Congrats to all of the new college grads of 2010! After 4 years of late night study sessions, Doctor’s notes, last minute exam cramming, nervous breakdowns, and never-ending semesters, it’s all finally over! What’s next? Hopefully plenty of riches and good times ahead.
BUT– before you begin the rest of your life, you need to ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes that most college graduates have made:
1. Accepting the first job that comes your way.
I’m not saying this to judge those that work an unrelated job to pay the bills. We all need to pay the bills and I certainly don’t subscribe to the “quit your job” mantra. I’m referring to the related jobs that:
- a. Pay a high salary for you to perform a job that you hate.
- b. Offer absolutely no growth within the company.
It’s too early in your life to get involved in either of the above options. Making lots of money to perform a job that doesn’t drive you will eventually trickle down and affect other areas of your life. You may find yourself coming home from work miserable or over indulging on the weekends. Is this really the life you want in your 20s?
A job with no growth will only leave you feeling stagnant. Too often do I run into old friends that only want to complain about their work. I don’t know about you, but that’s the last thing I want to talk about (miserable work).
2. Being “too good” for a job.
If a major company offers you a lower salary or a lower position within the company, don’t treat this as an insult. One of my marketing professors once told me that he felt insulted when his Marketing Degree got him a job in a mega corporation…working front line sales. He said he hated it at first, but five years later he found himself with front line experience and lucrative office position. The point here? Never look down on a job because of a low starting salary or starting position.
3. Expensive clothing.
I agree that you should dress for the job you want and not the job that you have. This does not justify spending $200 on a new dress shirt or a couple grand on a new wardrobe. I fully support dressing well and feeling good at all times. I, however, don’t support spending a fortune early on in your working life just to look good in your new Armani suit.
4. Spending too much money.
It’s really tempting to start spending all of your new found money. It really is. I’m fairly guilty of this myself. I love to go on trips and I certainly enjoy my entertainment. I’ll skip the preaching that most personal finance bloggers do with the young crow and I’ll just leave a few links for you guys to check out.
What other mistakes do you notice young college graduates making? Please share with us…