When we graduated from college, our biggest problem wasn’t what we didn’t know—it was that we didn’t even know what we were supposed to know. To help you see the big picture, we’ve compiled a quick overview of the most important issues you’re likely to face. Some aspects of life after college take time, like finding someone who will marry you and weaning yourself off Busch Light. But thinking about the items below sooner rather than later will give you the best kick-start a post-grad could possibly hope for.
Start Building Your Career Story
Why It’s Important: Sitting around philosophizing about what to do your life is the worst thing you can do after graduating. You’ll never know what you really want to do until you try it, and no one will want to hire if you’ve just been sitting around philosophizing.
- Think about what you want to do (but don’t obsess over finding your “dream job” yet)
- Customize yourself for each position you apply for—that means tweaking your resume and writing more than one cover letter
- Network, network, network—because in the real world, who you know isn’t everything, but it’s damn close
- Nail your interview
Assess Your Finances to Prepare Your Fiscal Future
Why It’s Important: When it comes to building credit and saving money, it pays to start early. Even if you feel like you’re always one burrito away from being in the red, you need to form good habits and take advantage of the power of compounding interest.
- Confront your student debt—if you can’t pay it off right away, you have plenty of options
- Find out your credit score and start building credit
- Choose a bank account, then get yourself a credit card
- Understand the benefits of investing to see why setting aside as little as $50 a month can make a significant difference down the line
Get Health Insurance
Why It’s Important: Being “young and healthy” may help you steer clear of the doctor’s office, but no one plans a visit to the ER. Without insurance, one accident could land in you in.
- Understand health insurance so that you know what type of coverage you need
- If you’re getting kicked off your current school- or parent-provided plan and need to maintain coverage until you find a job, consider short-term health insurance
- Find a good doctor to ensure you get the best care possible
Move Out of Your Parent's House
Why It’s Important: Okay, you don’t actually need to do this right now. Depending on your situation, living at home after graduation can make a lot of sense financially. But whether you’re relocating for a job or just really want a pad to call your own, there are some basic tips that can transform the process from a complete nightmare into a relatively harmless process.