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Making it Between College and Your First Job


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Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment, but it can be a bit scary, especially if you do not have a job lined up as soon as you graduate from college. It can be even scarier if you graduate in the red. It is tough because if your parents have been helping you cover your expenses, they may not be willing to continue to fork money out each month. You may find yourself responsible for all of your expenses and any student loans you took out while you where in school. It takes college graduates an average of about six months depending on their field and the current economic conditions, so how do you survive until you do find that job or have to choose between offers.

Create a Budget

First you need to create a working budget for you to follow until you land your job. This budget will need to cover your daily expenses from your phone to your car payment to your rent, utilities and food. You need to make sure that you have access to the Internet and your phone so you can make contacts while you look for a job. Additionally, you will need to purchase nice clothes to interview in. A good suit will go a long way in making the best impression on those you are interviewing with. Ask your parents how much help they are willing to give you while you look for a job. They may be willing to cover your phone bill and car insurance until you land the position.

Keep Working

If you were working while you were in college, it is a good idea to hang onto that part-time job until you find a new one. You can stretch the money you are making out to help you cover your basic expenses. The time you would have spent studying for school should be spent looking for a job. It is always easier to find a job if you already have one. If you were not working while in school, you may consider applying for part-time or seasonal work while you are looking for the right job. You may not want to take on full-time hours, because you should focus primarily on your job search, but you should work on having a source of income while you are looking.

Widen Your Search

You can widen your job search if you are having a difficult time finding a job. Some people narrow their job search by looking in a specific city or state or for a specific type of position. Try widening the area that you are looking in to see if you can find an opportunity that works for you. Take advantage of any job fairs in your area. One of the areas you are narrowing down is going to be more important than the other for you, and you may try expanding just one area at first to see if you have better luck. For example if you want to live in a specific area of the country, you may need to look at jobs that are related to your degree, and not just the dream job that you want. If you really want to work in a specific job type, you may need to look at more locations to see if you can find a good job match. Be sure you are taking advantages of the job search resources offered by your college.

Moving in with Your Parents

Unfortunately there has been a trend of college graduates moving back in with their parents because they are having a difficult time finding a job. This can be a frustrating experience for everyone involved. If you are considering moving back in, you should set up clear guidelines with a specific goal of moving out. Make sure you are applying to work every day and that you help around the house while you are home. You do not want to get sucked back into the old roles you played, when you are about to become fully financially independent of your parents.

Wait Until You Find the Job

The best advice is to wait until you have found the job to make any major financial changes in your life. Do not move or sign a new lease until you have found a job. Do not purchase a new car or make other financial commitments until you have found a new job. Part of this is because you never know exactly where you are going to end up working or living. The other part is that you do not want to take on more financial responsibility than you can handle. You will not know your annual salary until you have a job and so making financial commitments before you get it just does not make sense. Keep in mind that you will need to begin paying on your student loans six months after you graduate.

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