Are you graduating from college this year?
You’re not only ending (at least for a while) your time in education. You’re also stepping out into a terrifying real world.
In entering this exciting and scary phase of your life, some advice for college graduates goes a long way. Of course, every college graduate is on his or her own journey, but there are some life hacks that are relevant to any recent college grad.
Let’s take a look at our life advice for college graduates as you meet the real world.
1. If You Don’t Know What You Want to do – That’s Absolutely Ok!
There’s a danger in spending your twenties worrying about what you want to do with your life, instead of actually living your life.
Millennials are over twice as likely to change jobs every few years than the rest of the workforce. In some cases, this won’t just be switching jobs. But also, completely changing your career.
This means that you can spend your entire formal education training to be a nurse. And in the end, you decide you’re frightened of blood and switch to teaching high school kids.
The truth is that you simply need to explore your interests and don’t worry too much about what you’re going to end up doing.
2. Start Planning for Your Retirement Immediately
Many recent college grads think retirement is too far off to consider so early. They mistakenly believe that financial advisors are for ‘real’ adults who have ‘real’ money.
But if you take any piece of graduation advice to heart, it’s that saving money for your retirement is one of the smartest things you can do in your twenties.
Most experts claim that millennials won’t enjoy the same retirement and financial advantages of previous generations.
While baby-boomers benefited from the economic booms of previous decades — which allowed them to buy their own homes and enjoy generous pensions — millennials are likely going to fund their own retirement plans without the guarantees of before.
Start thinking carefully about how best to save and invest your money so that you can be financially secure in later life.
3. Choose Your Home Wisely
The decision about where to live for new college graduates is hugely important.
There are few times in your life in which you can freely decide whether to take a job in Los Angeles or New York.
In the days following college, you’re most likely to have few ties and responsibilities to a particular place. This is especially the case compared to in later life when you could have a family to sustain, career security and a mortgage on your home.
This is the point at which you need to decide whether you want to live around the hustle and bustle of a metropolis like New York, or whether you’re more suited to the quiet life in a tiny town in Oregon.
Don’t just take the first job that comes along – but think carefully about where you want to live before choosing the place you might spend the rest of your days.
4. Learn to Negotiate Your Salary
According to research by PayScale, millennials are the least likely group to negotiate their salary. It’s important in the world of work to make sure you learn to effectively negotiate your salary.
However, how much you earn in your job is not the whole story. There are many ways to be compensated for your hard work and talents.
Part of negotiating involves knowing what suits your lifestyle and leveraging your position.
For instance, maybe it suits you to work from home once-a-week. Or perhaps, you’d prefer free-membership at the gym. Or even, more paid vacation to spend time with the family.
5. You Might Still Change
It’s easy to ignore graduate advice because you think you know what you want and how to get it. If this is the case, that’s great and all power to you.
However, it’s also good to recognize that you might still change. Many people enter professions with great enthusiasm to find that it’s not quite how they imagined.
But it’s also valuable to realize that the world is changing at the same time. There are many jobs, technologies, and ideas that exist now that were unheard of a couple of decades ago.
That’s why you should always be prepared for a changing world and a changing you.
6. Don’t Rush Into Working
Many millennials could live to over one-hundred years old. As people are living longer, it only makes sense that they’re probably going to work into their sixties and seventies too. This means an extremely long working life.
Since you’ve only just finished college, there’s really no rush to go into working life.
Despite the obvious pressures of paying off your student debt, getting on the housing ladder and settling down, you don’t have to rush any of these things.
The generation of young people graduating from college now has the opportunity to travel the world, live amazing experiences and return to further education.
Practical Advice for College Graduates
There is no one-size-fits-all advice for college graduates. However, there are plenty of tips that new college graduates should keep in mind when finishing college.
It’s a difficult stage in your life and you’re still learning who you are and what you want.
From practical graduation advice like saving for retirement to the more philosophical of a changing you in a changing world, there’s always useful advice out there to learn from.
If you think we missed an essential piece of advice for college graduates, then tell us what it is by leaving a comment below!