With summer starting up and graduation just behind the last bend hundreds of thousands of fresh-faced young people are out looking for work. If you’re one of these people who have just advanced from “student” to “unemployed person” then here are a few important reasons to keep your part-time job at Starbucks instead of haring off to find your dream job while living off your “savings”.
Whatever your fashion preference in college, whether it be ripped jeans, tight jeans, corduroy suits, sweatpants, polka-dot dresses, bow-ties, or suspenders, they won’t impress anyone in the professional world. The working world is an old-boy’s club, and the rules change very slowly. When you show up to an interview you want to be the best-dressed person in the room, and “best” is defined by more the way your mom always tried to dress you on Sunday when you were a kid than it is by what’s fashionable this season. Incidentally buying new clothes is expensive, so you might need to budget anywhere from a hundred to several hundred dollars for this if you’re planning to look respectable at your interview.
Ironically nowadays it’s probably cheaper to interview for a position out of state or even in another country than it is to do so in the next town over, because then you might be able to do a phone or video interview rather than driving for an hour or so. If you’re aggressively searching for work you can expect a lot of driving around (or paying bus or subway fares)to get to interviews, to meet up with people in your network who might be able to help you find a job, and to get around while you’re buying the things you need for that eventual job.
Leaving college halts the growth of the huge growing long term expense that is your student loan, but it does expose you to some new and immediate costs. Most university campuses provide free internet, printing services, and computer access. Once you leave you can expect to pay 50$ per month on internet, plus hundreds for a computer and printer (you’re going to need hard copies of important documents). You can get around this by going to your local public library, but that again will incur more transportation costs and can slow your response time for important emails.
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If you don’t already have a network you need to get started on it, and it’s not entirely free. Sure, your LinkedIn profile and internet networking efforts don’t cost anything extra, but making use of and expanding your first few people takes active socializing that doesn’t happen on the internet. That means eating out, buying drinks for people, driving around to meet new people that your smaller network can introduce you to, and then spending enough time with them to convince them to help you find work or introduce you to someone they know who can help you do so.
Life does not hold still just because you have no job or are not in school. Living expenses such as food, utilities, insurance, and phone service must be taken into consideration for the job hunt. Nobody puts there best foot forward in an interview if they have not eaten in two days. Use what money you have wisely on living expenses, be conservative but be healthy.
The job hunt immediately after graduation can serve as a rude awakening to the students who are not prepared. Do your best to establish a solid network and range of opportunities before you graduate. Beginning the job search early is the most effective way to hit the ground running after graduation. Don’t be afraid to accept a job that might require to move far away, that move might end being less expensive than hunting for one around your current location.
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Reyna Ramli writes for CareerBliss, which is an online community about maximizing job satisfaction and making good career choices. When she’s not writing about work Reyna is all about fashion, her Instagram obsession, and her shiny new iPhone. Follow Reyna on Twitter!