Planning for the Future: 6 Ways to Get Ahead When You’re a Recent College Grad Reply

If you’ve recently graduated from school, now is the time to start thinking about the future. You might be focused on landing that dream job, but what happens after that?

It’s important to think about this stuff as early as possible because finances can be a major source of stress further down the road. In some cases, those who haven’t carefully planned find themselves depressed (or worse). Having a plan in place will reduce your stress level and allow you to stay motivated, so take time to sit down and think about what your goals are. Financial planning may not be fun, but it’s a necessary part of life. Talk to people who have lived through it–your parents, grandparents, or an older friend–and get some advice on where to begin.

After that, use these 6 tips to start planning for the future

1. Explore your options

Now is the time to figure out what you really want when it comes to a job, a house, and a stable future. Do you want to do some traveling? Start saving for retirement? It’s all possible, but now is the time to strike. Look at your career options and don’t be afraid to take some risks.

“Your 20s really are the time to explore. Before you get married and before you have kids, you don’t have a lot of financial responsibilities,” says author Jean Chatzky.

2. Consider living rent-free

If it’s an option, consider living with your parents or other family members just after graduation. This is a short-term situation that could help you save money for a car or your first place. Just remember to stay motivated where money saving is concerned, otherwise you’ll get a little too comfortable and it will be harder for you to get out on your own.

3. Watch your credit

Your credit score might not mean much now, but when you’re ready to buy a house or a car, it will be a very important part of your life. If you have student loans, start paying them off as soon as possible and add a little extra to your monthly payment to get ahead. Credit cards should be used for big purchases or emergencies only to avoid running up debt. Taking care of your credit now means you’ll have much more stability in the future.

4. Make saving automatic

Saving money is much easier if you don’t even have to think about it, so consider investing in a 401(k) plan that your employer takes out of your paycheck. This means you’ll have a plan for retirement that requires no effort on your part, and since it’s taken right out of your check you won’t even miss it.

5. Have a backup plan

Even if you’ve already secured your dream job, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan just in case. Keep your resume updated and make connections with other people in your field so you can always have an ear to the ground. Even the best jobs can come with nasty surprises, or you may find that you just don’t enjoy it as much as you thought you would.

6. Earn extra money

Whether you already have a day job or are trying to score one, it may be necessary to earn a little extra money now and then, so consider putting your skills to use as a tutor, a babysitter, or a dog walker. You can start your own business making jewelry, or maintain a blog that earns money through ads.

Saving and planning for the future doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience; start with a plan and talk to some people who have been through it already to gain some insight. After that, it’s just a matter of staying focused.


Gloria runs WomenLed.org, which celebrates women’s achievements in the workplace and beyond. She believes that while women have made many advancements toward “shattering the glass ceiling,” there is still much to be done. It is her aim to help increase the number of women-led businesses by educating others about the topic.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

How To Help Improve Public Education While Earning Your Degree Reply

One of the best ways to prepare for a rewarding career is to complete a degree program in your chosen field. Whether you are planning to pursue a career in education or just have a desire to help people reach their full potential, students can promote higher education in a variety of ways. Consider these helpful tips to advocate higher education as an important necessity in today’s competitive economy.

Higher Education Websites

Creating a website to promote higher education is an excellent way to inform the general public about the advantages of earning a college degree. Students can use website builders such as Weebly or Wix at no additional cost. Many website builders come with templates that makes it easier to create content. It’s important to explain how higher education can help people achieve career goals as well as provide helpful ways to finance the cost of college.

Utilize Social Media

Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter have gained popularity in recent years. Promoting higher education from your social media websites is a quick and easy way to reach large audiences. Common ways to advocate higher learning include posting articles and links for people interested in continuing their education. Students can also create blogs on various education topics or share personal experiences of how higher education changed their life.

Guest Speaking and Networking

Students can use their communication skills to help promote higher education. It’s important to encourage friends and relatives to continue their education. Education can also be a great conversation topic when meeting new people. Many students volunteer as a guest speaker at a local high school to help young people prepare for college. Common speaking topics include general admission requirements and tuition assistance programs. Students can also attend networking events and career fairs to promote public education.

Higher Education Careers

A career in higher education administration is an excellent occupation for people with a passion to help others succeed. According to the Washington Post, the career outlook for higher education administrators is positive and stable. A masters in higher education administration is offered at colleges such as Abilene Christian University. These degree programs cover topics related to diversity issues, student development, and conflict resolution.

Students can make a difference in their community by promoting higher education. Creating a website or posting to social media is a great way to advocate public education. People can also volunteer as guest speaker at local schools or pursue a professional career in higher education administration.


 

 

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter  or Facebook.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Top 4 Reasons a Medical Degree Is an Excellent Education Choice Reply

When a child gets asked about what they’d like to be when they grow up, a common answer is a doctor. When the follow-up question is asked, a child usually reasons that doctors help people. This is what makes this career path attractive to many. Well, this is true. Doctors do a lot to help people and a medical degree is an excellent educational choice to consider if you’d like to work in health care. There are plenty of reasons why it’s a great idea to pursue a medical degree as an educational option. Consider these four.

1. Positive Contribution

With a medical degree, you’ll be in a perfect position to give back to the world in a very palpable way. When people are in dire need of improved physical health, they’ll do almost anything to regain it. As a professional with a medical degree, you’ll get equipped with the expertise needed to help people resolve physical ailments and find solutions.

2. Mental Expansion

Getting into medical school is no easy feat. You’ll need to study and prepare for the MCAT. You’ll also need excellent grades in biology, chemistry and other science-related classes. You’ll need to learn to retain a ton of important information. Through this process, there’s no doubt whether or not your knowledge base will increase.

The medical school will naturally expose you to new lessons and a better understanding of how to approach the healthcare industry. You’ll also become an expert in your specific specialty. While medical school may be stressful and time-consuming, it’ll definitely expand your mind.

3. Personal Achievement

In society, certain careers are respected more than others. Doctors and lawyers are some of the most respected. Most people appreciate the amount of studying and work that goes into graduating with a medical degree. When you walk into a room and have letters behind your name, people will naturally perceive and approach you differently.

4. Professional Development

A medical degree is a great choice because it prepares you for the future. As the job market continues to shift and change, there will always be a need for medical professionals. Whether you choose a bachelor’s degree in sonography online, or you prefer ophthalmology or pediatrics, someone will always be in need of your specialty. Knowing this allows you to feel more freedom to focus on professional development and honing in on your craft.

There’s nothing like knowing that you’ve chosen a field that’s personally gratifying and enriching. If the thought of med school intrigues and excites you, do your best to give it your all and pursue this option.


About the author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. Anica is a writer for Ohio University, which offers a range of degrees including an online master’s in athletic administration.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

5 Degrees That Can Help You Combine Everything You Love Reply

It is estimated that only 13 percent of the American workforce loves what they do. This is no way to live life, so consider the five following degrees that can combine work with what you love.

Communications Degree

Approximately 87 percent of people that work from home are happier than those that do not. This is likely due to the fact that you get to set your own schedule, and you can spend more time with your family. A telecommunications degree might help you achieve this goal though this is just one option.

Health Care

Some people feel good when they make a positive impact on others. One field that can provide you with the opportunity to help others is the health care field, which makes a health administration master’s degree a good choice. Something like this is especially a good choice if you are interested in the business world as well as the world of healthcare. It really is amazing how many degrees mix topics like this.

The Business World

Some people out there simply cannot deal with others telling them what to do. This is where a business degree might come in handy. This type of education gives you the tools to start your own business so that you can be in charge and, ultimately, be a lot happier. Sure, it may take a lot of work to get a business off the ground, but a person who desires to work on their own will be happier with this challenge than working under others.

Philosophy of Economics

An economics degree may be the right choice for those who are interested in learning how the economy works. This type of degree can open up all sorts of opportunities such as politics, law, or even a position in the business world. It is the kind of degree that can lead to various types of careers just in case you are not sure what you want.

Environmental Degree

You may be one of those people who are interested in finding a way to help humanity as a whole, which means that a job in agriculture might be the right choice. This encompasses information about biology, humanity, politics, and agricultural science. You might end up working for a company working to solve world hunger, and everyone wants to be in the forefront of that problem.

There is no doubt that there are other degrees that might satisfy the true calling of your soul. The key is to ask yourself what you really want, and look for degrees that can help put you where you really want to be.


Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys tennis and spending time with her family. Kara recommends looking into diplomacy programs for more information on degrees that can help save the world.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Your Social Profile and Your Career Reply

Kiev, Ukraine - January 11, 2016: Background of famous social media icons such as: Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Linkedin, Tumblr, Myspace and others, printed on paper.

Repeat after me:

All of social media matters. Facebook. Flickr. Instagram. Pinterest. Medium. Linkedin. Snap Chat. Twitter. Vimeo. YouTube. These sites and others are important in a job search. Without the boring, parental or punitive tone, let’s quickly explore why. Over the last few years social media has become more of a factor in candidates being excluded from consideration.

And even if ones’ profile is password protected, I’ve seen that go south rather quickly. Having supported some of the best brands on the planet, it is not foreign to request login credentials. Worst, there are websites that archive social media traffic and portray your digital contributions and pictures oftentimes unknowingly.  I know that cruel internet.

All things considered, this is a critical time for you. You, your parents and other family members have invested resources and time in this educational journey. All of such so that you might secure a fantastic new role with a promising organization. The last thing you’d want is to be denied consideration based on your social media footprint. Let’s rethink your next post.

So before you fire off that resume or pop up for the next scheduled interview, let’s assume everything can and/or will be seen by the person you are scheduled to meet. As a Recruiter, I put each candidate through a quick social media forensic exercise. Here’s what we look for:

Linkedin

  • Photo should be clean, professional, visible – captured via camera if possible
  • Profile should be complete, include details, and paint a picture of who you are
  • Contact information of some sort should be visible – a social media handle or other

Instagram

  • Post pictures that are not offensive or frowned upon by the employer
  • Be conscious of who you follow and or whose pictures you “like” in the process
  • Algorithms are always tweaked too the advantage of the host – not you – be mindful

Twitter

  • Measure your emotion in those 140 characters – don’t always hit send (immediately)
  • Use tools to distribute thoughtful updates and filter questionable content
  • Respect that social recruiting (follows, hashtags, likes, etc) are methods of finding you

Soundcloud

  • Record a crisp introduction to be shared via email/social media with employers
  • Briefly cover defining characteristics, an impact example(s) and contact information
  • Separate yourself from the average job seeker that sits at a keyboard and hits enter

I’m not suggesting you can’t have fun, or post incredible pictures from an office party, or holiday weekend. In fact, I encourage that. I’m asking that you reconsider if the post or tweet will have any potential impact on your mission. I’m suggesting to you that as a recruiter, I’m able to uncover more about you with your email address than you might know.

I’m saying think twice – tweet that. Truth is, a part of your brand will be created through your decision to say no. Progress require a critical injection of confidence and an elevated level of awareness beyond these artificial boundaries of acceptance established by others. Try this slogan: I’m comfortable is the old 20!


About Torin Ellis:

Human Capital Strategist // Interview Architect // Diversity Maverick // Engaging and high spirited. Creative, high voltage, ready to pursue results. Author of Rip The Resume available on petersons.com and where books are sold.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

3 Tips for Looking Ahead to Post-Graduation Before You’ve Applied Reply

GraduatesThere’s a slew of articles coming out now concerning the class of 2014 graduating from college. The articles talk about the issues they face, important facts of this class, and more. This article, in particular, paints a bleak picture of what faces these students post graduation.

Upon reading that, any number of reactions make sense. “It’s not worth going to college if I’m going to graduate with debt and unable to find a job,” goes one line of thinking. “I need to devote the entirety of my collegiate plans to making sure I’ll be able to get a good job after,” goes another.

So, what should you take away from this article? How should you look ahead to your post-graduation life? And how should it affect your college planning now, especially if you’re a junior in high school just getting started?

More…