A New Phase: Preparing For Life after College

College is a wondrous part of our lives, a time where memories are made and friendships are formed. It’s also a lesson in how to consistently make meals out of the microwave. All connections and experiences aside, college serves as a way to gain meaningful employment, hopefully at a high salary. So the question is, how can current or prospective students hit the ground running after graduation?

The Simple Yet Obvious Answer: Prepare

Benjamin Franklin once said that by failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail. That’s doubly true for college, where it’s easy to accumulate debt along with knowledge. The demand for college graduates and students with graduate program degrees in the workforce is rising, but if you’re not financially prepared then it can be a rude awakening after college. If you’re the recipient of a scholarship then consider yourself blessed, as you’re already a step ahead. But, if you are paying for part or all of college, that doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck with debt afterwards.

Related: Why You Need to Network Before You Graduate

Preparing For Life after College
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For starters, there’s part time work. Although any work experience is good experience, the best kind is something that either pertains to your field, or is a skill that translates into any type of employment. For the former, paid internships are a prime opportunity; a chance to earn money, gain valuable experience, and build up the resume. For the latter type of work, this can be a time to develop skill that you wouldn’t necessarily want to devote too much time after college, since it wouldn’t apply directly to your field, but is important nonetheless.

So What Type Of Skill Is It?

Simply put: sales. Selling happens every day, in every aspect of our lives. You’re selling yourself when you go up to that pretty girl or boy and say hello. You’re selling yourself when you meet your said boy or girl’s parents for the first time. At its core, selling is convincing someone else that you or your product is worthy, and how to overcome their objection if and when they say no. It’s a necessary life skill, and sales jobs are numerous, so there are plenty of opportunities to hone your sales skills. All the while, you’re making some extra money to take care of tuition costs.

Related: How Much Will School Cost … and Is It Even Worth It? 

Ok, What Else?

So you’ve got a part time job that gives you valuable experience, and a major that you enjoy and has tons of job opportunities. You’re doing pretty well for yourself, but there’s one other aspect that gets overlooked…credit! Credit score isn’t something that most college students think about, and it’s easy to see why. It’s not fun, and it doesn’t really affect them presently. The problem is, right after you graduate and are looking to buy a new car, house, TV, whatever… a low credit score is going to keep you from getting it. For most students, college will be the first time they have a credit card, and it may seem like free money at first. It becomes a different story once the end of the month comes and that bill arrives. That’s why it’s important to stay grounded and only buy what you can afford. Simply paying off your credit card every month, on time, will go a long way towards a good credit score.

College is an amazing time, and with the right preparation can set you up for the rest of your life. Not to mention graduate programs afterwards, which give you even more targeted education. All in all, it’s a time to take advantage of; to make sure you’re not “preparing to fail.”

Have you got any other tips about preparing for life after college? 

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