After you graduate college, people will start giving you a lot of career advice. Often unprompted, and even more often, unhelpful. Most of this advice will come from people much older than you. They will think they have some sort of wisdom to offer you because they have had so much experience. Their career has gone through ups and downs, and they have learned things from it, certainly. They also were a recent college graduate looking to start their career at some point, even if it was 40 years ago.
They will tell you broad clichés and generic advice you have heard throughout your life. “Hard work is that only thing that counts,” they’ll say. “You have to work yourself up from the bottom. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” they’ll say. It will all be out of the kindness of their hearts, and they will likely have your best interests in mind. But ultimately, it will not be helpful in any meaningful way.
You will need advice from someone though, and that is where I come in. I am willing to speak to you honestly, without clichés, and in ways that will hopefully actually offer you some meaning. Here is my best career advice for the recent college grad. Keep your head up, and good luck.
Don’t Be Afraid to Do What You Love
I don’t know what you got your degree in. It may have been something generic like communications, or something practical like finance or business. No matter what it was, you shouldn’t be afraid to deviate from it. If you got that sweet finance degree after working so hard and spending so much student loan money at it only to find you absolutely despise finance, throw it in the garbage. Well, don’t. Having a degree always helps even if you aren’t getting a job in that field. And you might change your mind about finance in a few years! But regardless of any useless advice or pressure you receive from your parents, never be afraid to find what you actually love and try to make money doing it.
Move Back in with Your Parents
I know I said I would try to avoid clichés, but the biggest cliché of all is: clichés are clichés for a reason. And the cliché of moving back in with your parents after college is a cliché because it is the objectively correct thing to do. The only way you will legitimately stand a chance at staying afloat financially while looking for a job after college is if you live with your parents. The money you save on food, rent, laundry and utilities will all be funneled back into your student loans. Plus, there will be less distractions from your job hunt.
Get Another Degree Online
You are probably pretty excited to be done with classes and the stresses of college. But sometimes a second degree is essential. If you get a degree like UIC’s health informatics degree online, you will still have time to earn money while getting a second degree.