A lot of people are looking for a job because this is one sure way of earning a steady income to pay for various living expenses. The class of 2014 might have a bigger reason to do so especially that WSJ.com shared that they have an average of about $33,000 in student loans to repay to private and federal lenders.
Securing a job and having an income every month relieves a lot of financial stress on your shoulders. You have the resources to cover your living expenses like rent or mortgage, food and utilities like water and electricity. You can also cover those phone bills and cable expenses and even your internet connection.
Looking for a job can also help you realize some of your financial goals in life. It can be that at a certain age you want to be paying down a house of your own rather than renting. Or that you want to be able to drive your own car rather than depending on public transportation or Uber. Your salary is your ticket to making sure that you have the resources to save up and pay for these expenses.
There are a couple essential money tips for new graduates but you need remember that having an income to speak of is a prerequisite to money management. There are some soon-to-be graduates who are already sending out job applications way before their graduation rites. They want to get a headstart and make sure that the companies view their resumes before the rest come pouring in.
There are also some people who are looking for a job through their contacts and network. They even approach the company where they had their internship with to see if they can be absorbed into a full-time employee. But for the others, job hunting is a scary situation to be in because it holds a lot of uncertainties in life.
Improving your success rate in job finding
For people who are still trying to land a job, here are some of the things that you can do help make the chore a little bit easier .
- Template resume. There are a lot of people who are guilty of this sin because they tend to save time and just blindly send out resumes that are all the same as they go looking for a job. Of course there will be parts that will remain the same all throughout like your educational background but there are ways to help make your credentials stand out. Do your research on the companies that you are trying to get into and see what experiences you can highlight that fits the type of work in the company.
- Dress appropriately for the interview. One way show that you are serious about the job opening is to know what to wear to a job interview. Coming in your most comfortable attire to make a statement might not work with the company you are trying to get into. As you go looking for a job, there are some who will say that you need to dress for the job that you want but not to the point that you get into debt because of clothes. Dress sensibly and more importantly be confident because it will show through in the interview.
- Add a few needed job skills. If you have done your research and you find out that you lack a few skills which can set you apart from the crowd, then take time to enroll in certificate courses or crash courses to help you gain an advantage.
- Pay attention to your online presence. More than the identity fraud problem, you need to make sure that your online presence can help your efforts of looking for a job. You might even get an invite for a possible job opening through some of them.
- Keep your spirits up. When you are already in your tenth interview in the last couple of months and you are just tired of it and just going through the motion, it will show and the person conducting the interview will sense it. Try to keep a positive outlook and always give your best effort every time especially during the interviews.
- Practice your interview skills. One way to be confident when it comes to interviews is to practice and practice. This can increase your confidence and can help you impress the interviewer.
- Keep your options open. When looking for a job and you get to the point that you are talking about the offer on hand, you might want to stay flexible and accept an offer that is lower than what you are expecting. The trade-off could come from various benefits being offered at the company or even how the performance assessments usually leads to an increase in salary.
What to do with the salary
Naceweb.org shares that the average salary for the class of 2014 stands at $45,473. Once you start making money, you might be overwhelmed and before you start thinking of the millions of ways to spend it, here are a few tips in handling your money.
- Increase your reserve funds. Once you are done looking for a job and enjoying a steady pay, know that nothing lasts forever and that you need to be prepared for emergencies. WIth this in mind, start putting in a decent amount for your emergency fund and rainy day fund to help get you through unexpected financial emergencies. Target about six to twelve-months worth of expenses and you should be ok.
- Look to pay off high interest debt. This usually refers to credit card debts because oftentimes they have the highest rate in your budget. Paying them off quickly can help you save money that otherwise would just go to interest payment.
- Max out 401(k) contributions. This is something that most young consumers might not think about because after looking for a job, the 401(k) could be the least of their concern. But the sooner you contribute and actually max it out every year, the more the compound interest has to work on in the years to come. It then becomes one form of passive income.
- Start saving for a college fund. If you went through college depending on student loans then you are in for a big payment amount once you start earning your own money. You can help prevent this cycle from happening to your children by putting up a college fund for their higher education. It will also lessen the chances of them having to ask you for college money.
Young consumers are usually short-sighted in the sense that they are taking life one step at a time. Their first order of business as soon as they leave school is to get a job to be able to pay for living expenses. They start living their life one financial decision at a time especially with the first paycheck but there are benefits at looking at the long-term needs.
After looking for a job and earning a steady income, there are a million and one ways to spend and use the money but the important thing is to be smart about it. Know that you will not be working forever or that you might encounter some emergencies along the way. These possibilities can help guide you in managing your finances.