Graduating from university, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, can be nerve-wracking. To the Class of 2020, know that you are not alone. As college students from across the globe step into the daunting yet exciting world of adulthood know that you’ll be faced with a whole host of opportunities and new challenges. Fret not – this transition can be a whole lot easier with these tips.
Cast Your Net Wide
It’s easy to get tunnel vision for a single sector or company you’d like to work for in your pursuit of a “dream job”. However, life comes with a host of opportunities – both expected and unexpected.
For example, if you graduated with a degree in software engineering, don’t apply to just Google, but cast your net wider to a variety of technology firms. In addition, don’t just look at one industry – you might also like to consider other industries like healthcare, which is teeming with opportunities especially during this crisis, as the industry turns to digital alternatives.
Think wide, rather than just deep. You’ll have the next few years of your career to go deeper into the industry or sector of choice!
During these uncertain times, especially when you’re fresh out of school without a job opportunity in hand yet, it’s wise to keep track of your expenses and to reduce expenses as necessary. Know that this is just a season, a transition phase, that will not last forever. But it would help to keep up a document via the Planner Bee App to manage your expenses in advance.
As a start, plan for essentials like food and drinks, regular bills such as your phone (not forgetting your Spotify and Netflix monthly subscriptions!), as well as setting aside a sum for potential up-skilling – invest in a course related to the job opportunity or sector you desire to join. There are also available government grants for you to tap into, where certain courses might be subsidized.
Use Your Time Wisely By Volunteering
During this precious time of transition where you have lots of free time on hand and are waiting for a job opportunity to come by, you can consider volunteering opportunities. There are so many ways to give back to society and make an impact in your immediate community, especially during this time of crisis.
Be observant and attentive to the needs of your community in whatever capacity that you might be able to serve in. For example, you could reach out to your Group Representation Constituency (GRC) via the Community Centre to inquire on areas of volunteering. There are also plenty of Non-Profit Organizations out there, which cater to different segments of society. You can pick one based on your area of interest as well as skill level.
You’d be surprised to find out how much you can learn from volunteering in your community! Most of all, it’s a change of perspective that could impact your life for good, and be an experience you won’t forget.
Be Open to Virtual Networking Opportunities
Network. Even while social events might not be available in large groups in-person, there are plenty of webinars and networking events via Zoom or other online networks, which allow you to meet different people from various industries and interest groups. This is a great way to put yourself out there by meeting new people digitally, as well as learning more about topics of interest.
It takes only a few clicks to check out the different communities available out there. When you take the first step, you really never know where it might lead you!
Save up for an Emergency Fund
During these uncertain times, it’s even more important that you create an emergency fund out of your current as well as past savings – typically 3 months is recommended. But you may extend it to up to 12 months to create a deeper safety net for yourself, especially when it might take a longer time to land a job.
It might seem daunting at first to have to save up such a large sum of money, but you never know how small amounts of money saved up daily can really add up over time!
Back track your expenses and calculate how much liquid funds you’d need per month, and divide it up from there with your current savings. You then want to break it down into daily sums and from there, you can realistically work towards a certain fund for your future as backup! Planner Bee has a great article here on working out those sums.
Of course, we want to hope for the best, but also be ready for the worst. There is a sea of opportunities awaiting every one of you – you just need to set yourself an intentionally positive mindset every single day, have goals, and work towards them!
The future ahead remains bright – carpe diem: seize the day, and with a handful of practical tips, you’re ready to step foot into this exciting new chapter of life.