Don’t you wish your fancy diploma came with a few tips for recent college graduates? After I turned my tassel and handed in the keys to my dorm room, to say that I felt lost would be an understatement. So before you have a mini-meltdown under your graduation robes, here are 7 tips to help you survive your first summer in the «real world.»
1. Know Your Worth
It’s all too easy to fall into a rut after the graduation festivities have ended and you’re frantically searching for employment. But keep your head held high! Whether you managed to balance a job and internship or survived an advanced course load, you already have some serious accomplishments to your name.
2. Don’t Panic
In terms of tips for college grads, not having a meltdown should rank high on any list. I spent days fruitlessly applying for jobs pre-graduation, but ended up accepting a paid internship. I was hired after a few months, and though it wasn’t my dream job, I stuck it out until I secured a better position. If you go after what you want diligently, chances are you’ll get it at some point.
3. Take That Job
One of my personal tips for college graduates is to accept a job –almost any job. Even if the pay is nothing to brag about and you’ll be answering phones all day, everyone has to start somewhere. Plus, it’s your chance to make valuable connections and improve your resume. Just remember: never sign any type of employment contract without thoroughly reading it first. I once received a job offer that would force me to stay with the company for two years and put an end to any freelance work I was doing on the side. I turned it down –and that’s why I say «almost any.»
Besides making you feel warm and fuzzy inside, volunteering has practical advantages, too. As you’re out there helping people less fortunate than yourself, you’re also making connections and beefing up that all-important resume. And for me, giving someone in need a chance to succeed is priceless –and it helps me realize how fortunate I am.
5. Update Your Resume and Cover Letter
In this economy, an important tip for college graduates is to avoid slacking off. That means regularly updating your resume and cover letter to reflect your most recent experiences. Along with that comes cleaning up your social media profiles. Remember those keg pictures from last night? Untag, untag, untag! Everyone’s a Facebook stalker and your possible future employer is no exception!
6. Have Fun
It’s important to hang on to your friendships, meet new people, and take care of your emotional health. So get out there and have fun!
7. Never Give up
Here’s one of my most important tips for college grads: you’ve come this far, so don’t quit now. Never forget your dreams and what you’ve worked for over the past four years. As a 2011 graduate, I can say with certainty that following your heart (and working exceedingly hard) will land you a bright future. So pursue your passion and never give up!
Surviving your first summer as a college grad won’t be easy, but these tips will help. Which ones are you going to follow? Do you have some great tips of your own?
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