3 Must Do’s for a Recent Grad

Whether you just finished up that degree, or you are simply getting your feet wet in the wonderful (or not so much) world of working, there are some absolutely crucial steps you should take!

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If you are just recently finding yourself in the workplace, I would like to offer you a warm welcome. Yes, working 40, 50, 60+ hours a week kind of sucks (a lot), but with the right knowledge and tools in place, you won’t be stuck here forever!

Must Do #1 – Expand Your Network

“Your network is your net worth”

— Confucius

Okay that probably isn’t actually a Confucius quote but it is pretty wise.

All jokes aside, I am a big time believer that your network can carry you exponentially further than any schooling or skill set will. You could be brilliant and have every skill under the sun, unfortunately that just won’t get you far these days without a network.

Most entry level jobs – and I am going to generalize here based on my personal experience – will teach you 80%-90% of what you need to know once you start. College simply teaches you how to learn (of course there are some disciplines like Engineering and Medicine that this does not apply to). Your resumé won’t get your foot in the door the same way a connection will.

So what are some tangible steps you can take?

Go out of your way to get to know your coworkers

The people at the same level as you will be huge 5-10 years down the line. If you leave your company, odds are at least one of them will be there forever and it never hurts to have connections there in case you decide to come back.

Plus, they’ll likely have moved up a level or two in that time and will have some weight in decision making. Always good to have.

Make connections with people in other departments

Many career-advancing moves require linear jumps. These often can be brief, leading to an upward move, but having connections on other teams can give you a huge leg up in getting your foot in the door for a linear move. Not to mention, in many cases you will come across things in your current role that someone on another team is either an expert in or has experienced first hand and they can absolutely be a resource.

Become familiar with people above you (in a good way)

If you can find common ground with someone that is above your head, even 2-3 levels above your head, that can come in handy big time. An example of this? Say you find out that someone three levels above you has a kid in college, the same college you went to. Wear something with your college’s logo on it (professional) into work and make sure they see you, instant connection.

People love to tell you about themselves, find something you have in common and let them tell you about their experience with it.

Must Do #2 – Think Ahead (like, way ahead)

Retirement is probably the last thing on your mind, and that’s fine. Let me remind you, particularly after that first week of rush hour, that this is your golden ticket out of the game. Having enough money invested or streams of passive cash flow to allow you to hang up the boots and enjoy life is what we are after here.

Even if you want to continue to pursue work in some form or fashion, you’ll have the flexibility to do it on your terms if you set yourself up right.

Does your company offer an Employer Sponsored Plan?

This is a fancy way to say 401(k), 403(b) or one of the other retirement accounts you might be able to contribute to through your job. In many cases, companies offer a matching contribution which is one of the very few sources of free money in this world.

Want to retire early? You still need to focus on these retirement accounts that you will not be able to access until you are 59.5+ years old. Read this about Coast FIRE, this is extremely applicable here.

Roth IRA

Arguably my favorite retirement account for beginners. Tax-free money in retirement is extremely cool, you can contribute (as of this writing) $6,000 / year (more if you are over 50) of after tax money and when you go to use that money (after 59.5 with some exceptions) you do not have to pay taxes on it.

Want to learn more about Roth IRA’s? Everything you need to know is in this article!

Must Do #3 – Side Hustle

That first big kid job probably won’t pay extremely well. The best way, in my humble opinion, to change your financial situation is to simply increase your income. What a concept, right? Such a prolific thought.

Joking aside, you can only cut back expenses so much before you literally run out of expenses to cut, or your life just starts to suck. Doing anything you can to increase your income is going to be beneficial, particularly at this life stage.

Everyone is a Creator

I started this side hustle roughly 8.5 months ago and have already begun to develop a few streams of income through it. I don’t share my identity, I don’t spend 100 hours a week on it, and I truly enjoy doing it.

What’s even cooler is that I can see, quite clearly, the path to making some life changing money if I stick to it and refuse to give up.

Go start a blog, an Instagram, Twitter, YouTube channel! Pick a niche that you love talking about and become an expert (even if you already are one, always room for improvement). All you need is a way to access the internet, give it a year and your entrepreneurial venture will almost certainly be bringing in some nice coin!

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In Summary

If you’re just now joining us in the working world, you’ll get used to it (lol). Don’t get too comfy, life has so much more to offer and if you start now, you’ll have a lot more say in how you spend your 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! I truly appreciate it! As always, please do not hesitate to reach me, my contact information can be found here!


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