When I first graduated, I made a TON of mistakes. It’s weird to think just how far I’ve come in the past few years since graduating. Now, I’m so glad I had the chance to learn from those mistakes to grow in my career and my life. This guest post is all about how to avoid those common post-grad mistakes!
Graduating college brings upon a whirlwind of life changes. Many recent post-grads make the same mistakes, which can negatively impede on your success and happiness.
You may feel lost and uncertain about what to do next, but here are some common post-grad mistakes that you may have already made or will make, and what to do about them.
1. Failing to Network
Regardless of whether you’ve already landed your first job, it’s still important to continue building a network. Although it can sometimes be time-consuming and draining, having a strong professional network can be greatly beneficial to your long-term career success.
These connections will help you land a job quicker if you ever decide to switch positions and give you a competitive edge as you move up in your industry. Even if you decide to work online after college, having a strong network is a huge help.
Solution: There are various networking tips that can help you meet other qualified professionals, but of them all, working to create real connections is arguably the most essential. Although networking involves building professional relationships, showing that you’re genuinely interested in that person as an individual can take you a long way.
2. Not Asking for Help
Being new in the working world can be intimidating at first, which is why many of us will work extremely hard in the beginning to prove ourselves.
However, you may feel overwhelmed by post-grad life and sabotage yourself by focusing heavily on checking your list off as fast as possible.
Success is rarely built overnight, which is why you must be patient with your growth. It’s better to take the time to learn the most fundamental aspects of your industry and ask for help when you need it. This will set you up for a long, successful, and happy career.
Solution: Reach out for mentorship. You won’t always have the answers to something, but having a mentor there to provide you with some clarity and support can help you better navigate through challenging situations. They can assist you by teaching you new things, guide you on potential career-growth opportunities, and help you improve on your soft skills as well.
3. Avoiding Your Health
In college, your lifestyle habits were probably much different then compared to the way they are now. Ramen noodle diets and late nights may have worked then, but they certainly won’t now.
Managing your health once you’ve moved out on your own may be challenging, especially if you’re in a brand new city without a doctor. Because of this, many new post-grads will often make the mistake of frequently paying high co-pays at Urgent Care rather than finding their own physician.
Solution: Utilize telehealth services to make your life easier. You can get toiletry subscriptions sent to your door or even speak with healthcare professionals from the comfort of your home. You can get diagnosed right online or order prescriptions, like your monthly birth control, for example. Taking advantage of these online tools will make caring for your health extremely easy.
4. Living Without a Budget
With student loans, rent, utilities, and more, it’s easy to lose track of where your money is going. Creating a budget that allows you to add to your savings, pay your bills, and have fun is crucial for financial happiness. Don’t let your finances get out of hand before it’s too late.
Solution: If you’re savvy enough, you can make a budgeting spreadsheet displaying your income and expenses to see everything in one place. If this isn’t your thing, don’t worry! You can use a budgeting app that does all the financial sorting for you. If you want something more customizable, try tracking your income with this free download.
5. Ignoring Stress
Caring for your mental well-being is imperative at every age. After college, stress may begin to pile up as you enter into this new adult world.
Whether it’s your career, location, or the endless bills you now have to pay; worrying is inevitable. Still, ignoring your stress can negatively affect your mental health.
Solutions: Implement regular relaxation and self-care techniques into your daily routine. The more you practice proper techniques, the better you’ll be able to cope with stressful situations. With these methods, it’s also important to address your stressors and find proper solutions. For example, if your work/life balance isn’t how you’d like it to be, work on creating boundaries between when you’re working and when it’s your personal time.
6. Losing Contact with Friends and Family
For most people, post-grad means getting split up from your friends and family members. In turn, this may cause you to lose touch with these important people or fall out of contact altogether. Don’t let distance be the reason some of your closest relationships suffer.
Solutions: Schedule time to visit, call, or video chat with your loved ones. Even if this only happens once a month, it will help you to maintain your relationships and stay current on each other’s lives. Having close relationships from far distances is possible, it’ll just take a little effort.
7. Forgetting to Be Present
With so many aspects of your life changing at once, you can sometimes fall into the habit of thinking too far into the past or too forward into the future. Instead of being present in the moment, many post-grads are nostalgic about their college days or are hyper-focused on where they’re going next.
However, lacking a mindful presence can keep you from enjoying your life for what it is. If you’re too preoccupied with what’s happened or what will happen, you’ll miss out on so many opportunities right in front of you.
Solution: Work on being present, even if you’re not where you want to be right now. Start by savoring the exact moment you’re in. Pay attention to the people you’re with, the environment you’re in, and the way you’re feeling. During times when you’re worried about the past or future, stop and focus on your breath. Breathe deeply, hold it in, and let it out.
Avoid These Post-Grad Mistakes
Are you making any of these post-grad mistakes above? From losing track of what matters most to connecting with your friends and family, don’t lose sight of what matters after graduation.
Life changes fast! Don’t stress the little things when it comes to life after graduation. Just tackle each challenge as it comes.
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