Even if we don’t want to, there are decisions to make after graduating from college. It’s a difficult phase. One day, you were just receiving your allowance from your parents and then suddenly, you feel the need to look for a job or a means to earn income to support yourself. There are several decisions to make after graduating from the university and they sure are not easy. I listed the ones that my friends and I encountered as fresh graduates seven years ago and tried to remember how we dealt with them:
1. Graduate School or Job
I didn't need to ask myself this question after college because it was clear that I needed to find a job. I was the eldest in a family of four and I didn't want to burden my parents for another round of academic expenses. But some people do face this dilemma as one of the biggest decisions to make after graduating from a course. Should I proceed to law school or get a master’s degree? Or should I just find a job and wait for two years before doing grad school? I chose the latter.
2. Job a or Job B
The gifted, blessed, and privileged among us are lucky to be given options on which job to take. Should I take Job A, which pays a lot more but means spending long hours in an office that seems to be populated by zombies? Or should I go for Job B, which doesn't pay as much as Job A but is very supportive of my nature as a free-spirited individual?
3. Staying or Moving Part 1
This one talks about staying in your family home or moving out and getting a place of your own. I don’t know about you, but I really felt the pressure to have my own apartment after I finished my degree. But I talked to my parents first and I told them to give me some time before I moved out. Mom said, “Hey, we are not throwing you out!” But even then, I felt that it was a mature thing to do.
4. Staying or Moving Part 2
So this one is about staying in the same city where you live or moving away from it. Maybe there is a better offer in New York and you have to move out of Orange County. Are you confident about the job that you will be getting in NYC? Can you afford the cost of living? Do you have set of friends there? Balance the pros and cons and decide from there.
5. Explore or Invest
My first job straight out of college was in a newspaper. It didn't pay that much but it allowed me to build my networks and contacts. With the little money I had every month, I was torn between exploring the world (traveling) during my off-work days or investing some of my money in real estate or insurance. I ended up doing a lot of exploring that left me so broke. I learned my lesson. In my second job, I was able to strike a balance between exploring and investing.
6. Sink or Swim
I heard of many stories about fresh college graduates who were very good in school but performed so bad in their first jobs. Depressing, isn't it? If you happen to be in this situation, the question really is whether to sink or swim. Something is fundamentally wrong with you or with the working environment that you’re in. Assess the situation and then make a decision.
7. Leave or Live
Happened to me in my first job. I was so focused on proving my worth and my name that after a year in the job, I suddenly found myself so exhausted. I had to ask myself: should I leave this job to get a life or should I stay to live the dream? I eventually gave myself another year and then left the job to travel and study some more.
Did you also experience the same life-changing decisions? How did you handle them?