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As a recent graduate, you know only too well how much the world has changed in the last few years, from the pandemic to politics to economic uncertainty. But there are some things that you can prepare for, from finding the right apartment to budgeting for the life you want to build.
Here are seven ideas for living your best life after graduating, despite challenging times.
1. Curate experiences that help you stand out in the job market
After graduating is the ideal time to gain experiences that will set you up for a fulfilling career. Make a list of what you’d like experience in. Split the list into work-related experiences and life skills and think about how they will set you apart in a competitive job market. Maybe you want to volunteer to demonstrate your dedication to others, learn a new language to show employers you have many outside interests, or find an internship to get on-the-job experience that shows commitment to your career.
2. Supercharge your resumé
One of the challenges of being a recent graduate is the lack of real-world work experience. But this doesn’t need to hold you back. A resumé is your chance to stand out. You can use it to document everything from your ability to collaborate with fellow students to your dedication to the campus chess club — employers want to see your passions as well as your qualifications. Another top tip is to always tailor your resumé to the specific role you’re applying for. The days of one-size-fits-all resumés are gone. With a bit of thought and creativity you can create a resumé that shows off your academic achievements while showcasing your personality.
3. Create a network that can connect you to opportunities
By building a network of contacts in your preferred industry you will be well positioned when opportunities arise. Social media sites, especially LinkedIn, can be a great way to start your network. Always do your research on appropriate people to contact and don’t go in for the hard sell when making introductions, such as immediately enquiring about job opportunities before building a relationship with a new contact. You can also get in touch with your college alumni association to discover networking events they are hosting. Doing internet searches for professional events in your area can also help you build your professional network.
4. Start saving early
Once you’ve graduated, it’s tempting to dive right in to life without a clear plan. Spontaneity is great, but a little bit of preparation goes a long way in the long run. Take the time to open checking and savings accounts that will set you up for the future. Saving doesn’t have to be a chore. Creating automatic monthly deposits, even small ones, can help you steadily build up a fund for the future.
5. Create a budget
It may not be the most glamorous thing to do, but budgeting is crucial in today’s world of high inflation. Post-college life is more expensive than student life and unexpected expenses can catch you by surprise if you’re not prepared. Start tracking incoming bills and outgoing payments and identify areas where you can economize. This means you will be able to live the life you want without worrying about whether you can afford it. By taking control of your finances you can improve your financial health and your emotional well-being at the same time.
6. Be strategic when deciding where to live
When hunting for a new place to live, don’t just go for the first option available to you – shop around to find the best base from which to build your post-college life. Think intentionally about the city you want to live in. Many graduates return to their hometowns or find a place in the town where they graduated. But by being a little more adventurous you can find the right balance between cost and location. It may help to identify cities where your dream industry is well represented or that have thriving commercial centers. Then target the neighborhoods that offer the right balance between desirability and affordability.
7. Don’t forget to have fun!
Life in today’s graduate landscape has its challenges, but there are also exciting opportunities around every corner. So, now that we’ve given you these tips for navigating the world of post-graduation life, it’s time to start enjoying it.
If you would like the help of a financial professional to start preparing for your financial future, speak to a New York Life financial professional in your area.
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