If you’re like most students, finishing college will be one of the most exciting experiences of your life, and also one of the scariest. Despite the best efforts of your career services counselor, odds are you’ll still have doubts about what you want to do with your life. If you’re in need of some career services advice, or life advice in general, don’t worry; the following tips were created for people just like you:
Do your research:
Before sending out your resume, make sure you really understand the companies you’re thinking about working for. This will not only help you to find a job in which you can be happy, but will also make you a more competitive candidate. If you know a company’s marketing strategies or history, you can more easily think of specific ways in which you can be an asset to that company. You can give your prospective employers a concrete plan for improving their business rather than a vague list of your strengths.
Make your ideas public:
Modern companies don’t want you to explain to them your accomplishments; they want to see those accomplishments. Luckily, the Internet makes it easy to put you achievements right in the public eye. If you’re a programmer or an engineer, contribute to open-source projects. If you’re a writer, start a blog. If you have big ideas, debate them on online forums. The more public examples there are of you doing what you do best, the easier it will be for companies to see your potential.
Credit where credit is due:
Start building a credit history as soon as you get out of college. Having no credit score makes it difficult to get mortgages, loans, or other essential financial services. Consider getting a pre-paid credit card, and then use it responsibly– if you build a mountain of debts, you’re equally as set back as if you had no credit at all.
Reign in those finances:
If you’re saddled with student loan debt, begin paying it off immediately. The sooner you get it off your back, the better. To do this, of course, you’ll have to have a steady stream of income, so get a full-time job as quickly as possible, and don’t buy any big ticket items until you do. Once you have that job, plan your expenditures in accordance with your income.
Learn how to have fun:
Youth is the best time for exotic vacations and wild experiences, and we encourage you to take advantage of that time. Be realistic, however, about how much time and money you spend on these new experiences. Keep applying to jobs the whole time, and let prospective employers know exactly when you will be able to start working. Most importantly, make it obvious that you are looking for work. If you are “idle” for more than a few months at a time, employers will think that you aren’t serious, and will be less likely to hire you.
Find your passion:
Your twenties are the best time to find the obsession that truly fulfills you. This will not only make you happy, but it may also help you to find a career that suits your skills and interests. If you love reading and writing, consider a job in research or academia. If you have a knack for learning languages, become a translator or join the foreign service. Even if your obsession doesn’t get you a job, you’ll spend time doing something you enjoy and can be proud of.