Don’t know what to do after college graduation? Follow these 10 moves that you should make right now to set yourself up for success!
Hopefully after reading this, you’ll have a better understanding of your next step in life and have an organized path to follow.
You should note that everyone’s situation is different, so certain things may not apply to you perfectly. Overall, it’s a simple guide to take into consideration after graduating college.
Let’s get started!
Prepare a Great Resume
I’m sure if you asked any adult what to do after college graduation, they would tell you to get a job.
They would be… pretty correct.
With any job, comes a resume. This resume is what gets the interviewer/employer interested in hiring you either for your educational qualifications or signs determination.
Out of college, you might not have the greatest resume (or you might not have one at all)!
Now is the time to get started on that resume so you can open the door to new opportunities and get your first job rolling.
Pro Tip: Slightly adjust your resume for every job to cater more towards the qualifications they care about. A resume should also be no longer than a single page.
Increase Your Savings
Whether you were saving during college or haven’t started at all, now is the most important time to increase your monthly savings and build up as much emergency cash as possible.
Cutting down on expenses will be your first priority while increasing your income is a close second.
Again every situation is different, so apply what works for you in a way that matches your finances.
If you have plenty of money saved up (around 4-6 months worth of expenses), consider investing some of your money to continue growing your wealth.
However, if you don’t have that amount saved up, track how much you spend every month and try reaching that goal in the case of an emergency.
Being on top of your finances is crucial, especially during a time where you’re basically on your own.
Related Post: 10 Money Saving Tips for College Students
Apply for Everything
Jobs, apprenticeships, clubs, sports, passions…everything!
Now is not the time to just try one thing and see if it sticks. Try everything out while you’re still young to find what truly matters to you.
Doing this will most likely result in you being more happy in the long run since you’ll learn what you like and don’t like and can filter out the bad stuff along the way.
For example, you may find a job that makes you feel “eh”, but you have a basketball league that you play for every weekend which makes you feel amazing.
You may have not even tried to apply for a basketball league or a book club if you only focused on one thing (such as your job).
Do what you have to in order to achieve success… in whatever way success is defined in your head!
Start Building Credit
After college graduation, real life is going to hit you. That doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing, but life comes with unexpected surprises.
Buying a car, purchasing a home, and applying for loans all have one important thing in common… credit.
Your credit score is what helps banks and credit bureaus determine if you are “worthy” of them loaning you money. This also determines how low your interest rate is on that loan.
You might imagine that a high credit score would be very beneficial in achieving low interest loans in the near future. You would be right!
Here’s a brief introduction to how you can increase your credit score:
- Get a credit card
- Use the credit card (preferably less than 30% of your limit)
- Pay off your credit card in full every month on time
- Watch your credit score increase over time
Seems easy enough right? The most important factor of all of this is that you pay off your credit card every month without going into debt.
Related Post: 10 Things to do While You’re Still Young
You’re in the real world now, meaning you can technically do whatever you want!
However, doing whatever you want also comes with doing certain things that you don’t want.
Getting through life without any experience of being independent will make it extremely difficult to get by. Here are a few ways you can practice independence:
- Go travel
- Live on your own
- Start taking care of your own health
- Pay your own bills
- Do something you’re afraid of doing
- Challenge yourself everyday
These are all examples of things you can do right now to get a head start in your independent journey.
If you want to take a gap year, go for it. Use that time to learn about different people’s circumstances and teach yourself gratitude. It helps with the whole independence thing.
Get in the Habit of Exercise
Whether you were a D1 athlete in college or barely got out of bed everyday, your fitness doesn’t end here.
If anything, it only gets harder to manage your body’s weight, health, and shape once you’ve graduated from college.
Make it a priority to get some form of exercise in for at least 4 days a week (and an hour per day).
You will thank yourself till the day you die for taking care of your physical health early. The longer you wait on it, the harder it’s going to be to get back into it.
Related Post: How to Get Started in Fitness
WAIT! Don’t say bye to all your friends after college graduation!
Do everything in your power to stay connected with people you’ve met during your time in college and beyond.
Whether it’s friends, friends of friends, teachers, or teammates, try to keep in touch no matter where you guys are in the world.
Keeping connections and forming new ones is crucial to getting through life with a helping hand.
You have no idea how many job opportunities, hobbies, fun trips, and increased wealth I have accumulated all thanks to staying in touch with people.
Wish happy birthdays, check in, call a new person every morning, or whatever else you have to do in order to keep those relationships alive.
Who knows? Your life might change for the better because of it!
Just because school is over, doesn’t mean education is over.
If you’re not constantly growing, then you’re either going backwards or staying in the same place your whole life.
If you really enjoyed a particular subject in college, keep learning about it. Have intelligent conversations with friends, read books, whatever you have to do.
This will not only help you personally, but your knowledge will also become more valuable to others… including employers.
If you don’t know where to start, I highly recommend at least getting well rounded in financial literacy. Learn about saving, investing, credit, real estate, taxes, and more! Those will always be valuable throughout anyone’s life.
Related Post: 15 Life Lessons Everyone Should Know
Start a Side Hustle
Do you have a passion? Are you really really good at something? Could you make money from that something?
Turning a passion or hobby into a side hustle is an awesome way to keep yourself occupied, make some extra cash, or eventually turn into your full time job!
Even without a passion, there are definitely side hustles that anyone can start doing such as gig economy jobs, flipping items, or even tutoring.
Side hustles usually require little to no money to start which is another huge benefit to branching out after college (especially with tons of debt).
Here are some great ideas for side hustles that pay pretty well to give you a head start!
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
While this is more of a life lesson, I felt the need to include it.
After college graduation, your friends are going to go off into the world just like you. Some might get more lucky than you while others may not.
Maybe one of your friends started off with a high-paying job straight out of college. Meanwhile you’re still trying to get things together.
The point is, don’t compare yourself to someone that isn’t you. That’s not how life works. If you keep up with that mentality, you’ll never feel motivated to move forwards.
Compare yourself to who you were yesterday.
That’s the only true way to see if you’re growing. Don’t put yourself in the same boat as someone who may have already had more money, more expertise, or more connections.
Focus on yourself and you’ll see how much better you feel about everyone’s situation around you.
Hopefully these 10 tips for what to do after college graduation helped you get an idea of what’s to be expected and how you can prepare for success!
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions leave them down below. Thanks for reading!