As a student you probably would not believe us if we tell you that you are absolutely naive and no, you are not on top of the world. You will soon graduate from the university, service year is going to be awesome (at least according to the stories you’ve heard). After service, you are going to get a job, have a family, build a home, become a millionaire and live happily ever after.
There is just one problem with your plan. The only problem with your plan is the real world.
This article is to let students know things to look out for before they graduate so they don’t get railroaded.
1. A Degree Does Not Entitle You To A Job
We all know getting a degree means a lot of hard work and commitment, but because you have a degree does not mean somebody is going to grant you an automatic job offer. Gone are the days when all you needed to get a good job was a university degree. We were all told the same lies in secondary school, get a university degree and a mouth watering job would fall on your lap. The smart people are the ones who figured out this lie early in school and made sure the time they spent in school would separate from other students who were busy enjoying school life to the fullest. It’s time to get your head out of the sand.
2. Start The Job Search Before You Graduate
Job hunting is a complicated thing and there is no almighty formula for you to acquire a job. Job seeking is not something you can “cram” for and pour out everything during an exam. There are no cheat notes for post-graduation experience. The job hunting business is an on-the-training experience and the best way to get ahead of your colleagues is to start your career exploration during your service year or better yet during your university days. You can research branches of your field, do internships (industrial trainings), find out what size of company is for you, and practice job searching techniques. Put these tips in play and by the time you’re done with service, you’ll be prepared for the next phase of your life and it will be quite tricky for reality to hit you with tons of bricks.
3. Facebook Is Forever
Not just facebook, but twitter, instagram, and every other social network that you decide to be a part of. What does this mean to an average student? Well it means that every obscure joke you post on Facebook, every explicit picture you share, every inappropriate comment will be visible to the world when you become famous or when you go job hunting. At the very least, know how to manipulate your social media privacy settings and restrain yourself from littering your social media accounts with unfitting content. Being appropriate on the web is just as important for a political career as it is for finding employment. Your drinking photos might be funny now but they won’t be so hilarious in five years time.
4. Life Is Expensive
You are probably surviving on the allowance you receive from your parents right now and you’ve realized that life can be expensive, EXPENSIVE. Just wait until you have to live on your own, probably during service year or when you get your first job. By the time you pay for house rents, transportation fare, recharge cards, light bills, water bills, food, utilities, and every miscellaneous expense. It won’t take long before you realize that life is expensive. Everything would suddenly become so expensive that you would sometimes feel like crying. This is one of the most painful things to learn. EVERYTHING costs money.
Anytime from now, you should learn how to create a budget for yourself. Otherwise your rent will be due, your kitchen will be empty and you will be busy dodging from the people you owe money.
5. Never Be Scared To Take Chances
This is probably the most important lesson you have to learn before you graduate, never be scared to take chances. You’ll never get anywhere you want if you don’t take calculated risks every now and then. No one is telling you to jump out of a plane or go swimming with crocodiles (which would be awesome if you survive), but nothing in life comes easy. Yes, it is cliché, but it is the hard truth. After all, nothing can deputize experience. When you become a graduate, the best option is not becoming a boring office robot whose life revolves around work. Your twenties and thirties are the some of the best years of your life, we kid you not. Do not be afraid to face the real world with open arms, explore opportunities, and take chances. You’ll be surprised at what fate has in stock for you.
6. Learn How To Interact With People
Learning how to interact is a very valuable skill you need to have in your belt. It is a “street smart” skill. You could read a million books on how to interact with people but the only way to develop your interaction skill is to put it into practice constantly until it becomes a part of you. This skill will surely be tested each time you go for a job interview. Heck! You even need this job more if you are an entrepreneur.
Learn to greet people with a smile. Say “thank you, please and I appreciate” whenever the situation deems necessary. These small gestures go a long way to make a huge difference. Don’t be so quick to dismiss the power of appreciation and courtesy.
Make small talk, get to know anyone you have to spend more than thirty minutes with, help them if you can. Who knows? You might meet your own saviour. Don’t know what to talk about? You could talk about the TV shows you watch, the cool blogs you visit on the net , the weather – hint hint : ).
Learn to be always positive, make sure people smile after talking to you.
7. A Skill Will Get You Farther Than A Certificate
What we recommend is that you pick up as many skills as possible, as long as you have a passion for it. Do not say “I am studying English Language, why do I need to learn HTML?” If you are computer major, take a couple of management trainings. It will help you in the long run. The skills you acquire do not necessarily have to be educational; you could learn tailoring, baking, programming, carpentry . . . anything. You never know when your minor skill will become your added advantage, or your primary source of income. Not only that, you will be able to converse with a larger variety of different people, plus it shows your employer that you are a fast and versatile learner.
8. Save Something – Anything
Start saving now and you’ll be setting the foundation of your financial future. There is always a need to save, even if it is the tiniest bit each month. Like we said earlier, life is expensive and the best way to be prepared is for you to start saving right now.
Whether it’s for a big purchase, an emergency or for your future, it’s important to have a little money to fall back to during rainy days. Trust us, those days will come.
9. You Are Going To Need Lots Of Hardwork
You are now a graduate, you no longer need to read through the night, attend boring lectures and write difficult examinations. Your life should be an easy pie from here. Right? Wrong. In fact, this is the time that you need to work harder than you imagined, if you want to be successful. Although you could relax; get a federal government appointment, and retire on your pension. This is perfect, if you want to be a mediocre. If you want to be among those that want to be successful, you are going to need a lot of brain work, stay up late at nights and lots of reading if you are going to be among the 1%. Even if your father is a billionaire, it’s a lot of hard work maintaining all that money.
10. Success Takes Time
After applying all these, do not expect to become a millionaire overnight, or in a week or in a month. Success takes time.
No matter the amount of hard work, Success takes time. If you are in a hurry to be successful, you will either fall prey to money swindlers or get yourself entangled in something highly illegal. Neither of them sounds good.
That’s all for now!
You don’t have to wait until you graduate to gain these little nuggets of wisdom. Put them to use! Then start collecting some of your own…
…..have something to add? Leave them in the comment section below…