By the time you have left college, you will feel like you deserve a well-earned rest. Assuming you have worked hard over the last 3-4 years – or more – the chances are that you have done well, and are now looking forward to a good career in any area you choose.

Sadly, while the benefits of having a college degree are there for all to see, once you leave things can be tricky. You are up against a lot of competition, and if you don’t get started in your career quickly, you risk losing a lot in terms of opportunities and, most importantly, lifetime earnings.

With this in mind, we’re going to take a look at some of the things you should consider for your post-grad life. Read on to find out how to maximize your post-college potential.

Work on your marketability

Even if you were the leading light in your class, unfortunately, the college landscape doesn’t quite match the job market. You need to work on your marketability to prove to employers you are worth a shot. Whatever subject you are qualified in, the truth is that you need to show creativity and innovation in everything you do if a top career is your goal. You could start off by building a website, to give a central platform to show off what you can do. Make use of social media, too – it can show off your experience, character, and personality.

Network like crazy

Like it or not, your career can often be defined by who you know, rather than what you know. It’s why some of the brightest but least socially-skilled students can sometimes suffer when they eventually leave academia – and, indeed, return to it. Make a big effort to keep your connections with fellow postgraduates, and make friends everywhere in every job role you take.

Stay at college

In some cases, it’s worthwhile trying to find employment straight away after college, but in others, it’s a good idea to flesh out your qualifications with a little more depth. If you intend to work in academia, then a Ph.D. is an opportunity you shouldn’t turn down. If you plan on moving into business, something like an online MBA can help you refine and increase your knowledge. And of course, whichever career you end up in, there will be opportunities for further learning – your education should never stop when you get your degree. Don’t forget, there will be things you learn when you are 21 that will be completely outdated by the time you are 31 – you have to keep in touch with new thinking.

Be sensible with money

When you have been a broke student for half of your life, getting a job and a regular paycheck can be an immense experience. But try to avoid getting too overwhelmed and ‘spendy.’ Be sensible. Start paying into a retirement fund. Use your extra money to pay off your student loans. Build up a savings pot for emergencies. Enjoy your new money, of course – but put everything you can into things that will benefit your future.

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