Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day grind that we forget to plan for the future. Your college experience is important, but you also need to be prepared for life after you graduate. Read on to discover some of the things you should be thinking about before you finish college.
Get your Resume Ready
You may have a resume already, but if you’re about to graduate, it’s definitely time to update it. Be sure to include any relevant skills or qualities that you’ve gained while attending college, whether from courses or job placements. If you have co-op work experience, great! This will show that you have both knowledge and hands-on work experience in your field of study, which is very attractive to employers. Take some time to update your LinkedIn profile as well. It will be important to have a strong and professional online presence, since employers are likely to use these resources to learn more about you.
Prepare for Interviews
You may not have any interviews scheduled yet, but the interview process is something to think about ahead of time. Try conducting a little research on commonly asked questions and think about how you would respond. Knowing what to expect will give you more confidence and show the interviewer that you are calm and prepared. There is plenty of information available online that can help you prepare for your job search, so put in some work. To view a list of resources available in BC, visit workbc.ca.
Manage your Student Loans
If you’ve taken out a student loan to attend college, make sure you understand the terms of your loan repayment. Know which type of loans you have, when your payments will start, and how they will be paid (will it be automatic withdrawal from your bank account?). In some cases you may be able to negotiate lower monthly payments based on your situation, but this usually results in a longer repayment term. Figure out what will work best for you.
It’s likely that a lot will change financially as you make the transition from school to work; you’ll start repaying your loan, your post-college living situation may change, and you’ll get a job or move onto a new one. Figure out where your priorities lie and adjust your expectations accordingly. Do you want to live on your own, or are you willing to have or keep a roommate to reduce expenses? How much money are you going to need to make to have the life you desire? It can be stressful to think about these things, but in the end, having a budget will prevent you from even more stressful situations like not being able to pay rent or racking up your credit card.
Keep an Open Mind
After all this talk of planning ahead, it may seem a little strange to tell you to relax and keep an open mind. However, this approach will be helpful as you leave the student life behind and venture into “the real world”. If you’re near the end of your studies, you’ve probably spent the last several years focused on one topic, and you may have specific ideas about the kind of job that you are going to look for. It is great to know what you want, but if you’re just starting out on a new career, things may not be exactly as you imagined them at first. Be flexible and open to jobs that will help you build your skills in problem solving, organization, communication and teamwork, and eventually you can move up the ladder and find that dream job!