We hear stories of our parents or elder siblings/cousins, telling us how they decided to begin work weeks prior to graduation day. Most will say it was an advantage to be ahead of their peers, but some will also admit it was a self-inflicted pressure. While it has its benefits, young professionals advise that there are more important aspects of life that deserve a sit-down. It’s a crucial time when you need a better perspective of yourself, and the path you want to chart on.
In the coming months, most of our avid NBS blog readers would be transitioning from school life and into the working world. But before you dive into your next move, consider these top 10 mistakes graduating students must avoid!
1) Not taking a break this summer
Like what we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s a defining time of your life that needs you to have a better grasp of things. You can’t have that if you jump immediately right into the water (unless it’s a beach vacation, you’re thinking of!). We suggest to take a break and try getting out of the house for some adventure. This will untangle your mind from worries and confusing thoughts. A slower pace will also allow you to think things through and reset your button.
Our tip: Book your next plane ticket going to any of these 501 Must-Visit Cities. It’ll help you soak up some culture and free your mind from adult-life anxieties!
2) Not establishing a daily routine
Just because you’re out from school it means you’ll be in bed the whole day or spend 70% of your time on the couch watching Netflix. That is so unproductive. Without giving yourself undue pressure, it’s ideal to set a daily routine where you can be your best self and perform tasks, school-related or not. As early as now, set yourself up for success and define the kind of schedule that will provide you time to be creative or productive, but with enough breathing space for leisure. A balanced life is a successful life!
Our tip: Start the Productivity Project so you can accomplish more by managing your time, attention, and energy.
3) Failing to self-evaluate: What do I really want out of my life?
With a break comes a time to self-evaluate. Ask yourself this important question before you begin a new chapter: What do I really want out of my life? By trying to answer this, even if you feel totally clueless, will help you live a more intentional life. A lot of yuppies out there are stuck in their corporate jobs they find no fulfillment in. Some have been dragged into their family’s businesses, but would rather pursue art or something else. The point is: Self-discovery is key in making life directions. What do you really want to? What kind of lifestyle would you rather have? Write these in a journal to better evaluate your choices after graduation.
Our tip: We recommend the Break Out! Journal by Joel Osteen. In using this journal, you will find yourself challenged daily by insightful reflection questions, motivated by a specific call to action, and inspired by a relevant Scripture verse-all of this with space in which to record thoughts and revelations.
4) Not planning your next steps
Maybe you’re not totally sure of what you want at this point in your life. Don’t fret! You’re not alone. More than 50% of new graduates are also unsure of what to do right after university. However, this is not an excuse for not planning. Remember: when you fail to plan, you plan to fail!
So whether you have a long-term vision for your life, or you are just someone who can only take one day at a time – still, plan. Plan out your next steps. What tools and resources do you need to get a job, for example. Do you need advanced studies? What minimum requirements can you fulfill at entry-level? If you plan to go on business, what resources would you need to start up? Think about these things. Get the right learning materials. Talk to a mentor, if you must. What’s important is: you have a plan. Chart out plans A to C. In case you don’t succeed at first, you have a backup. Most of all, planning boosts your confidence. Finally, you are not as clueless as you think!
Our tip: No excuses – Your life is waiting! Pick this book to stop second guessing yourself and start believing in what you can achieve through the power of positive feelings.
5) Not taking hold of all important academic documents
When you’re psyched up for your next adventure, the tendency is you forget about the small details – important documents, included. Before you head out to your next vacation, just make sure your papers are gathered and stored properly. Especially if you decide to take further studies abroad, your academic records will be required along with other government documents. Fight the hassle of missing credentials. Take the initiative to take care of these things.
Our tip: Keep everything in one place so you know where to pick which document when you need it! Buy this durable, waterproof Seagull Expanding File Envelope for only P294.75.
6) Failing to gain financial literacy
Financial literacy – we can’t stress this enough! We are living at a time when insurance plans, investments, and passive income sources suddenly become sexy commodities. They prepare you for the future. So you as a young person should begin using your money (or soon-to-have-money) wisely! As soon as you receive your first paycheck, start building your emergency fund. Next would be your insurance, then investment funds. Some products bundle the two together for more financial convenience. Some people who are as young as 25 are able to retire comfortably because they chose to create passive income sources and investments. Before your financial obligations pile up pre-family stage, consider this advice. You will thank us later!
Our tip: Get Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad’s Rich Kid Smart Kid: Giving Your Child a Financial Head Start so you can start your journey to financial freedom from day one!
7) Failing to prepare for the job hunt
Many choose the employment route to gain work experience. It’s a good decision especially when you want to specialize in a particular field. Many experts of various industries started out as employees before they became who they are today. If you wish to start on the right foot in the corporate world, be ready for it. Prepare a resume that highlights your strengths relevant to the job position you are applying for. Mention your internship stints to serve as significant work experience. That is a good differentiator when applying for an entry-level job and your co-applicants are just like you – a new grad. So prepare your credentials. Work up your answers to common interview questions. Gather your portfolio like projects you worked on in school. Most importantly, have the right attitude even in the face of job rejection.
Our Tip: Get all your contacts and scheduled interviews in one efficient but classy planner: The Kate Spade Planner in Gold Medium Dots. Job hunt in style!
8) Not considering the entrepreneurial route
Whether you’re a new graduate or already a working professional, failing to consider the business route can mean you miss a lot of things. While not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, this path teaches one about discipline, confidence, prudence, and creativity. People who choose to become entrepreneurs usually aspire for work-life balance, time freedom, and the opportunity to serve using one’s gift and passion. If you feel that this is you, try it. Invest in learning about your chosen business venture so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Our Tip: Get the Conquer Kit: A Creative Business Planner for Women Entrepreneurs. Author and entrepreneur Natalie MacNeil guides you to tap into your creative genius, and build a strong foundation with the four pillars that hold up every thriving business.
9) Not committing to lifelong learning
Successful people are lifelong learners. Knowledge acquisition does not only happen inside the classroom. Much of your life will be spent outside of it, hence the combination of your experiences, relationships, and educational resources all contribute to your growth. Choose to be a student of life in order to gain wisdom.
Our Tip: Become a genius at a moment’s notice. Read this practical book: The Accidental Creative. It isn’t enough to just do your job anymore. In order to thrive in today’s marketplace, all of us, regardless of our role, have to be ready to generate brilliant ideas on demand. The Accidental Creative teaches effective practices that support your creative process.
10) Not taking charge of your future
Last but not the least, do not fail to be accountable for your life. Regardless of your current circumstances that could be more difficult than your peers, always remember the buck stops with you. You may not have control over a lot of what happens, but ultimately you have the power to choose your course of action. Every decision (or non-decision) of yours has an impact on your future. So step up. Take charge. You are the captain of your ship.
Congratulations for making it to another chapter of your life!
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