Graduation anxiety is a real thing, and it is not something anyone is ever adequately prepared for. Transitional anxiety can take a toll on anyone, no matter how prepared you feel for the next step in your life.
This type of anxiety stems mainly from a fear of the unknown. Granted, it’s impossible to be sure what direction your life will face. Here are five quick career and life tips for recent graduates.
1. Develop a Healthy Lifestyle
Your biggest resource throughout your career is to always be yourself. When starting out, you will need to put in the hours to get stabilized and make steps up the career ladder. This is no excuse to ignore your mental, physical and emotional health. Upon retirement, this is what you will be left with.
Your finances might be too tight when starting out to pay for a gym membership, but a healthy lifestyle does not start and end there. Prepare simple, healthy meals that you can carry to work to avoid dashing out for fast food. Take walks, go up the stairs whenever you can, and watch out for stress and burn out. These little habits will safeguard your health, give you a better quality of life, and ensure you remain optimally productive.
2. It’s Okay to Switch Lanes
What happens if you hate your career fresh out of college? Most people in this situation go into panic mode, and with the time and money spent on a college degree, this is understandable. Before you panic, though, it is important to know that if you are unhappy with your career, you do still have options.
First, it is important that you perform a thorough analysis. Is it the career you hate, or is it your employer? Are you finding yourself ill-prepared to handle your role? Are the hours that are working weighing you down? If it becomes absolutely certain that it’s the career, this is okay too. With some careful evaluation and planning, you can switch to something you will find more fulfilling. Sometimes, all it takes is a short course to align you with your dream career. While traditionally going back to school meant giving up your job, times have changed.
For example, have completed a degree in nursing, but feel better suited for an administrative position? You can take up online administration courses that can help you transition into an administrative role in a hospital setting.
3. Money Is Something, Not Everything
Broaden your career choices to more than money. Being more discerning about the roles you pick and working with companies whose values you agree with can significantly improve your job satisfaction. A job that inspires you brings the best out of you and gives you the most satisfaction.
4. Save Up
Retirement seems centuries away, right? Still, time has its way of creeping up on you when you are busy living life. Therefore, it’s never too late to start planning your retirement income. Saving is something you do today to take care of you tomorrow. Work on a reasonable saving plan from as soon as your first job or first paid internship.
You want to develop this habit as early as possible and when you have the least financial burden. Think of your savings plan like any other staple bill that has to be paid each month. You will be surprised at how a growing bank balance can motivate you to put aside even more.
Start networking before your graduation, and start with your class. Your classmates are going to go into different directions and take different career paths. These people are going to be valuable resources throughout life, personally and professionally. Make an effort to maintain these relations even as time moves on. These people also understand what you are going through because they are or have gone through it themselves. This will form the basis of long, mutually beneficial support networks.
Ride the Storm
While you might feel like you’re in the eye of the storm, this too shall come to pass.
In due time you find an out-of-college rhythm and focus on personal and career goals. Remember to speak kindly to yourself, allow yourself to make mistakes and stay healthy.
For more tips on all things college, check out the other blogs on College Basics!