Updated: Mar 4
So, we are embarking on the idea that in just a week,. We are going to be parents of kids that are now out of undergrad and facing real life.
This has been a road to this new realization that our kids now need to find jobs, regroup, and figure out their lives. This is a daunting thought for us, because we’ve tried hard to prepare our kids for the real world, but what about them? Hence, this week, we are going to share the advice we are providing our kids, and that of those graduating and the fears they face.
Between all the bills, facing college loans, and the social pressure, it can be depressing. First and foremost you have to trust yourself and hang on. There is so much left out there in the world for you to explore and experience. Don’t give up without a fight!
Our daughter is hoping to get into the masters program with a paid grad assistant program, so she’s not leaving the education system and our second son is trying to find a job in a career that’s not so easy to get started in.
We have done a lot of work along the way ensuring our kids have the best opportunities. As we talked about many times, it was Justin's internship in finance that led to his full time job. His internship was the key to him getting hired directly out of college. Of course, he commuted to the local university, so did have the opportunity to work for three years while he was going to college. This was definitely to his advantage.
Chase’s internship was derailed due to COVID. He was set up to travel the world in a growing video production company. So his role was reduced to attending meetings and some video editing.
The Job Hunt
According to the University Of Washington: There is a myth that if you have a college degree, you have a job. The fact is that approximately 53% of college graduates are unemployed or working in a job that doesn't require a bachelor's degree. It takes the average college graduate three to six months to secure employment after graduation. A student benefits from having a career-seeking strategy and previous work experiences.
Here are things to keep in mind when you are job hunting:
-You may not start at the best salary, but getting in the door is key if it’s where you want to work.
-Understand proper social skills in interviewing. You need to be professional and avoid slang. Do not boast about your accomplishments, however, explain what you have done when asked.
-There are probably 3-5 candidates being interviewed and you’ve been selected because of your skillset.
-Employers like people with good attitudes and they want to see if you can fit into their culture.
-Often times the reality is that you can have a 4.0 in school and still be unemployed. Be active by speaking to friends, family and teachers to find connections that can help you find a job.
College Vs. the Real World
There is a major contrast between college and the working world and it is important to consider the accountability factor. In the working world there are grave consequences for actions that don’t just affect you; they may affect everyone throughout your company and beyond.
In college, if you messed up on a project, it might cost you a letter grade on a piece of paper. At work if you mess up on a project it can cost thousands of dollars, time, and other people’s welfare. Within reason treat every day on the job as a final exam, because everything you do is relevant and oftentimes perception means more than reality. .
Find a mentor on the job. Find the best leader; perhaps the most successful sales person or the most liked individual that people follow and emulate their behaviors.
Getting the Dream Job is not Easy
-Keep in mind that you are competing against thousands of other applicants who graduated and possess the same or more knowledge and expertise.
-Stay adaptive and flexible; get what you can and work for the rest. Remember, you may not find a job at all in your field of study.
-You are a small fish in a big pond and it usually takes time to move up the ladder. Be patient.
-You don’t need to talk about how great you are. Do not gossip and let your actions speak louder than words.
The Costs of Walking out of College
Let’s think about the costs of walking out the university door and into the real life front door from the cost to transition into adulthood. There is a cost in finding a job while considering the cost of living on your own.
The Cost to Rent
According to rent.com:
The cheapest rent average in the United States:
-Springfield MO, $636 - #1
-Omaha Nebraska, $954 - #10 Some more notable cities on the more expensive scale: Detroit: $1,495.00
Miami: $2,412.00 New York: $4,434.00
West Hollywood: $5,684
Another smart way to transition especially if it is a new area, is to find a roommate. This is what our kids are doing. They don’t want to come home so they are moving out together. We found a house that is three bedrooms, and they are moving out with a roommate. Their rent will be fairly cheap overall, and will be about $580 a month each with utilities.
Student Loan Debt
-Average National Student Debt: $28,400 -Total average monthly payment $297.00 If you are saddled with private student loans, refinancing can cut the cost down exponentially.
You May Need a Wardrobe
Making that transition from college gear to adult wear can be costly, but it doesn’t have to if you play it smart.
-Refrain from buying a bunch of cheap clothes that will not last long. -Start with a base set of outfits that you can mix and match with - quality over quantity. Most people do not remember what you wore yesterday.
Stay away from full price retail. Utilize sales, outlets, stores, thrift stores and estate sales especially in more wealthy areas.
Get Your Personal Finance in Order
College doesn’t teach you about personal finance; meaning, how to live on your own:
-Even if you’ve taken finance classes, now is the time to sit down, create your budget.
-Understand your parameters, and work with a parent or a friend that has been responsible with money.
Let’s Do the Recap
#1 If you are presented with an internship right out of college consider taking it. On the flipside, it’s okay to start over after college if you didn’t build your resume with internships through college. Many great leaders and successful people start out in the mail room.
Stay positive and focused. If you don’t get your dream job, you may need to take a position to get you started in an industry. This will help to build resume and credentials.
Always build your network and find mentors on the job. Kissing a little booty never hurts anyone when it is done with taste. Positivity and hard work have more meaning than someone with great credentials and a bad attitude. You can also show up before the boss arrives and leave after the boss exists for the day. Lastly, continuously build your skill set in and out of the office.
#3 If you are moving out, search for the best area to be in the most reasonable rent district. Go to places like rent.com to do your research. Sometimes renting a house can be cheaper than an apartment. #4 Consider consolidating student loan debt. High interest private student loan debt can be drastically reduced and this can take pressure off the bills. #5 Consider starting a wardrobe on a budget. This doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice quality. Many resale shops can be fun to hunt for treasures. A little black dress, black and navy pants, pencil skirts and white dress shirts for guys with changing ties can be key pieces to your wardrobe. Keep in mind, most people don’t remember what you wore day to day. #6 Create a budget and stick to it. You may home to give up coffee and eating out and other leisure activities for a while. If you go home after college, save your money, get rid of debt and build a nest egg until you are ready to fly the coop. Sit down with someone who can help guide you and take some personal finance education courses.