It’s graduation time for college students across the country! Congratulations, you made it! However, now you need to start getting everything in order for life after graduation. So, take a few days and celebrate, but get ready for the real world. This means getting a job, moving out of the dorms (and preferably not into your parent’s house), and starting to save for the future (a house, family, and then retirement). Life comes at you fast, so follow this little guide to make sure that you’re prepared.
The Job Search
Step one after graduation is locking in the job. Hopefully you spent your last semester or quarter networking, and maybe you’ve leveraged your connections from your college internship. If not, you should check out A College Grad’s Guide to the Job Search, a comprehensive post on what you need to do to get a job.
And remember, your first job out of college is really just a stepping stone. Don’t think that you’re going to be stuck in that job forever. So consider it an entry job, and just get into a path similar to what you really want to do forever. That way, you can build your experience as you go! For example, if you want to get into finance, there are a lot of different finance career choices to start at, and get experience to get to your final destination.
And finally, avoid these 5 common career mistakes!
Step two is getting a place to live, preferably not with your parents. This means following the post-college apartment financial plan. You should pick your housing AFTER your pick your job because you never know if you will need to relocate. In today’s job market, you shouldn’t trap yourself in an area until you have a solid job. That is why a college grad shouldn’t buy a house right away.
Make sure that when you choose your housing, you choose something that is affordable so that you can save for your final gameplan of getting a house. There is no reason to live large right out of college if you can’t save anything for your future.
Finally, you need to get your finances in order now that you’ve graduated. You can follow my 10 Step Plan for College Graduates as a starting point. But overall, this means getting your checking and savings account going, paying off any student loans you’ve taken out, and starting to plan for the future.
Readers, what other things do new grads need to prepare for?
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.