I graduated from college May 2018 and just recently I celebrated my two year work anniversary – yup, I did it. I lasted two years.
These last two years have definitely not been the easiest (cue dramatic flashbacks), so I’d like to share some things that will hopefully make your post graduation years a little less stressful!
Actually, the students that I taught when I was teaching Fundamentals of Financial Accounting at SDSU are starting to graduate now! So to all my recent grads, here are some of the things I didn’t do (that I wish I did) and things you definitely shouldn’t do (that I wish I didn’t) right after graduating college!
Get Your Ducks In A Row
Let’s start out with a big one: Do all the adult-y things you need to do that you’ve probably been putting off…You’ve just closed the college chapter and are entering adulthood – let’s start it on the right foot and make sure you’re set up for your next few years!
This is the advice I give to new hires when they ask me, “What should I do in the few months before I start at the firm?” A lot of this is meticulous, but I think it will make you feel relieved. These activities will look different for everyone, depending on where you are at in life, but here are some examples:
- Get A New Credit Card to start building your credit and, more importantly hehe, to earn rewards!
- Organize Your Finances, build a budget tracker, set up your retirement funds i.e. Roth IRA, learn about investing
- Research Insurances and look up new doctors/dentists/etc if you want to change!
- Find Your Apartment and finish all your moving. Set up a PO box if you travel for work to keep your mail safe
Start A Side Hustle
My next piece of advice is to start your side hustle or hobby – something that you really enjoy doing.
It’s never too late…but honestly, it’s 1000x easier to start a hustle before you start working. Just start! Starting earlier allows you to learn, practice, and build content while having some fun!
Even better, see if you can find a hustle that you can monetize! It’s really nice to make some extra cash because then you can use it to donate to charity, tithe, give back to your parents, save up for a vacation or larger purchase, or invest!
Some ideas for side hustles:
- Start a Youtube channel – practice filming and editing videos
- Make a blog – set up your blog site and stocking up on posts
- Get a real estate license – start studying so you can start selling!
- Get a nice weekend job (like at a fitness studio~)
- Learn how to invest and begin with small investments
- Open an Etsy shop – get crafty and think about what you can create
- Open a Poshmark/Depop/Mercari/etc – declutter your closet and find some nicer items you can sell
Get Your Certifications Over With
You hear it all the time when you’re in college for accounting: Make sure to do your CPA before you start working, you won’t have time once you start working.
Pft. Man, I thought I was the ish and above everyone. I said, I know myself – I’m very disciplined, I’ll be able to study for my CPA after work or on the weekends.
Two years later, I haven’t touched a single certification. So now I have become one of “them” and will lecture you to get your certifications over with now before you start your next job!! Even better if you can do them while you’re still in college. When work starts, you’ll either be so overwhelmed or so much time will have passed that you’ll just kind of be over it by then lol.
All careers have certifications, profession or industry, that can add to your credentials and make you more money! Most companies will pay for your exam materials and fees, and even give you a nice $$$ bonus if you finish your certification within your first year of working.
Ugh, so much regret. I had all of the prerequisites to get my CPA and never did it. Even sadder, I won a scholarship to get my CMA exam and study materials paid for and so much time has passed I think the scholarship has now expired (haven’t even bothered to check) >.<
OK, get my point? DO YOUR CERTIFICATIONS NOW! x)
Keep In Contact With Your Professors/Bosses
First of all, professors and first bosses are the angels of the world. They are the ones who put up with you when you were a punk student and they are the ones who gave you guidance when you were a clueless intern. Keep in contact with them, I know they will love to hear about how you are doing!
Secondly, it’s much easier (and much less awkward) to ask them for a work referral if you are still in touch 🙂
Update Your Social Media Privacy
I don’t want my coworkers seeing ANYTHING or to even be able to find me lol. Hence why my personal instagram is named the way it is…
Take your spare time after finishing school to update your privacy settings on your social media platforms! This is something you should be doing anyway, but definitely do it before you start your new job if you don’t want your new coworkers spying on you.
Develop Healthy Habits
Two years ago, I quit my job at the fitness studio around the same time I graduated college before I started working.
Well, it’s been pretty much two years since I’ve last worked out.
Sure, I’ve done a workout class here and there but nothing at all consistent. What I’m saying is that it can be really hard to get out from under that huge pile of work, especially when you’re a freshie and they want to put you through the ringer and you have something to prove. Learn from my mistakes and please put YOURSELF first (not your job) and take care of your well-being. Always try to work out or get outdoors. Eat healthy food. Don’t work more than you’re getting paid for. Relax and avoid stress as much as possible.
Yea, you may have gotten a hot job and are making money, but none of that matters if your health is taking a toll. #healthiswealth
Thanks for reading everyone and congratulations to all of the recent grads! I’m so excited for all of your big moves!! Good luck ❤