Congrats, so what’s next?

Have you thought about your credit score and what the loans will look like after your six month grace period is over? Did you buy an interview suit and practice your elevator speech? Is your resume current? What about grad school, did you think about that?

The questions are flooding and the tension is getting to the point where a butter knife is needed. You will probably exhaust all the to do lists and still feel like deer in headlights. Breathe.

  • Keep track of your student loans. 

It is going to be painful, but before the 6 month grace period is up, it is wise to look over your loans. Be sure to keep track of both your private and federal loans; if you figure out what you owe, you can figure out what you need to earn. Some employers may request to see your credit history and landlords will want to make sure you are reliable. Be sure to check your credit report and score: your report is comprised of three reporting agencies and your credit score is a three digit number representative of your credit history. You can check you credit report once a year for free (beware of third party companies that will try to charge you) through annual credit report so you know where you stand and you can dispute anything that isn’t consistent with your record.  For your credit score, check with your bank or credit card directly as some offer it for free.

  • Practice makes perfect.

Use the internet as a resource. There are lots of employers willing to give feedback on what they are looking for and what they absolutely hate when interviewing. Practice your elevator speech and get used to speaking in public, toastmasters is a great way to practice public speaking and get the butterflies in your stomach used to a room full of strangers.  That being said, make sure your resume is up to date and be ready to answer questions about it; think teamwork, there’s not “i” in team.

Remember when everyone tried to get you to do something or be involved? Now is the time to thank yourself because those were networking opportunities, so find those contacts and connect. Just like your resume, your LinkedIn profile should be up to date with information about your work history and things you are involved in. The website can match your skills with employment opportunities based on the information you provide. It is also a great way to look for a job, follow companies, and keep up with contacts.

  • But I want to go to grad school.

Great. Make sure you meet the deadline for each school and fulfill any requirements such as: GRE, GMAT, or any grad level exams. By checking your school’s deadline, you can ensure that test scores are reported on time. Be sure to check out the school website for deadlines and testing sites so you aren’t scrambling to take a last minute test.

  • I’m taking time off.

You’ve worked hard and there is nothing wrong with that, so do it. Travel the world now because when you start working, it may become harder to take time off. Remember all those skills on your resume? Put those skills and experiences to good use and earn some cash or volunteer in exchange for a free stay around the world. Workaway lets you sign up as a volunteer if you are looking to get away in exchange for a little work, or register as a host if you want to earn some extra cash. Never stop learning; sign up for something that can come in handy and be a resource for you to engage in new experiences, teach others, or create an opportunity for you to be where you want.

Whatever direction you take and no matter what people say, only you can decide what is best for you. If you completed this milestone, don’t stop yourself from the next.

Cheers to a new chapter.

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