There’s nothing quite like senior year of college. You are ready to cross the stage after all the years of hard work. But then the big realization comes. What do you do after college? To help you navigate the post-college world, here are 10 tips from Mobee.
No. 1: Create a Plan of What You Want to Achieve
The most important thing you can do post-college is to create a plan of where you want to go in life. Make sure to set personal finance, health and fitness, and relationship goals. Also, take the time to figure out what you want your career to look like. This will help you determine which employer to work for and the skills that you need to develop. And, last but not least, start to get an idea of where you would like to live in the future. That way you can start creating a plan to get there.
No. 2: Get a Job
Getting a job is tough. Hopefully, while you were in college you were able to polish your resume, get an internship, and create some valuable connections. We recommend starting the job search 3-6 months before you want to start working. If your school has a career center, make sure to connect with them. They often offer interview prep and resume-building workshops. They may even have career fairs to connect you with employers looking for talent.
Regardless of where you are, network, network, network. Reach out to peers, family, and professors. Also, connect with working professionals on LinkedIn, and go to networking events in the field you want to work.
No. 3: Optimize Social Media
Pictures of you partying weren’t as much of a concern while in school. But employers do look at your social profiles when considering you for a job. Make sure to clean up your social media pages including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also, consider that it might be time to polish your LinkedIn as well. It will come in handy during your job search.
No. 4: Save Money and Pay Off Debts
Creating a budget will help you manage your money and ultimately achieve your personal finance goals. Here’s a list of budget planning tools that we recommend.
Even if you can’t do much, it’s more the practice that matters. Saving even a bit of money will get you in the right flow for when you have more money. Paying off even a bit of debt will help you save in interest payments over the long term. And remember, there is nothing wrong with moving home with your parents to save money.
No. 5: Invest In Retirement
Once you secure a job, try and get as close to investing 10 percent to 15 percent of your money into retirement as possible. This will give your money around 35 or more years to grow, depending on your age.
By using the rule of 72, and assuming a low return of 6% for the stock market, the money you invest in your 20s will more than triple by the time you withdraw it in retirement. Many companies will even match your contributions to 401ks and IRAs, so make sure to take a lookout for that as well. If you have more questions, check out our blog on saving for retirement.
No. 6: Double-Check Your Student Loans
Get caught up on your student loans by checking StudentAid.Gov. Many people default based on loans that they didn’t know that they had, which ruins their credit score.
Take some time to understand the various repayment options that are available to you. If you have any questions, reach out to your lender before you start having to make payments.
No. 7: Increase Your Credit Score
Credit takes years to build, but only months to wreck. Make sure that you increase your score so that when you go after an apartment, a car, or a house you pay the least in interest possible. Two ways to help build your credit score are with Esusu and Self Lender, which both don’t require opening a credit card. Make sure to track your credit on a regular basis for free with Credit Karma. And if you do get a credit card, pay the balance in full each month.
No. 8: Get Engaged In Your Community
Just because you are no longer in college doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun. Look around for sports leagues like kickball, basketball, baseball, tennis, and more. You could also join local meetups. If you have more time, join a boxing gym or do martial arts. The sky is the limit, but make sure you find something that you enjoy doing that isn’t work-related.
No. 9: Maintain Your Fitness and Practice Self Care
One of the biggest challenges that most adults have after college is staying active. Back in school, we had our friends pressure us to go to the gym with them. Plus, you probably took 10,000 steps a day just from walking around campus.
While you don’t need to go to the gym, finding ways to be active after college is a must. There are so many options like yoga, swimming, biking, walking, running, and more. Find activities that you like to do to stay active. Don’t forget to eat a balanced diet as well.
When it comes to self-care, there are many different avenues. You can meditate, take walks, and do many other things. Check out some ideas for self-care here.
No. 10: Stay In Touch With People From College
Just because you graduated doesn’t mean that you have to give up your friends. Stay connected with them, whether over zoom or once a year getaways. Let them know where you are living. Sometimes you would be surprised how many old friends live close by. Don’t forget about old professors, too!. You never know when you might need a recommendation.
Preparing for life after college can be intimidating. The “real world” can be a tough place. If you take steps to prepare, it will be much easier to make the transition into your post-college life.
Looking for other ways to save money post-college? If so, consider reading our blogs on “How to Save Money on Groceries,” as well as “5 Ways To Save Money On Moving Costs.” Also check out “5 Ways To Save Money While Living In the City,” and “5 Money Management Tips For College Graduates.”