Topic #2 From Jenna: "How about the transition from FSU into the real world, yeah sorry its more about you but it would be very interesting to read and a great insite for those of us who will eventually be making that transition!"
Great topic! Honestly, I am still figuring out that transition myself! I cannot promise anything insightful will come out of this post, but I will try to help!
Usually when people take that walk across the glorious stage wearing their glorious... erm... square hats that reek of style and fabulousity, they are anxious for the future. This is usually because they are either applying for jobs or they have a job lined up and ready to go! For Travis, his anxiety was caused by the latter. Mine... of course not- the former, indeed. Travis was graduating with a higher degree, so he had been looking for jobs for quite some time. It is easier to apply for jobs when you can actually state that you have a degree! You know how that goes. Anyway, for me, there were a few... nay, a million goals that needed to be accomplished. Some of which still are not! Enough about me! What do you need to know about life after graduation? You are about to find out:
1. Tie up loose ends.
Make sure you have completed everything you need to complete to be ready for the workforce. For example, as a teacher, I needed to apply for certification. If I were planning on teaching in Florida, this would have been a simple process. However, because Travis and I are moving to New York, I needed to apply for certification in New York, which involves a lot more footwork and complications than becoming certified in Florida (because I graduated from a FLORIDA school!).
Certification is the necessary step for Education majors, but I do not know the steps for other majors. You will learn all about the necessary steps you must take for your major during your time in your program. Therefore, make sure that for whatever major YOU choose, you complete all of the extra, after-graduation "schtuff".
2. Create a resume.
After school, you will want to put your infinite knowledge to work by... well... working! You want to work? You must interview/apply. Want to interview/apply? You must have a resume. You want to make sure that your resume is professional looking. However, many companies/people have different opinions of what is considered the appropriate look.
Here is a website I found regarding building resumes that looked legit: www.pongoresume.com. I personally know someone who has updated his resume multiple times, received multiple opinions and suggestions, and landed a job with his current resume. Can you guess who he is? My hubby, of course! I am not simply promoting him because he is my husband, I am promoting him because he is qualified. He has extensively researched how to build appropriate resumes through the Internet, books, and professionals.
If you would like him to build you a professional resume for $50-$100 (truth be told, this is actually inexpensive compared to what most people are charging), please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He would be pleased to create a resume that will make your many skills and assets apparent to any employer. For those of you who know my husband, he is the type that spends a significant amount of time making sure that each project is perfect. His work exhibits thoughtfulness, intelligence, and care for each project. He will work with you to design something that will not only please employers but will also please you and fit your personal taste.
However you decide to do it, create a resume!
3. Find a job.
Now it is time to use that resume. If you have not been applying for a job until now... uh oh. Do not forget, that your last semester is crucial in that you need to be applying for jobs and interviewing. You don't want to be unprepared when graduation day rolls around and everyone else is geared up for their jobs. Sadly, by your last semester, it is time to face the fact that you are almost out of fluffy, happy college world and entering into the real, harsh world. If you ever want to fly out of the nest, you must make sure you can afford your OWN nest! This means, you need to be making your OWN money.
Looking up jobs is extremely dependent on the industry in which you are qualified. The best way to find a job in any industry is through your network- people you know. Another way is through career fairs. Your university should offer career fairs; these put you face-to-face with many potential employers. At career fairs, you will find a plethora of employers for different, yet related fields in one room. This means that if you are not the right fit for one company (or it is not the right fit for you), you will not be stuck. After all, you will meet with so many various companies; the more companies, the higher chance that your unique talents will be discovered. Finally, you can look online to find companies that are recruiting. Now it is time for some footwork. Call, call, call! E-mail, e-mail, e-mail! Visit, visit, visit! Got it?, Got it?, Got... oh, sorry... didn't realize I was still doing that.
If you are not planning on remaining in the city in which you went to school, it's time to pack up all of that junk you have accumulated throughout the years. Trust me, this is not as easy as it sounds, especially if you moved off campus during your 4 years of incarceration. Apartment off campus= more space= more room= more junk to fill the room. For Travis and me, this was particularly a challenge because we had all of the wedding gifts plus all of the stuff we owned prior to getting married! You can accumulate a lot of useless crap over just a few simple years! You will be surprised at what you simply CANNOT throw away. Just remember to TRY to throw unnecessary things out. However, if you have not landed a job, remember to salvage things that you could add to your portfolio.
My best advice for packing up is to... hire my mother. Just kidding! Just kidding! But... really. Anywho! Packing is best when you bite the bullet, head to U-Haul, buy a junkload packing tape, boxes (many different sizes), and packing paper... lots of packing paper. The last thing you want is to arrive at your new place someday to unload a bunch of broken dishes, etc. Main rule: do NOT skimp on the packing paper. Another important rule: after packing each box, LABEL the boxes. If, by some horrible chance, you need to get something out of a box prior to moving, you will be so grateful and relieved to have labeled boxes.
If you will not be moving for awhile, make sure to rent a storage unit so that you can keep your "schtuff" safe until it must be transported to your new destination. For some, this may be a non-issue. If you are moving immediately, pack up and be ready for the movers on the predetermined date of the move. Kiss your college home goodbye. Oh! And do not forget to take pictures of your apartment/dorm/house/cardboard box prior to leaving. Someday you will want to share those memories with your kids... unless your situation was the one involving the cardboard box...
Whether it's moving home with Mom and Dad, moving in with a spouse, or moving to New York, say "sayonara" to college life, and make your move! ...It's okay if you cry... yes... even you men... just don't let anybody see you. You don't want to begin your new real world life known as the "sissy boy". No one likes to reflect on middle school days when they are in their 20's and beyond.
6. Get to work or have the time of your life waiting.
For Travis and me, the latter option is the one that has been chosen for us. The reason I say... or... type... "chosen for us" is because Travis's job does not start until September, so we were kind of "forced" into enjoying one last summer! Ha ha!
For others, this may be a quick transition. If this applies to you, be grateful. You will start your new life promptly, make money immediately, move less painfully, and not have a chance to get lazy right before you have to put on your game-face for work. Hey, have to find the silver lining for everything! ;)
7. Be content.
Life is too short to complain. Be content where you are; promotion will come when the time is right. Unfortunately, some people are too busy discovering the bad (or just simply "not perfect") elements in their lives that they let their lives pass them by without warning... or perhaps the warning signs are ignored... Therefore, I charge you with the responsibility of loving every moment of life no matter where you are living, what you are doing, whom you are with, or what situation is occurring. Before you know it, you are married and graduated. I know from experience, it went by in the blink of an eye.
"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." James 4:14
I know this post was practically a novel, but I truly hope it was helpful. If it helped you in some way, please comment and let me know. If you still have a question, please post it in a comment, and I will try my best to answer it!