College… otherwise known as the best years of your life. These four years, give or take, are your golden hours. This is your peak in life, in regards to freedom. Freedom from a nine to five day. Freedom from set school hours. Freedom to eat as many frozen burritos as you like and blame it on the stereotypical “college diet”. You call the shots. As a college student you are finally considered and are treated like a true adult, but you are given leverage because you’re still so young. This is your time to figure out who you truly are, who you want to become, and how you’re going to achieve your dreams. It’s all fun and games until you turn the tassel to the left. The big question we all ask ourselves soon after commencement… “So what now?”
As a graduating senior, the closer it comes to the month of May, the louder I can hear the theme song from “JAWS”. I am not going to lie to you, Sprightly readers; I have definitely broken a sweat over what life has in store for me after graduation. Don’t underestimate me though; I am on top of the game. I have come up with a master plan to ensure the security of my career-sanity after graduation (hopefully). I am here to share my plan with you, in hopes that you will take these tips and make it your own. I am no expert, but I have done much research on how to prepare for the real world of unemployment.
Sprightly Tip #157: Last one to drink the Kool-Aid is an unemployed graduate
Okay so this tip sounds a bit dramatic so take it with a grain of salt. Through the grapevine and from what I’ve discovered (via online research), the best time to start applying for jobs is around the month of March (October, if you are graduating in the fall), maybe sooner depending on the company. Don’t wait on your research to find out what kind of companies and positions you want to apply to. I suggest doing all of your research 2 months before you actually start applying. That way you will be ahead of the game on internship deadlines, pre-written cover letters, and have a solid resume that fits all your applications. (Photo credits: Giphy)
Sprightly Tip #17: It ain’t over until the tassel is turned to the left.
Keep in mind that just because you’re applying for legitimate full-time positions and you’re about to head off into the big real adult world, doesn’t mean you can drop any of your last semester responsibilities. This last semester is your time to not only prep yourself for life after graduation, but to beef up your resume with last minute achievements. Whether it is making it onto Dean’s list or joining a couple of pre-professional clubs, it all counts! Also, you have one more semester left, you don’t want to prolong that because you fell behind due to your career research and now your student loans are fatter than expected. (Photo credits: Gfycat)
Sprightly Tip #395: Sweatpants no more. Say hello to spanks and slacks!!
It is time to bid our dear friend goodbye and invest in a new wardrobe. The lifestyle of sweats and yoga pants will be reduced down to an at home only wardrobe. Depending on the environment of the office space in which you work in, you will most likely be showing up to work in a nice pair of jeans and blouse that you compliment with a blazer AT THE VERY LEAST. Most work attire varies from business casual to full on business. Don’t go maxing out your credit card in the process. Start off small with just two outfits, one business and one business casual, that you can wear to the interview. Before your interview, try and find pictures of the office headquarters or at least read the company’s mission statement and employment page to get a vibe of how you should dress for the interview. Worst case, if you still have no idea; it’s always safe to pick the full on business outfit option. Better to show up a bit overdressed, then completely underdressed. (Photo credits: Head Over Feels)
These quick tips can help prepare you during these last months ahead and also help alleviate some of the post-graduation anxiety. The worst feeling is not feeling prepared enough. Get a head start even if it is too early. There’s always something to do to prepare. Whether it be cleaning up your resume, making new connections on LinkedIn, or reading up on blog posts (LIKE THIS ONE) that can give you some advice on where to start!!