career success. Learning your true interests can take time, so give yourself time with this. Research what you know you love most and enjoy learning.
Keep in mind, there will be influences and side jobs that will steer your focus off of your primary goal and career development. However, the most important thing is to keep building towards the career goals you wish to achieve. Form an outline of the path you want to see your career follow down the road.
This plan will help you keep track of your goals, the time length in achieving them, and let you get closer to success. Map out your plan in gaining necessary skills, managing your time, and post-graduation goals. This will save you time as you plan your goals instead of figuring them out along the way.
Many people in the professional world have a LinkedIn profile. You want to learn how to build up your resume so that it shines a spotlight on you. Be sure to put in relevant work history to the career you want to exceed in, internship history, schools attended, and other forms of education or professional experience you have.
Also, make sure that your profile photo is clear and professional. Don't put in selfies or faceless logos, as potential employers prefer to see your face. There's so much competition in the workforce nowadays and individuals with impressive resumes, so you want to ensure you can keep a pair of eyes on yours instead!
A tip to remember is to start working on your resume now so it can be submitted right away. Digital resumes are currently popular and most preferred over paper resumes. Keep your resume simple, detail-oriented, and relevant to the job you want to gain.
When you live at Vintage at Tabernacle, you can take advantage of on-campus opportunities at Dixie State University to build up your resume and network with other individuals who are going into your same career.
It's a wise choice to save up an emergency fund in the case scenario that something happens. An emergency fund can help you cover unexpected expenses, such as car repairs or medical bills. This way, you don't have to put it on a credit card and wrack up unwanted debt.
Try to save up a few hundred dollars on the side while aiming for at least $1,000 strictly for emergencies. From there, continue to save a big enough emergency fund that can hold you over for a few months. This will financially help you if you find yourself without a job or something else unexpected.
The key to preparing for life after college is not overthinking it. Many people feel the way that you do and are nervous as well. Life after college can seem intimidating or scary, but it doesn't have to be.
Form a plan of where you want your life to go; your career or where you want to be. Figure out the steps that will let you get there and take it one day at a time. Meet new people, continue studying, and always keep working in a way that makes you happy and always evolving.