What's next? Life After College
So, you just graduated college and now it's time to start job searching. Well, I can tell you now that if you waited until you graduated to start job searching, you’ve already made your first mistake. For those of you who know, the after-college life, the actually being an adult life, the bills won't pay themselves life, is REAL. Although retail jobs have many benefits, let's be honest – none of us went to college to fold clothes at Forever21.
Upon graduating I was able to start a position 2 days later, in my hometown. Some say I am lucky, but I know for a fact I was blessed in addition to working hard and staying focus. It’s all about having a plan. For some, it may take longer than others due to factors like entrepreneurship, lack of opportunities in their field or hometown, etc.
Let’s be clear. This isn’t the post that stands behind you feeling sorry for yourself as you work the job you hate, waiting for the job you love. This is the tough-love post that forces you to admit and accept there are things you could’ve done better in preparation for life after college, but its also filled with gems to help you get through this time.
Here are a few gems that I learned during my journey, which is not over I might add, but has significantly changed my life.
Don’t Underestimate Internships
I will be the first to say I believe a degree alone should be enough to get a full-time job in your field but unfortunately, that’s not the case. My first position was an internship and although I was making $1,000 stipend every year, as if it would pay my bills, I picked up a part-time job to supplement and made it work. I learned so much during that time and through my hard work and dedication I was offered a full-time position.
Do What You Have to Do to Get Where You Want to Go
Don’t give up on your dreams! College only makes sense if you put that degree to use. If you went to school for marketing, don’t stop until you get a marketing position! Nurture your hustle in the meantime. If you are folding clothes at Forever 21, be the best folder they’ve ever had, THEN take pictures of those good folding skills and start building a portfolio. Figure out how your current situation can somehow help get you where you want to be.
You obviously already know that knowledge is power, and no one can take that from you. It may be beneficial to spend one day of the weekend brushing up on old skills, attending events of people who motivate you or even watching YouTube all day long. Businesses don’t usually ask you to be an expert in anything but to be knowledgeable about important things in your industry could be the interview deal breaker.
These are gems that I wish I would have taken more seriously in the beginning of my journey. I was filled with the pressure of getting a job, and the false expectations of how easy it would be to actually get a job. Getting a degree is only half the battle. College is all about having a good time, meeting new people, and experiencing new things but the better you prepare for life after graduation, the less stressful it will be. Your twenties are for exploring your options as a new millennial on the prowl. Cherish it, Trust it, Embrace it. Your journey is YOUR journey and soon it will all make sense ;)