Why do so many adults find it challenging to transition from college to work? There are probably as many answers to that question as there are graduates. However, a few common patterns are apparent among those who are struggling for a smooth entry into a long-term career. Far too many working adults don’t even consider refinancing their education loans, which is a powerful way of minimizing monthly expenses.
Plus, it’s a fact of life that college-age people often develop a few bad habits during a four-year course of study. Kicking those habits can lead to much success in work life. Other ways to move easily from school to professional life include getting top-notch financial advice, not buying a new car, learning how to network, and being a model employee. The following suggestions can help anyone who needs to make the sometimes-challenging transition from senior year to the junior executive.
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Refinance Your Loans
Some grads pay on multiple education loans, while others only have one obligation. Regardless of your particular situation, consider refinancing any and all school loans soon after beginning work. Why? There are several compelling reasons for doing so, including the chance to get more favorable terms and rates. Fortunately, the process is simple and fast, and you can do it all online. By far, the smartest way to pay off college loans is to refinance and get everything under one financial roof. That way, there’s only one monthly payment to track. Additionally, once you’re working, there’s a high probability your credit scores will improve. That translates into potentially lower interest rates than on your original loans.
Eliminate Bad Habits
Part of college culture is partying. For better or worse, the majority of grads probably spend a little too much time on the party circuit, don’t get enough sleep, and don’t eat right. Once they enter the job market and land that first position, it can be tough to change old habits. Work at instilling a regular sleep schedule, not drinking too much alcohol, and avoiding mid-week social gatherings that last into the wee hours. Instead, restrict late-night socializing and partying to weekends, with rare exceptions. That still leaves weeknights open to going out, so try to maintain a regular sleeping routine in any case.
Get Excellent Financial Advice
Paying a modest fee to a licensed financial counselor is worth it. Grads often need help making detailed budgets, buying insurance, setting up retirement accounts, and saving money out of each paycheck. A few sessions with a pro can get everything in order and let you begin your professional life with confidence and economic soundness. It’s particularly important to make a realistic monthly budget that accounts for every expense and income source.
Learn How to Network
Think about it if you wanted to get better at writing you would have to practice writing, correct? This is a clear course of action, but the course of action for building a professional network is less obvious, although just as critical. Too many college students coast through school and land decent jobs without ever taking the time to acquire solid networking skills. If you fall into that category, start making up for lost time as soon as possible. Take an online course that covers the principles of professional networking. The subject is not hard to learn, but there are discrete steps for building a worthwhile list of career-related names.
Don’t Fall for the New Car Trap
The general rule for car buying is simple to avoid purchasing new vehicles. If you can afford a newer car and have no form of alternate transportation, consider buying a one or two-year-old model that still has most of its factory warranty years remaining. Current year vehicles depreciate a lot the minute they leave the dealership. Sticking with newer, cars is an easy way to pay less and get more. Attempt to make a significant down payment to keep monthly expenses as low as possible.
Be a Model Employee
While you might enjoy your new job, be aware that new employees are always under the microscope. That’s why it’s critical to be on your best behavior, particularly during the first 90 days on the job. Supervisors and HR (human resources) operatives give a lot of weight to how someone behaves during those early months in a new position. Dress appropriately and be on time for all job-related functions. Assume everything you enter into a keyboard is recorded and viewed by higher-ups. Don’t disparage other workers or engage in office politics. Be social and join company teams and outings when there’s a chance to do so. Try to find a mentor within the company and let your direct supervisor know about your search. Getting a mentor is a wise move, but you don’t want to undercut a boss’s authority in the process.