When I graduated college, I was so confident in knowing that I would have 5 job offers, move into a nice apartment, and settle down and get married.
Boy was I wrong!
Here is a little advice for college grads. First and foremost, Congratulations! You have accomplished something so big and your hard work will pay off if you…
Think outside the box
Here’s my list of advice to you guys!
Take a break (at least for a week), reward yourself
You have worked so hard and the first thing you should do is take a break and binge watch a few shows you didn’t get to watch, because well…. college is rough.
Do a year of community service
Sometimes, job opportunities are a rare occurrence. Often you need more experience or additional degrees.
One way to get experience (and maybe some graduate credit) is to take advantage of community service projects through Americorp, Peacecorps, or faith based organizations. An additional perk is loan forgiveness!
I personally spent a year with Catholic Volunteers in Florida, where I had the amazing opportunity to work with adults with special needs. I ran the facility which gave me lots of leadership and management experience that has served me VERY well!
Consider paid and unpaid internships (this could turn into an actual job offer)
Research your dream company and see if they have any internships. Be open to multiple opportunities because many internships turn into a full time position.
Start your business (don’t wait)
Now that you aren’t attached to a book, now is the time to really invest in your own business. There is no better time than the present. If you have an idea or passion, pursue it!
Do what makes you happy
This is definitely easier said than done. I decided to go to grad school (after dropping out of medical school but that’s another story) and although it was a great experience and taught me about myself, it truly didn’t make me happy.
As young adults we have to take charge of our lives. Find a career/job that truly resonates with what you want and like. If you are happy in your work, you will be happier in life. We spend so much time at work, the least we can do is enjoy it.
This isn’t just about work, in all aspects of your life: faith, career, education, relationships, and more do what makes your heart smile.
Start saving money
There are so many ways to do this through an IRA (individual retirement account), money market, investing, or just having a savings account.
Now is the time to create a healthy relationship with money (if you haven’t been doing this all along). We will talk about this more in the upcoming weeks!
Embrace not having a plan
No one says this enough, but it is perfectly ok to not have it all figured out once you cross that graduation stage.
I highly recommend not planning too much because 9/10 your plans won’t work out. Not because you suck, but because the plan really isn’t a good one.
I often find myself planning such a great idea only to fall on my face because I didn’t truly understand the details and intricate parts of the plan. I also fall on my butt because I spend too much time focusing on the plan and not enough time adapting to real life. Be flexible and embrace not knowing everything.
Because, it’s the adult thing to do. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.
This is the holy grail! Networking with people in your industry or people doing things you want to do is very important to your success. It is also really good to network with people that may not be in the same field as you because they also have a network that you could tap into.
At the end of the day, as a young adult we have to maximize our friendships and really be picky about who we invest our time in.
By networking you create stronger connections and you are exposed to people that you may not have encountered otherwise.
Find a mentor and learn
Learning doesn’t stop after graduation. If you admire or feel inspired by someone, reach out to them, ask them to grab coffee and then learn from them.
As a new wedding photographer, I have a mentor who is an amazing photographer! I am able to learn so many things with him in 1 hour, that would take me 12 hours on my own.
Mentors help guide us and keep us on the right path; they help us bypass major mistakes in our lives.
So, I know this post was long, but I really wanted to share these insights with you! Congrats on officially being a college graduate and welcome to the next chapter!