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How to help your college graduate adjust to real life
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How to help your college graduate adjust to real life

College graduation marks the end of a wondrous chapter and the beginning of a new life. College was a time for friends, late night cram sessions and homework. However, once you have that degree, the quest for a “grown-up” job begins and in this economy, that can be challenging.

I remember when my college graduation was quickly approaching, and I needed a plan. My life plan stopped at college graduation, and then I was uncertain. I knew I needed to find a job to support my little family while my husband continued with his education. However, facing the job market was scary and stressful. I knew I needed a good job but being a recent college graduate meant my experience was limited.

If your son, daughter or spouse has just graduated from college, you can help them adjust to real life instead of the life of textbooks and finals. You can help them find success without being too overbearing and forceful. Here are a few suggestions to help your college graduate adjust to real life.

Dress the part

College meant jeans and t-shirts. It wasn’t uncommon to see students walk into class looking like they just rolled out of bed. Life after college means looking a little more presentable. Encourage your graduate to own a nice business-attire outfit for job interviews. If her career requires her to dress up each day, coax her into spending money on professional-looking clothing. If he can wear jeans to work, help him understand it is still important to look presentable and not sloppy. Your appearance makes a large impression on yourself and your work.

Establish a financial plan

Life after college means one thing for many graduates, the payments on student loans begins. To help pay off student loans in a timely manner, it is important to sit down with your college graduate and establish a financial plan. Take a look at his income and expenses and figure out a way to cover all his needs. Also, always make sure to put money away for savings. And if you don’t have the income to make ends meet, sacrifice. Downsize in housing, less fast food, or selling a vehicle may all be options to help cover the growing expenses of reality.

Utilize your network

When looking for a potential job, network, network, network. Social media is an excellent tool to reach out to individuals in a specific career. Ask social media contacts if they know about any job openings or if they can provide any advice when job hunting. Also, encourage your graduate to use any contacts made throughout their college years. Sometimes word of mouth and knowing someone is all it takes to land a life-changing job.

Don’t become lazy

College is a busy time, particularly if the student is taking a full course load and working a part-time or full-time job. After college, before finding a career, it is easy to get into the mentality that you deserve a break. However, sometimes this break lasts longer than it should, and finding a job becomes more and more difficult. Don’t let your graduate take advantage of you by providing for their needs financially or physically. Help your college graduate get some rest after their great accomplishment but then push them to begin a career and find success.

Graduating from college is a remarkable achievement but afterwards, stepping into the real world can be intimidating. However, with some help, you can help your graduate be successful and adjust easily to the new life ahead of him.