I am graduating in December, as are most of my friends. As much as it pains me to think about graduating in the dead of Pittsburgh’s winter, I still am really excited to start the life that I’ve always wanted. It’s a difficult process for me to think about because I have so many options when I graduate. I could get a corporate office job editing or copywriting. I could write freelance. I could go to graduate school (and am in the process of applying for Fall 2014). I could take a year to myself and have a service industry job. I could travel (if I had the money). All of these options are open to all graduates, but what is the best one? Here are some steps for what to do after you graduate:
Step One: Evaluate your finances
- Clearly, if you don’t go directly into graduate school, you are going to have to pay back your student loans 9 months after graduation. How much student loan debt do you have? What kind of job should you apply for in order to pay off that debt? Is there anything you can do now to lessen it? Do you have savings?
Step Two: Update Your Look
- This is an awesome step because it means you get to go shopping. Start dressing like a professional. Buy some staple office/interview pieces for when you start applying to jobs. Throw away those mini skirts and tube tops, and start thinking about making your look classy, driven and flattering.
Step Three: Update Your Resume
- You finally have the time to work on your resume, aka the one thing you have put off throughout college. Add all of your successes during college i.e. symposium presentations, research projects, volunteer work, tutoring, internships, work-study and/or jobs.
- Although the resume is very important to obtaining a job after college, many companies are looking for an actual work sample. For instance, Google will ask to look at your website or blog before they hire you. Create a virtual resume by creating a website or blog on sites like WordPress or Blogspot and add a hyperlink on your resume to that website. This way they can see your work directly not just a meaningless set of work experience.
Step Four: Gather Necessities
- This is kind of a silly step, but nobody will tell you this. Gather up all of the stuff from your university that you will later need, but that will become harder to get your hands the more time you spend away from college. This is what you need: transcripts, letters of recommendations, awards, and financial aide receipts.
Step Five: Spend Your Free Time Wisely
- Ok, so you don’t have to write papers anymore, attend (required) academic or social events, or keep up with a grade system. However, that doesn’t mean you can sit in front of the TV and veg-out all day! Spend your free time reading books about finding a job for you, start freelancing, or start going to networking events. Even if you’re not getting paid, that doesn’t mean that you cant invest your time into something you’re passionate about.
I wish the best of luck to all of my fellow graduates. Also, I hope that all my readers wish me luck! If you have any advice to add, or if you want to comment on something I’ve said, leave a comment!