Tips to Help Navigate Life After College

So you’ve just finished college, or maybe you’ve been out for a little while now and have no clue as to what you’re doing. Leaving college can be daunting because unless you want to go on to do further education, you’re now supposed to be facing the reality of adulthood.  That’s terrifying because what if you don’t know what you want to do? You’ve lived as a student for a few years, and now you’ve been pushed out to fend for yourself. Here are some tips to help navigate life after college.

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Work On Your Resume

Your resume is the first port of call because you’ve probably either not looked it before going to college or you simply don’t have one. Some of us will have odd jobs throughout our school days, but many might not start their very first job until leaving school or college. So with that in mind, you want to work on the resume because this is what’s going to get you noticed and hopefully into those interview rooms for your dream job or career. If you’re refreshing an old resume, add on your education and then tweak the experience slightly to reflect what you’ve been doing in college. That might not be a lot, but every little helps. When writing your bio, keep it brief because you can always go into more detail if you need to provide a cover letter.

If you’re writing your very first resume, then you can find a simple template online. You want to make it stand out in a good way, so don’t go too fancy or complicated with the resume design. Keep it short and sweet, and ideally, you don’t want to go over two pages. If you haven’t had much experience, then it’s unlikely you’ll go over one page.

Speak To A Careers Advisor If You’re Lost

Trying to figure out what you want to do can be difficult, and there will be a point where you may feel so lost about what it is you actually want to do with the rest of your life. It’s a big ask after all. Careers advisors can be found down your local jobcentre, or you could go back to the college campus and speak to a student advisor there. They can offer you some professional advice and guide you through the options that you may have in front of you currently and what you might like to do in the future. Use this as an opportunity to discuss any worries or fears that you might have moving forward and ask questions. A careers advisor is going to certainly help you get some focus on what’s out there and what you should be doing next in order to secure a job, whether that’s something that starts off your career or whether you want to go straight for that dream job. It all depends on what skills and experience you need.

Get Your Finances In Order

Oh, the finances – let’s talk about that. When you go to college or university, the fees are going to be expensive, and so you may have a lot of student loan debt. It’s a good idea that you get a job as soon as possible as you want to start paying it back. However, it’s worth getting your finances in order and creating a budget for yourself so that you save your money to enjoy your adult life too. You can’t really afford to live that student lifestyle now. To get everything in one place, find out what you owe and who you owe it to. Try to consolidate all this into one loan if possible so you can keep an eye on it.  You may want to refinance the loan if the current one isn’t really making much headway in paying it off. Keep on top of your budget and work with what you have from take-home and try to save any extra money you can in order to continue paying the loan off. It’s going to take a while, but it’s all worth it for the degree that you got in the process.

Expect To Fail At Some Point

This might be hard to hear, but everyone fails at some point. Some fail multiple times, and that’s ok because failure is a life lesson that is certainly worth learning. Don’t be worried about failing or going into a role that you might not be enjoying a few months later down the line. That’s completely normal, and it just means you have to figure out what it is you enjoy and what you’re not enjoying. Everyone’s different, and everyone finds their feet at different points.

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It’s hard to come to terms with the reality that the role or job you wanted to go into might not be something you no longer want to do. However, that’s nothing to be afraid of, and you will certainly find the thing you want to do in life. It’s just going to take some adjustments and looking at what you are talented at. 

Seek Advice For Job interview Prep

When you’ve found the job you’d like to go for, next comes the interview prep. If you’ve received notification of an interview, then congratulations! That was half the battle and now comes the decider on whether you’re right for the role or not. Always remember that even though you might have everything they need, you might not be the right suit for the company. That’s nothing against you as a person, it’s just who might fit the dynamic a little better. Interview preparation is a little daunting when you’ve not done it before. It’s always good to get some advice from friends and family or perhaps contacting someone in that current position on LinkedIn is a good idea. They might be able to give you some handy pointers on how they performed in the interview and what they feel may have swayed the judgement of the interview panel.

Before the interview, make sure you’ve practised the way you’ll speak to people before and during the interview. It might be good to have someone do a mock interview so that you can practice some questions that might be similar to the ones asked in the interview. Think about the clothing you wear in relation to the type of company it is and always approach the interview with confidence and a smile. Don’t be boastful or try to fake your way through an interview because chances are, they’ll see right through it. Just be yourself and be honest if you don’t know how to answer a question. Ask questions back, too, when given the opportunity to do so.

Experience Is Needed

Even though you’ve just spent an ample part of your life studying, to be told that experience is valued moreover a degree is a bit of a gut punch but its true. A lot more employers will want experience over qualifications. That doesn’t mean that qualifications are useless. If you had the experience and qualifications, and someone just had experience, then who do you think is likely to get it? Don’t get too down-hearted if you lack the experience because you might impress them enough with your personality and how you come across to them, in person. There will be times where you need to start from another role and build yourself up with experience before you can go for that dream role. Everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t feel like you’re missing out or starting too late in your career.

Know Who Your Friends Are

You make friends throughout your lifetime and those that you had in college, might not be your lifelong friends. The same goes for those you make in school, those in your hometown and those at work. You are likely to have a mixture and perhaps a small selection of constant friends who drift in and out of your life. Only you know who your true friends are because they are the ones you call on first to meet up for drinks. They are those people who you call in an emergency because the chances are, they’ll be there ready to do whatever you need them to do. Friends come, and friends go, and even though it might be tough to grasp, that’s adult life. We all have our careers and our personal lives to live, and that might mean that you miss seeing others for a while. However, those friends who are going to stay will make an effort to see you and vice versa.

Navigating life after college is tough, but like everything in life, you learn to adapt to the change, and you’ll find your rhythm eventually. So work on your resume if it’s a little bit out of date and speak to a careers adviser if you’re having trouble picking your career path. Sort you your finances moving forward, work on your experience and get ready for your life as an adult. It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

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