College to Career
It’s been a little while since my last post, but I intend to keep this blog going through a new phase of my life- post college!
I made some big promises to my readers when I first started this blog in November 2011. You can see my very first post here with my definition of college success: The Best Four Years of Your Life.
I am exceedingly proud to announce that I have accomplished all those goals on my list during my four years of college. Now, it’s on to the next step- starting that post-collegiate job in the real world.
After graduation I moved across the country to a brand new city. I had no friends and almost no money. I spent my first few weeks on an inflatable mattress in my very expensive and very small unfurnished studio apartment. Using a hair dryer to inflate my bed and packing boxes as tables, I finally broke down and bought a real bed- some assembly required. With only a crafting glue gun and an imagination, I managed to assemble my bed, with only a few parts left over (you don’t really need all those screws, right?).
I walk almost a mile to the grocery store every week to fill a backpack with food. If I bring my lunch to work everyday I try to reward myself with a facial or a new pair of shoes at the end of the week. Living on a budget is always tough, especially when you don’t realize where your money is going. Buying lunch everyday and a pint after work adds up fast, so I created an incentive plan to keep myself from overspending on those unplanned expenses.
Work is tedious at first. You are at the very bottom of the food chain, a freshman again for the third time in your life. It’s an unexpected challenge to go from the “big man on campus” as a senior in college back down to a lowly freshman all over again. You are reminded of how hard you had to work before to get to the top and how great it felt knowing you had earned everything you worked towards. One day you’ll be the senior again with your own class of devoted pledges to manage- but for now, you’re the pledge.
Getting to know your co-workers is also a fun new challenge. A lot of companies are recruiting “training classes” out of college now. If you are lucky enough to be in one of those groups it greatly eases the transition from college to career. My group is about 20 recent grads, all with different backgrounds, from across the country. Company culture is an important factor to consider in your job search. I never realized how important it is to laugh at the office. My co-workers crack me up everyday, this makes the office so much more fun. If you are gonna spend 40+ hours a week in the same place with the same people, isn’t it important that you can laugh and have some fun?
These are some of my initial thoughts on the transition between college and career, with many more posts to follow. No matter what stage you are currently in (searching for an internship, looking for that first real job, already started at that real world job) I hope my posts can help guide you through the process of building your own personal brand and success as I share my experiences and advice.