Graduating from college is a major milestone and an amazing achievement. As a new graduate, you most certainly have high hopes for your future. There are some specific steps to consider as you begin this new, exciting stage in your life.
Get a Grip on Your Goals
You’ll be faced with a multitude of choices as you embark on your post-collegiate life. Do you need a short, thoughtful rest period as you consider your next move? Maybe you’re ready to focus on the social aspects of your life, such as marriage, children, and where you want to raise your family. Perhaps it makes sense to continue with extended education to reach your goals.
During this sensitive time of transition from college student to professional, keep your “big picture” goals in mind. Whether you’re working toward owning your dream home or already planning for retirement, whether you’re undecided about specific employment or already targeting a certain company, this goal-setting stage is a crucial step in achieving your desired outcome.
You’re no longer receiving a tuition bill, but now you’re responsible for expenses like housing, transportation, food, professional clothing, and insurance costs. Decisions such as spending vs. investing and making purchases vs. paying student loans are crucial at this point. Include these budget considerations as you determine your next steps. Plan for how you will make the necessary payments until you get a job, and avoid living beyond your means.
Sharpen Your Style
Save the jeans and t-shirts for the weekend—now is the time to focus on your professional image. The first impression you make should mirror your new status as a young, competent college graduate, dressed to impress. Are an outdated hairdo or easy ponytail dragging you down? Maybe it’s time for a makeover to push that image from college senior to motivated go-getter. Your image should be one of the tools that lands you on the career path of your choosing.
Choose Your Career Path
As part of your goal setting, you probably already defined the career path you’d like to pursue. Whether this means finding a job or acquiring more education, be aware of unexpected or different opportunities that may arise. It would be beneficial to seek guidance from a professional mentor in your field. Update your resume to reflect your new status as a college graduate. It should be direct, concise, and to the point. Use professional language and remember to include a cover letter and follow up with a thank-you note.
Most colleges offer opportunities to interact with professionals in the field you are pursuing. Take advantage of your school’s career center and attend any available college fairs. You might also seek out consultants that specialize in helping recent college graduates navigate the job search process. A perfect graduation gift could be as simple and meaningful as help from a professional consulting firm like http://invisionyourimage.com/perfect-gift/, which will review your resume, assess your skills, offer guidance and helpful tips, and much more.
As you embark on this new exciting path, remember that you will learn from both your successes and failures. Be as prepared as you can, but remember that sometimes the best part of life is what happens in and around those best-intentioned plans.