Congratulations on your recent graduation!
One chapter of your life may be coming to an end, but another is just beginning. And while you might feel like you’ve got it all figured out, chances are there’s a few unexpected twists and turns waiting for you around the corner.
The transition from student to adult can be challenging for many reasons. As if the uncertainty and fear of the future isn’t enough, it can be difficult to find and adjust to a new routine right out of college— especially if you’re looking for one that accomplishes your goals, keeps your bills paid, AND makes you happy.
Luckily, I’ve picked up a few pointers along the way that I think can help. Here are 5 things every recent graduate should remember during this transition…
Communication skills are vital in ANY industry.
Excellent communication skills are one of the strongest attributes people can have in their professional life. In absolutely every industry, employers don’t just seek this skill in applicants, they require it. That’s because in absolutely every industry, you’re forced to interact with other people at one point or another. Employers want to hire people who can effectively communicate with these people— whether it be co-workers, current clients, potential clients, or the employers themselves.
But it doesn’t stop there. Communication skills are also extremely important to have for your personal life. Without them, you run this risk of losing friends, destroying relationships, and ultimately just making those around you uncomfortable or upset. The lesson here? If communication is your weak spot, it’s important that you find the time to improve.
You are never too educated to learn something new.
During this transition, it’s especially important that you never act like you’re too good for a position or job. Even if you believe you’re over-qualified for a position, apply for it anyways. The worst thing that could possibly come from accepting a position that you feel is “too easy” is that you make connections in the industry while filling your resume with additional experience.
On the other hand, if you’ve accepted a position that you enjoy, but feel you can handle more responsibility, don’t be afraid to take some initiative and ask for extra work. I know what you’re thinking… “Extra work? No thanks.” But a little initiative here will go a long way with your employer and is the best way to advance within the company. If you don’t want extra work on your plate, simply ask questions at every opportunity in order to show your determination to grow as an employee.
Stop worrying about your 5-year plan.
In other words, stop planning for your future so much and start enjoying the present. Seems like obvious advice, right? Unfortunately, recent graduates have a tendency to want to do so much at once that they end up accomplishing nothing. They get out of college and think, “next comes a dream job then a dream house then marriage then children…” and so on. And while all of that is great, and may even happen in that order for some people, it’s not the only plan you should have for your life.
Rather than planning for the next few years to come, try just focusing on a this year plan. That way your goals remain relevant and reachable. As long as you are actively working toward some sort of positive goal, you’re doing well. There’s no sense in creating an image for your life that you may just end up having to tweak a bunch of times along the way.
Keep contingency funds.
And not just in one area of your life. In ALL areas. This means you should have a contingency fund for business ventures, such as with start-ups or investment risks, as well as in your personal life.
What kind of things should you save for in your personal life? Well, there’s the obvious: contingency funds are extremely helpful for avoiding bankruptcy when facing home, health, or natural disaster emergencies. But there’s also social reasons for keep a contingency fund, such as travel or recurring recreational activities. The best way to stay above water with your finances is to save for both the expected and unexpected events in your life.
Breathe through the fear of the unknown.
Like it or not, this stage of life is often riddled with uncertainty, doubt, and fear of the unknown. And while those aren’t exactly great emotions to experience, they’re also extremely normal.
During this transition, it’s important to remember to make time for yourself. Find ways to unwind and destress that will help keep you sane in spite of all the change happening in your life right now. As cliché as it sounds, learn to take life one day at a time and focus on the things that presently make you happy. Because if something most likely isn’t going to be a concern a month from now, you shouldn’t waste today worrying about it. And if something isn’t going to make you happy today (or in the near future at the very least), you shouldn’t waste too much time planning for it.
As always, thanks for reading and happy marketing!
—Amanda Myers, Copywriter at BoydTech Design, Inc.