Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Advice For Graduating Seniors

Be teachable.
Now that you have your degree in hand, you probably have a lot of confidence in yourself and your abilities.  This confidence can be a great asset as you move forward, but confidence can quickly turn into arrogance. Maintain a sense of humility and remember that there is still much you can learn in this world—if you allow yourself to be teachable.  Approach every person you meet as if you there is something you can learn from them (and there is), regardless of who they are from the president of the company you work for to the homeless person on the street.

Gain control of your online identity.
You are entering a tough job market, so it is important to use every advantage you can. Today, employers routinely google the names of job candidates to see if there are any red flags.  What would employers find about you? (Google your name and find out.)  If there is anything that would give an employer pause, get rid of it, if you can.  Another way to gain control of your online identity is for you to establish an online identity (before someone else does). As Lifehacker points out, you should have, at a minimum, a LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter account. Then get a landing page that consolidates this information.  Also, adjust your Facebook privacy settings and get an email address that is just your name (like firstname.lastname@statecollege.edu, not like 1coolsurferdude@statecollege.edu) that you use for job applications.

Don’t care about what you drive.
When you do get a job, the first big purchase that you’ve been looking forward to, most likely, is a new car. Taking out a big loan, though, can constrain your pocketbook and bring you a lot of stress in the long term. If you need a car, buy used or buy new and keep it for 10 years (at least). And don’t worry so much about image. If you’re trying to buy a vehicle that is popular with your peers, you will pay a premium for it. Additionally, find a good mechanic, and if they say something needs fixed, fix it. A good mechanic will keep your car running smooth for a long time.

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