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8 Ways to Survive After College Graduation
The days of dorm parties, paper deadlines, and meal tickets have come and gone. Now, ready or not, it is time to face the real world.
Graduating college can be an exciting and stressful experience all at the same time.
You've looked forward to this day for four or more years, yet when this day comes you may feel as if you are lost or don't know how to find your way in society.
You might feel as if all of your peers have more opportunities line up for them, whereas you have none. The truth is, most or all of your peers are experiencing the same feelings you have.
Having multiple opportunities after college is great, but deep down inside you may still struggle to cope with the new experience, especially if you are just starting out.
Here are some ways to survive after graduating college.
1. Edit Your Resume
Have you looked at your resume lately? If you haven't it is wise to do this as soon as possible if you plan to apply for a new job or position after graduation.
Your resume doesn't have to be fancy, just be sure that it is easy to read and lists relevant information related to your work history.
Check to make sure that everything is up to date and add any new experiences if they apply.
Have someone you know take a look to see if there are any errors or sections that need more work.
If you can, contact your school's career center for a professional's help as well.
Most of the time, these services are free of charge for alumni, but double check to be sure.
Finally, don't forget about the cover letter. You can have the perfect resume, but without a cover letter you may not have a chance.
Keep it short and simple, you don't need your whole life story. Just be sure it covers reasons you qualify and what skills you can offer as an employee.
2. Take What You Can
Working in a coffee shop or fast food restaurant may not be your dream job after four years hustling for your college degree.
Keep in mind that in order to get to where you want to be, you will have to start from somewhere.
A degree proves that you have obtained the education to be employed at entry level or higher. Keep in mind that there is no promising dollar amount for any degree.
Unless you have been working for a company for a while, do not expect to land a supervisor or managerial position without working your way up first.
Most companies want to see what you're capable of at entry level before moving you up to a position that requires more skills and experience.
When you are put in a position that you cannot handle or there are too many demands or responsibilities, it is possible to become overwhelmed and not provide your best work ethic.
So, take your time and look for positions that are suitable to your experience level and skill set. This is not to say that you should not value your worth.
Just know that everything is not promised and you may not immediately land in your dream career right away.
3. Ask for Help
Asking for help is one of the best ways to land new opportunities.
You may feel as if you are a beggar, but this is far from true.
Especially since you have worked to get to a level where you can start a meaningful career.
There is always someone willing to help,whether you need to update your resume or figure out your next step.
Never assume that there is not help available for recent college graduates looking for new opportunities.
Try to access as many resources as possible, whether it is through your school or your local community center.
Use your social media accounts to network with professionals that share the same interests as you.
Create a Linkedin account where you can network with professionals in all areas of expertise.
4. Develop a Schedule
After graduating college, your schedule may change dramatically. You may or may not have extra time on your hands.
So, this is a good time to set up a new schedule for your everyday routine. Setting a schedule is the best way to get things done and stay on track.
A schedule will also allow you to manage your time, since you may have a lot of free time you can devote to finding new opportunities or working full-time.
If you are on a job hunt, use your schedule to set goals for when you will accomplish tasks.
For example, if you would like to apply for a job at the local law firm, include application deadlines and interview dates into your schedule.
5. Build Skills
If you are looking to get into the workforce after college, you will need to identify what skills you have and how they can apply to your chosen field.
You can also work on gaining new skills by educating yourself a little further. Today, there are many ways to learn new skills for free.
Many office positions will require you to know Microsoft office suites and other office computer software.
Math skills are also a big requirement for many job positions.
So, it is best to try to get educated in these subjects to gain the skills necessary for the job.
Alison is a website that provides free online courses in many subject areas. All you need is an email address to get started.
Classes are flexible and can be suited to fit your schedule.
6. Volunteer Your Time
One of the best ways to give back to society is to volunteer your time and skills to help others.
There are many ways that you can offer to help and there are many organizations looking for extra assistance.
Sometimes you may also be able to gain awards and recognition for you volunteer time.
Volunteer work and experience can be added to your resume and portfolio depending what field of work you are looking into.
Check online or make a visit to your local community center to see what volunteer opportunities are available in your area.
Volunteermatch.org is a website that helps you gain access to volunteer opportunities that are available in your city.
7. Help Other Students
As a recent college graduate, you know how difficult it can be for students to navigate the halls of college.
Many incoming freshman may not know what to expect during their first years of college and may need guidance in trying to figure out the campus.
There are many ways to help other college students who are now currently in the same situation you were in.
Many will need help with writing and math courses in which you can offer your assistance.
Check with your school's volunteer office or organizational center to find out how you can help.
8. Never Give Up
It's easy to get discouraged, especially if you've been trying to achieve something for so long.
If it's full-time work you are looking for or maybe you want to go back to school, never give up on your quest.
It is so easy to get sidetracked when you fail to achieve one opportunity.
Realize that there is more than one way to succeed after graduating college. You may not land the perfect position or be accepted into a prestigious master's program, but realize that you cannot give up on yourself or your goals.
When you give up on the things you wish to accomplish, it is like throwing your degree in the trash so that others can take your place.
If you are not sure where to go, ask people you know, even if you think they cannot help.
Everyone has something to bring to the table, and so do you.
Never forget that diamonds have to go under pressure in order to be at their max potential, and so will you.
So, it is best to put your best work forward and keep reaching for higher opportunities.
Congratulations and welcome to the real world, your success it waiting.
"Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire."
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© 2017 Lanecia Smith