What to do after varsity: Fresh grads, listen up

You don’t have to figure it all out as soon as you graduate from university.

Mostly, landing a job requires not only an intensive job search but fully discovering yourself and what you want to do for the rest of your life.

Your life should not be dictated by the piece of paper the university dean handed you nor be confined by the expectations others have set for you.

Decide on who you want to be, what your lifelong passion is and take it from there; one step at a time.

You don’t need to fully support yourself straightaway

You don’t need to emancipate yourself. Moving out of your family home with barely enough savings does not make you independent; it makes you careless.

The first thing to ensure is that you live a good life not struggling to make ends meet. As much as you may want to enjoy a European getaway, think about how much it will affect you financially.

Being a full-fledged adult is not about seeming as if you’ve got your life together – but figuring it out along the way with the support of your family and friends.

So, there really is no need to rush packing your bags. Enjoy your childhood room and spend time with your family – it may even help you discover something about yourself.

Don’t compete with classmates

Don’t allow yourself to feel pressure from classmates. Some people may already have secured employment from previous internships and some may be given hefty allowances by their parents.

So go at your own pace and know that everyone’s life path is different. You shouldn’t walk into an interview for your first job and demand a high salary just because a classmate has. Don’t be in a hurry to get experience or promotions – take your time.

Be easy to reach

Explore your options and make sure you are contactable. When you send in a job application, human resource personnel typically get back to you within a week either via email or phone. So be on the lookout for their calls or emails.

Also, know that unknown numbers will be calling you during this time, so don’t be one of those “I don’t answer calls from unknown numbers” type of people.

Don’t keep your phone on silent all day, and keep your phone close to you to make sure you have enough airtime to make urgent calls when necessary.

Live within your means

Once you start working, your full-time salary will definitely entice you to live life precariously – travelling, buying branded goods and even eating in Michelin-rated restaurants.

However, here at The New Savvy, we believe in saving and budgeting.

Live a life you can afford – don’t let anyone make you feel broke or poor. Stay within your means; and if anybody convinces you otherwise, do not hesitate to cut them out. Stay away from negativity.

Consider volunteering and internship

This is a great opportunity to learn new skills and get more industry knowledge while you have time on your hands. This is also a chance to meet new people and gain experience which will look great on your CV.

Don’t be in a rush to make money as important as it is. Don’t let income be your only priority but let it be one of your main priorities.

There is loads to learn during this time where you are interning and you may even meet someone who’ll offer you employment.

During this time, you can also do small weekend jobs or part-time assignments if you really need a little extra money to keep you going.

Make sure your resume and cover letter are impressive

Learn how to make your Curriculum Vitae/Resume and Cover Letter as impressive as impossible.

Instead of concentrating on making it look aesthetically pleasing – make sure that the content is arranged and maximised to its potential.

Avoid spamming out your CV to every firm even when they are not searching for new employers. This is annoying and they’ll talk about you and tell each other not to employ you.

Build your network

Any already employed person in any industry will tell you that the most important thing is to have connections. Building your network not only increases your social circle but also your social skills and awareness.

Even though you might be an introvert or prefer to socialise in smaller circles, it will not hurt to attend a few networking events and find people who can help you build yourself professionally and personally.

Take your time and never give up

Landing a job or figuring out what you want to do after graduation takes time. It’s important that you not rush into anything just because you are pressured by those around you.

There are so many things you can do as a fresh graduate. Keep your mind and your phone line open because opportunities are always just around the corner.

This article first appeared in thenewsavvy.com

The New Savvy is Asia’s leading financial, investments and career platform for women. Our bold vision is to empower 100 million women to achieve financial happiness. We deliver high-quality content through conferences, e-learning platforms, personal finance apps and e-commerce stores.