You've Got the Job but You're Still in College. Now What?
You managed to beat the rat race and are coming out of college with a full-time job. Give yourself a pat on the back because you’ve just accomplished an incredibly difficult task. Whether you’ve planned ahead and applied to jobs earlier or someone in your network came through for you, you’re future is more secure than most of your college counterparts who will wait until after graduation to start the job search.
According to a 2011 Adecco survey, 71 percent of grads wish they had done something differently while in college to prepare them for the job market. Such things include more networking, starting the job search earlier, and applying to more jobs before graduation. (Note to college seniors, this is a great time to start preparing.)
For those of you who no longer have to spend hours knee-deep in job market prep during your senior year, there are still some things you should consider. Here are three steps you should take to prepare for the future you know is on the horizon.
Make Future Plans
No, I’m not talking about party plans at your place next weekend; I’m talking about plans for life after college. If you know moving back in with you parents isn’t an option, it’s imperative to nail down your living arrangements before your start date. If you’re looking for a roommate make sure it’s obvious. Post an ad on Craigslist and Facebook’s Marketplace, and start looking for apartments and furniture early so you’re not left scrambling and desperate. Sleeping on a ratty futon after college isn’t fun. (Is it ever?)
Now is also a good time to plan a monthly budget. If you know what your salary will be, create an Excel spreadsheet of all your monthly expenses (add in pending expenses, too) and figure out how much extra spending cash you’ll have each month. For other helpful budgeting and saving tips, see this article.
Find a Support System
If you’re moving to a new area and aren’t familiar with the surroundings or where the hottest happy hour spots are, start networking. Of course it’s going to be difficult since you’re not there yet, but get on LinkedIn and reach out to some future co-workers. Look up your company and see who you might be working with.
Don’t forget about your college friends and your best friends from home either; Keep close with them and catch up as often as possible. During this new time in your life, it’s comforting to have these people on speed dial.
Don’t Neglect Your Schoolwork
It’s okay to take it easier now that you have a job lined up, but don’t start blowing off your classes altogether. There are some companies that check up on future employees to make sure they aren’t slacking off. Avoid getting lazy and be sure to keep up a solid work schedule. It will help set a positive tone for your future.