With exams over and your degree in your hand, you’re sort of a real adult now (whatever that means!)
There’s likely one question looming around your mind. This is something that you usually don’t start pondering until it’s a bit too late.
What to do after college?
Congrats on finishing up with college! Once you cure your hangover by drinking a gallon of water or so from your graduation party, you need to figure out what you’re going to do next. This can be a really scary time for you because for the first time ever in your life you don’t have everything planned out for you. The good news is that you’re not alone. I’m pretty sure that most college graduates are a little confused about what’s going to happen next.
Are you looking for help on what to do after college? Let’s deal with actually making things happen after you’re done with college so that you can be financially free by the time you hit 30.
Dealing with debt.
You can’t write about life after college without touching upon debt. Debt is usually the first thing on your mind that you need to figure out. You either had to pick up debt by acquiring student loans to cover your education or you got your first student credit card in college and still haven’t paid it off.
Regardless, you need to deal with this debt moving forward. You can’t just forget about it. Life after college is going to involve debt, so it’s important that you start crushing it.
My must read posts on paying down debt:
Which debt to pay off first?
How you can pay off debt with your current income.
Paying off debt hardcore style.
These articles will steer you in the right direction. Believe me, being in debt sucks. The good news is that you won’t have to be in debt forever. You can be free! Once you pay off your debt, you can actually do whatever you want in life. Don’t let your past mistakes strangle you.
Common knowledge will tell that when it comes to figuring out what to do after college, you should really just accept the first job that comes your way and be happy. As you now, I’m not into giving common (lame) tips.
Some ideas that you won’t find promoted on other blogs that I need to share are:
Hold a part-time job while you pursue your interests.
I absolutely don’t want to tell anyone to blindly follow their passions. The biggest issue with following your passions is that you need to monetize them. This alone can be discouraging. This is why you can get a part-time job while you figure things out. There’s no need to rush into the corporate world of 40 hour work weeks and one vacation per year if you’re not ready for that.
Find full-time work and moonlight on the side.
This is a common option. You get your day job to pay the bills, pay down debt and to save up money. Then in the evenings and on weekends you focus on building your side income into a solid living.
Go all in with your own business.
Since you usually don’t have to start paying back your student loans right away, you can take advantage of this post-college period by working on your own projects. You can devote all of your time and energy into projects that motivate you. This is the easiest time to do this because you likely don’t have anyone else to support yet.
What you need to read about finding work after college:
6 easy-to-follow steps for starting an online business right now.
Online jobs for college students.
What to do if you can’t find your dream job?
5 steps to get hired as an ESL teach abroad.
This is the fun part of trying to figure out what to do after college.
It doesn’t have to be all work. There can be lots of play. There can be a perfect balance of work and play. My brother has been working odd jobs and seeing this planet since he finished with college.
Some college graduates will go on a major trip right away. Some will go to work and travel in spurts. It really depends on your financial situation. I will go intro greater detail on this topic in the future. For now I just wanted to throw out a few ideas.
My favorite piece on traveling:
Vagabonding 101: Everything you need to know to travel the world.
If you’re a recent college graduate then this is a really exciting time for you. As you try to figure out what’s next I hope that you play it cool and don’t burden yourself with unnecessary stress.
Are there any other tips/articles that you can share with us to help out recent college grads that want to figure out what to do after college?
10 thoughts on “WTF To Do After College Guide”
I wish I had travelled a bit more than I did, but the traveling I did was definitely an enjoyable and unforgettable part of the time spent between college and getting married.
I worked part-time at a hotel while I was going to school and constantly dropped hints about wanting to stay on when I graduated. A sales manager was going on maternity leave and recommended that I take her position for a year. This worked out great for me since I got to work at a job that I was comfortable with and enjoyed right out of school instead of floating around like my friends did.
Turns out, she didn’t come back from her maternity leave and I was hired full time. This worked out really well for me, since I was quickly promoted up to director of sales and then interim GM before I left the industry.
The one thing I regret is that I missed out on some travel opportunities by working right away after school, but I think I still made the right choice.
That’s a really cool story. I like how you were an ambitious college student that ended up moving up the ranks in the company. Why did you end up leaving?
Well, I was interim GM for about 4 months but they ended up bringing in another GM who had more experience in the industry than I had on the planet. The company didn’t really have another plan for me so I went back to the director of sales position, which I wasn’t happy about.
My only other option was to move to another hotel within the company, but that would involve moving my family (we just had a baby at the time). As it turned out, a really good opportunity presented itself back at the University so I took it. Best decision I ever made.
I still remember graduating. The excitement and fear all piled together. What’s next for me. You should go after what you love… Read the book “Crush It” by Gary… crazy last name… It’s an amazing story of how to make money doing what you love.
Interesting article. There is def. a ton of different option after you graduate. The difficulty I encountered wasn’t about following my “passions”, as I didnt know what those were. I find that you need to have experiences to know what you really want out of life and you arent going to get those working insane hours during the best years of your life in a cubicle. I work my way around the world, but think what you are proposing with freelancing part time in the process is an awesome solution. Another would be to get a more fixed job abroad that pay well, like timeshares jobs. Anyway, love it when people open their minds and explore and hustle.
Finding a job is hard still after college but even worse is transportation..what does one do when being indigent after college just does not move enough resources to get pass the second hurdle?
Is public transportation an option? How about moving to a city with more options? There always has to be some solution or something that you can do.
Great article. I graduated 1.5 years ago and I’m in a weird situation. I have actually travelled a lot and it’s not because I had a lot of money, or came from money or had my parents pay for college. I just went to junior college for a few years, then a small university near me in the midwest, and I lived at home, and I worked part time at a hospital, and graduated debt free because of some scholarships. So actually after graduating I have lived 9 months in Spain and 6 months in Lithuania. I’m currently in Barcelona, but I’m starting to feel pangs of urgency.
I like teaching , but not for the rest of my life, and I feel like my intelligence and other things are being under-utilized. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have had the time of my LIFE living over here, learning Spanish, traveling to visit friends in Portugal, Italy, and Franc. So all in all I’ve enjoyed it. Now I feel a bit stuck about what to do with my psychology degree and I’m just kind of in a rut. In a fun, exotic on-the-barcelona beach in summer-rut, but still…
Thanks for your first comment Josh. I’m actually going to turn my response into an article. Stay tuned!