Submitted by guest blogger Rayna Lynn — Fabulous post every new grad should read!! Thank you Rayna!
My random “Googling” at work brought me to a blog called, “The Post Grad Blog.” The tag line read: “Ever wonder what happens when those epic for years of college are over?”
Reading those words, I thought, “Yes, as a matter of fact, I do.”
This is only unusual because I’m 26. I graduated from college 3 years ago, and I’m still trying to figure out what happens.
I’ve learned a lot in my 3 years since leaving my golden years at college. I figure my hard knock lessons should not have been learned in vain, so here is my best advice for those of you preparing for the post grad journey.
Top 10 Things I Learned Post Grad:
10. As Divya says, you will get a job. Your first job may not be your dream job, but you will gain something from it. Stick with it for at least a year…which leads me to my next point…
9. DO NOT EVER QUIT A JOB WITHOUT HAVING ANOTHER LINED UP. I learned this one the hard way. In desperation, I ended up having to take a minimum wage job at a hosted call center collecting on student loans that had been in default since 1970. I learned a lot, but it was hard work…and something I don’t ever want to do again.
8. Burn bridges carefully. If someone truly wrongs you, express your frustration professionally, but do not cut all ties. The world is small, and I can almost guarantee you will need that individual for a reference or a connection.
7. Do not cry at work (this is especially important for females). You’ve heard this a thousand times, I’m sure. It’s important enough to say it again. Do not cry at work. It gives the impression you cannot handle pressure, which may make or break your professional career. It’s okay to cry, just don’t do it in front of people. Go to the bathroom or go to your car.
6. Pay off all credit card now. Do WHATEVER it takes to get rid of your credit card debt. The less debt you have, the better prepared you are for life changes like losing your job, needing a new car, or an emergency.
5. Live modestly. Buy groceries, as opposed to eating out. Shop thrifty (eBay, TJMaxx, thrift stores, vintage stores), rather than shopping couture. This allows you to save, save, save. Live within your means. If you can’t afford that fancy BMW, don’t buy it. Yeah, it looks sweet, but there will be a time and place for these purchases, and at 21…it’s not the time.
4. Save. Save for retirement. Save for a house. Learn about investments and how much money you need to set aside each year to retire with a fat bank account. Trust me, watching our parent’s generation struggle in the economy should have at least taught us this.
3. Go to your college’s homecoming every year. The people you surrounded yourself with in college made you who you are today. Continue to reconnect with them. They will remind you of what’s good in life. Love, laughter, and friends.
2. Maintain a healthy work/life balance. There is a fine line between good work ethic and obsessive working. It’s good to put in the extra work to impress the boss man, but make sure you are taking time for yourself. Burning yourself out can make you irritable, depressed, and moody. Eventually, your over zealous work life will cause you to resent work, miss family, and ultimately hinder your career.
1. Make mistakes. Yes. Make mistakes. BIG ONES and small ones. Everything you do from here on out is going to change your life. Pretty exciting, huh? You are on a journey, and it never ends. The question of what happens are college has infinite answers, and how it is answered is up to you. You will have the ups and downs. You will get fired, and get hired. You will love and lose. Just remember, it’s a journey, not a destination. Take your time, cherish these moments, and never stop evolving.
Divya is a great inspiration, and I look forward to following her as she grows and changes. You should keep up with her too. She’s a great reminder that our dreams are never too big, and that we should never be satisfied with average. Live life big.