As you’re setting yourself up for your dream career, you will find that most everyone has some sort of advice to share. If you’re wise, you will listen to advice from successful people and try to make the most of it. Here is an infographic showing some of the best advice from the show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee:

 

Life Lessons from Comedians

Please include attribution to thezebra.com with this graphic.

 

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The best employees (as in, the ones who get promoted) are unwaveringly responsible. If you want to hold a job and craft a career, you have to prove that you’re dependable and accountable.

Most responsible people know that they’re responsible because they feel the giant weight that comes with being accountable. Keeping your commitments is vital to your success, but it’s easy to over commit, too. 

If you’re wondering whether or not you’re responsible enough to make it in the workplace, try this quiz!

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Quiz: How Responsible are You? #quiz #responsible #career #adulting

One of the biggest threats to you reaching your career goals is peer pressure, so you have to learn how to navigate it right now so it doesn’t derail your career. This is true no matter where you are on your career path, but if you’re still in college, you need to figure out how to quell your desire for peer acceptance right now.

When you’re in college, your focus should be on earning decent grades, finding the right internships, networking, running a side hustle, or otherwise setting yourself up for career success after you graduate. Your eye should be on the prize and not on becoming the campus-wide beer pong champion.

At the very least, don’t fall into these peer pressure, career-derailing traps while in college:

Cutting class

We all have that one friend that loves to cut class. They always have something fun and exciting to do that’s a lot more tantalizing than sitting in class listening to another boring lecture. Unfortunately, cutting class is one of the biggest mistakes college freshmen make and it’s not just freshmen who make this bad decision. In your senior year, where you should be focused entirely on networking and making sure you have a job when you graduate, a lot of college students ditch class for dumb reasons.

When you feel the urge to cut class, remember that classes are temporary. You’ll soon graduate and never have to worry about grades or lectures again. Live in the moment that you’ve crafted for career success and get to class.

Rock ‘n Roll All Night, and Party Every Day

Don’t fall into the party trap. We get it—you are surrounded by parties in college, especially on the weekends. It’s fine to let loose once in awhile, but beware your lowered inhibitions while drinking. Your friends might convince you to do some very stupid things, like drinking and driving. Before you know it, you’re facing a DUI charge, and having to hire a defense attorney like those found at martinandkent.com to fight your corner.

Instead, when friends are pressuring you to party when you really should be studying, interning, networking, and planning for your career, just say “no.” You likely won’t remember the party later anyway, so you’re not missing out on as much as you think.

Breaking the Rules

Navigating your career will mean sometimes playing by the rules and other times breaking every single rule to disrupt an industry. Knowing when to break the rules comes with maturity, bravery, and clear vision.

However, breaking rules while in college can get you expelled, which is super tough to explain to an employer. We get it—your dorm mate snuck in a hot plate, or wants to sneak in boys after curfew. As you can see from www.noodle.com, overnight visitors are usually a no-go. They can get you kicked out of the dorm, and possibly the entire university.

The point is, if you’re in college, now is the time to learn to say “no” when peers ask you to do things you know are wrong. In the real world, you will be asked to do things you know are wrong, too. Learn to say “no” early so you have a solid career later!

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Don't let Peer Pressure Trash your College Education or Career - #college #career #peerpressure #justsayno

It’s that time of year again when students up and down the country prepare to sit exams and finish their school and college courses. If you’re due to make the leap from college to the career ladder in the coming months or you’ve just started your first job, hopefully, you’ll find this guide useful. Here are some tips to make the transition as seamless as possible and some steps you can take to enhance your career prospects.  

Take advantage of advice and support

Many students are anxious about leaving the bubble that is college and stepping out into the big wide world. It’s not easy to find a job, and it’s very common to attend graduation without really knowing what you want to do next. If this scenario sounds familiar, don’t panic. Use the time you have available to take advantage of career advice and any programs or workshops that are designed to prepare you for that next step. Look into the options that are open to you. Whether you need help with interview skills or you’re anxious about what to do next, and it’s making you feel stressed, there is help out there.

Work on your resume

If you’re leaving school or college, and you plan to get a job, you may have already started firing off applications. Before you go any further, take a moment to have a good look at your resume. A resume is a summary that should sell you and showcase your skills, abilities, and character traits. Make sure your resume is concise and snappy, and tailor it to each individual job description. If you’ve applied for a lot of jobs, and not had any success, it’s worth seeking advice and trying to improve your resume. Try and ensure that your resume stands out. Employers are often faced with a pile of papers, and you don’t want your application to fade into the background. What can you offer that is different to other candidates, and what makes you unique? Have you traveled? Do you volunteer? Are you multilingual? Have you overcome adversity to shine at college?

Learn on the job

If you’re lucky enough to land the job you want, take every opportunity to develop, learn, and enhance your prospects. Most of us have a desire to progress, and taking advantage of training courses can make all the difference when it comes to climbing the career ladder. If you teach children, for example, you may have opportunities to learn from on-site training at Project TEAM, which covers aspects such as social interaction, encouraging teamwork and cooperation, and preventing bullying. If you’re on a sales team and you have grand plans to lead the department, look at courses on conflict resolution or improving morale. No matter where you begin your career, there are likely to be opportunities that could shape your career and help you move in the right direction.

Are you getting ready to leave school or college, or have you recently taken that first step onto the career ladder? It can be daunting to enter the world of work, but it’s also a very exciting time. Hopefully, this guide has provided some useful advice, and you’ll be climbing that ladder in no time.

No one wants to experience a loss of income. Depending on how much you earn and how much you lose, it could mean that you end up struggling financially or it could just mean a hit to your savings. However it affects you, it’s better to prevent it if you can.

All kinds of things could affect your income, from being unable to work to having an investment go wrong. If you want to avoid losing money, it’s best to be prepared for any situation. You can prepare for almost anything, even situations completely out of your control. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself.

1. Know Your Employment Rights under the Law

It’s always smart to know what your rights are when you’re employed. You should know they ways the law protects you, and the ways the law doesn’t protect you, so that you can prepare for any situations when it might not be on your side.

For example, in most states in the US, you can be fired for almost any reason at all. However, there are protections for employees to prevent discrimination on the basis of gender, race, and other factors. As well as knowing the general law, you should check your employment contract to see what protections it might offer you.

2. Choose Supportive Employers

Everyone knows that there are good employers and others that aren’t so good. You don’t always have a great choice between employers, but when you are able to be more selective, it’s worth looking for an employer who takes care of their employees.

Many employers recognize the value in treating their employees well and offering them various protections or allowances. For example, you might look for an employer that offers flexible working hours, which can be useful if you’re a parent. You should also look for an employer that offers disability insurance, which can protect you in the long-term if you become disabled.

3. Understand What to Do After an Injury at Work

Your employer needs to have worker’s compensation insurance, which protects both you and them if you are injured at work. It’s important to know how this helps you and what you should do after a work injury.

Worker’s compensation helps you to recover the financial loss an injury might have caused. If the insurer doesn’t come through, you can get in touch with a firm like mcmahanlawfirm.com today and take legal action. If you sue the insurance provider, you’re not suing your employer, and you shouldn’t lose your job. Suing can help you avoid losing income due to your injury.

3. Stay Healthy to Avoid Sick Days

It’s impossible to completely avoid ever getting ill. We all catch coughs and colds, and common illnesses like the flu or stomach viruses can hit us hard too. Even if you live a very healthy lifestyle, an illness can always come out of nowhere, whether it affects you for just a few days or for months or even years.

However, staying healthy can make getting ill less likely. You can support your immune system and avoid behaviors that could cause serious or chronic illnesses. For example, not smoking can help you avoid long-term diseases like cancer and heart disease. Eating a healthy diet may help you avoid diabetes. In the short term, a balanced diet can boost your immune system and help you fight short-term illnesses like colds and the flu.

4. Make Childcare Arrangements in Advance

Juggling work and being a parent is tough. Even when your child is at school all day, and perhaps even at an after-school program after, there are unexpected things that can happen. If your child is ill or injured or their school unexpectedly closes for the day, you need to make other arrangements. Having a supportive employer can help with this, but it’s also useful to try and make plans before anything happens. Know who could look after your child if they can’t go to school so you don’t have to take a last-minute day off.

5. Always Be Prepared to Look for Work

Losing your job can be devastating, but it’s often unavoidable. If you’re going to be out of work, you don’t want to be for long. That’s why it’s a good idea to always be prepared to look for a new job. Even if you feel secure in your current position, you never know when things might change.

If you want to be ready to find a new job as soon as possible, keep your resume up to date. Continue working on your professional development, even when it’s not necessary for your current role. And maintain a network of professional contacts so that you can reach out to people for advice, recommendations and tip-offs about jobs.

$49 Resume Makeover

6. Manage Investments Carefully

Investments are another form of income that can benefit you both now and in the future. But if an investment goes wrong, it could upset your financial plans. It’s especially annoying if an investment is paying out a regular income that you’ve been using for daily expenses.

It’s always important to be cautious with investments, but it’s especially wise not to rely on them as a main source of income. If you only have a few investments, one of them going wrong could have a huge effect on your budget. Manage your risk carefully by hiring a wealth adviser, and it will help you avoid any real disasters. Investing is a good way to increase your income, but only if you get it right.

If you want to protect yourself against a loss of income, you need to be prepared. If you’re prepared for anything, it will be less of an impact if something unexpected happens.

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6 Ways to Avoid a Loss of Income - #manageinvestments #layoff #sickdays #resume #career #careeradvice

We all have goals in life, but most people don’t reach them, even if they’re capable of doing so. In many instances, it comes down to something as simple and straightforward as inspiration. If you don’t feel inspired, you don’t feel as motivated. And that’s when it becomes hard for you to do the work required to reach your goals in life, regardless of what they are.

So how do you find that inspiration when you’re not sure where to look for it? It’s a tricky question to answer, but there are many ways to approach it if you want to get this right. We’re going to talk to you about some of the very best ways to find inspiration in life when you’re lacking it and don’t know what to do next. Read on and then apply some of the ideas you learn about to your own life so you can hit the heights you deserve to in the years ahead.

Read Other People’s Success Stories

Rather than being jealous about other people success stories, you should try to take inspiration from them instead. If someone else has achieved what you can want to achieve, that should spur you on because or proves your goals are more than possible. So read about the success other people have had if it’s in some way relevant to the success you want to achieve going forward. It’ll give you a little boost as you start your day and prove to you that anything is possible.

Work on Your Own Confidence

A lack of confidence can really hold you back when you’re trying to achieve things and work towards your aims in life. If you’ve always lacked confidence in life, it’s easy to assume that that’s just the way it’ll always be but that’s not necessarily true for you. You can work on your confidence with the right coaching and training. People take you much more seriously when you come across as confident. Keep working on this until you eventually get your confidence levels to where they need to be.

Keep Reading and Learning

Inspiration can come in many forms, and learning is one way to tap into it. When you learn new things, you can feel invigorated and empowered like never before, so don’t shy away from the chance to pick up new knowledge and expand what you know. Keep reading and pursuing new knowledge because it might serve you well and become a source of inspiration for you. You won’t necessarily feel inspired every time you pick up a book, but the times you are should leave a lasting impact.

Listen to the Right People

In life, some people are really positive and others are very negative. You should be careful about which of these groups of people you listen to because you want to be influenced by positive people with positive words because they’re the ones that are going to inspire you. These might be individuals around you or uplifting organizations such as American Snippets. What really matters most is that you’re listening to the right people and not the wrong people, whoever those people might be.

Banish Procrastination

Procrastination is always the enemy when you’re trying to work towards specific goals in life. So this is one thing that should definitely be banished from your life. It sucks you into a pit of nothingness, and that makes it impossible for you to pick up inspiration and get motivated. So if this is something that you know you’re particularly susceptible to, you should take active steps to reduce the amount of procrastinating you do each day.

Look to the Past

History is littered with successful people who have achieved success against the odds, so don’t hesitate to look back in time when you need a bit of inspiration to get you on the right track towards your life goals once more. There might be a few historical figures that you end up feeling an affinity with and taking inspiration from. And there’s nothing wrong with that. We all can and should learn a lot from the many lessons of history as we progress in life.

Set Some Specific Goals and Remind Yourself of Them Each Day

For your goals to be attainable, they first need to be as specific as they can be. Don’t leave yourself working towards vague goals that can be interpreted in a million different ways because that’s never going to create the outcomes you want from all this. When you have specific goals, you should remind yourself of them each day too. Some people do this by having some kind of photo or display on their on their wall at work so they can see what it is they’re working towards.

Spend Time Alone With Your Thoughts

Spending time alone is important when you’re on a singular path towards your life goals. When you’re always surrounded by other people, it can be really hard to clear your mind and think for yourself. You’ll be surprised by how much inspiration you can get from your inner self, so make the most of it. You’ll come back much more focused and clear-headed if you do take this time to be alone with your thoughts.

Be Inspired By Your Competition

If you’re chasing a promotion at work and there’s someone else who’s doing the same, you should try to take inspiration from them. Just because you’re trying to beat them, that doesn’t mean you can’t also learn from them and take inspiration from their successes and strengths. There’s something you can learn from absolutely anyone out there, and that’s something you shouldn’t forget.

Reaching your biggest and most important goals in life is not always easy. In fact, it’s usually not easy at all. But you’ll enjoy the journey and get there much faster if you feel motivated and inspired every day of the week. So, make the most of these tips to help you achieve that inspiration.

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How to Find Inspiration to Reach Your Goals When You Feel Unmotivated - #motivation #goals #careers

We post a lot about side hustles and making extra money through entrepreneurship, but sometimes saving money can be as good as making more money. In The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas Stanley and William Danko talk about how one of the biggest groups of self-made millionaires got that way not by making a ton of money, but rather by saving it. Can you guess which group they’re talking about?

It’s teachers. A lot of life-long teachers retire quite well, and we all know teachers earn laughable paychecks. They retire well because they know how to save, and they manage their money by making solid decisions every day.

You, too, can retire rich by thinking through your day-to-day purchases and managing your money like an adult rather than a toddler in a candy store. Here are 22 ways to save up to $10,000 this year: 

1. Set a Budget

Set a budget

The number one way you are wasting money is not sticking to a budget. When pinching pennies, the best tip is to look at your bills and income to see how you can change your spending habits. You can cut everything non-essential and still not have extra cash if you don’t set a budget.

When our family moved from two incomes to one, it was a huge adjustment. But, because we sat down looked at our bills (electric, phones, and mortgage only) we could see clearly how much we had left to spend on food and gas. Nothing else! Yes, there were many nights we had Raman noodles and grilled cheese. Now we can afford the occasional dinner out (with water to drink) along with a few extras like Netflix.

2. Create a Shopping List

Create a list

Now that you set a food budget the best way to stick to it is to make a shopping list. This will keep you on your budget and keep you from impulse buying.

Pro Tip: Use the smartphone you likely have in your pocket for more than just taking selfies--use it to make a shopping list. #savemoney #grocerybudget #manageyourmoney #iPhone Click To Tweet

In fact, if you have an iPhone, all you have to do is say, “Hey Siri, put milk on my shopping list” and she will do it for you. Many smartphones have similar features. You can also text a list to yourself. While it may be strange texting yourself, it makes for a convent list.

3. Limit impulse buying

Limit impulse buying

Buying an item when you don’t need it is impulse buying. If you have a good working cell phone, there is no need to update it to a more expensive one. Instead of buying an item, try the 30-day challenge. Write the item you want on a piece of paper, along with the place you found it and its price. In 30 days if you still need the item, return and make the purchase. If you decide you do not need the item, just recycle the paper.

Pro Tip: the vast majority of the items you need are located on the outer walls of any given store. By not venturing into the middle of the store you limit the amount of impulse buying. Click To Tweet

4. Drink Less Alcohol

Drink less alcohol

Drinking alcohol on the weekend could cost you $1000 a year, or more. If you drink and drive (Never drink and drive!) a DUI can cost upwards of $10,000 and negatively impact your career. By cutting out alcohol (or cutting back to just one drink per week), you may also cut healthcare expenses. Drinking alcohol can lead to alcoholism and cause liver disease. 

5. Kick Your Soda Habit

Kick your soda habit

Sodas are a better choice of drink, budget-wise, than alcohol; however, sodas can set you back about $300 a year per person. In a family of four, that can add up to $1200 or more!

The best choice for enjoying inexpensive sodas, and improving their quality, is investing in a soda stream. You can flavor your soda any way you please and save the extra money. For example, we make cherry limeaids with by adding a couple tablespoons of cherry syrup and a squeeze of lime to carbonated water. It tastes better than anything you get at Sonic, and it costs about 15 cents for a 16 ounce serving. 

Of course, switching to water saves the most money because it’s free. Add a piece or two of your favorite fruit to water for flavoring. Studies have shown that drinking more water increases your productivity and focus.

6. Cut the Cord

Cut cable

If you are still holding on to cable, it’s time to cut the cord. On average, cable bills are $100-$200 per month–that’s $1200-2,400 per year. Hulu costs $13.52, or $162 a year. Netflix is $13.99 or 167.88/year. Amazon Prime is $120 a year. DirectTV Now is $35 a month or $420 per year. You could have all four services for $870 a year and save $330.

Pro tip: if you invest in the DirectTV Now, you will not need Hulu or Netflix subscriptions–it’s just like having cable.  You could save even more!

7. Use Energy Efficient Bulbs

Use Energy efficient bulbs

One cost saving a lot of money gurus overlook is modernizing your light bulbs. Often, people do not change old-style bulbs until they go out, but waiting is costing you money. LED lighting is the most energy-efficient lighting on the market, and the bulbs last 8-16 years!  Energy.gov states “By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $75 each year.” 

8. Eat at Home

Eat at home

On average, eating out costs $13 per person. Eating at home averages a cost of $5 per person. That’s a savings of $7 per person, per meal! For a family of four that only eats out once a month, that’s a savings of almost $400/year.

One of our favorite cookbooks is Rachel Ray’s 365: No Repeats 30-Minute Meals. It’s a steal at just $6.99 on Kindle! 

If you do eat out, make sure to look for coupons or use the in-store rewards card.

9. Drink Water While Out

Drink water while out

When we cut out our soda drinking, it also changed our bill when we saved up to go out to eat. On average, a soda at a restaurant costs about $2-3 per person. Water is free. With 2 people that is an automatic savings of $4. For a family of four, it’s $8. Alcohol is much more expensive in restaurants. It’s easier and more cost effective to skip it. 

10. Watch movies at home

Watch movies at home

Waiting until a movie leaves theater can save you $10 per person. By watching at home, you can enjoy many benefits. You can wear your PJs, save on concessions, avoid rude people singing the songs or texting through the movie, and you can pause the screen at a moment’s notice. Best of all, there are no previews.

If you absolutely must see the latest move in theater, check out matinee tickets. These are tickets usually for shows that start before 4 pm and cost about $5 per person. If you choose this option, skip the concession, as it’s a money waster.

11. Brew Coffee at Home

Brew coffee at home

Let’s face it–we all know “you can’t live” without your morning cup of coffee. Starbucks coffee costs $1-$6 per cup. Dunkin Donuts is $1-$4. That’s almost $2000 a year for one cup of coffee per day. Instead, invest in a Ninja Coffee Brewer System. These systems are easy to use, and you can recreate your favorite coffee for pennies. If you are into cold brews, invest in a French Press. Enjoying your coffee at home will also save you time. You will not have to wait in line or rush out the door forgetting important items. Saving time also saves money.

12. Stash Some Cash

Stash some cash

Paying to receive cash back from a store or ATM is costing you money. Banks can charge between $1-$4 per transaction. One way to save money is to keep $20 cash on you or in a hiding spot in your car. This money can come in handy in an emergency situation or if you find yourself at a cash-only location.

13. Use your Library Card

Use your library card

If you are an avid reader, instead of spending $15 per book, you can save money by investing in Kindle Unlimited or visiting your local public library system. Kindle Unlimited costs $9.99 a month and allows you access to 1 million titles. Public Libraries are free to use as long as you renew or return your book. Switching to the library or Kindle Unlimited can save $1000s per year depending on your reading habits.

14. Capitalize on Reward Programs

Capitalize on Reward Programs

Many stores offer free rewards cards. You gain points, cash back, or free products from your normal shopping habits. There are also ways to turn your receipt into cash. Walmart has a saving catcher within its app; all you do is scan your barcode on your receipt. If they lower the price on an item, they pay you the difference.

Another great app is Ibotta. Ibotta takes a bit more work as you must add items and then scan them. Finally, you have to upload the receipt.

Pro Tip: Don’t want to carry around a bunch of rewards cards? Instead, download an app like KeyRing.

Bonus Pro Tip: by using the KeyRing app, you can share rewards cards between family members, thereby capitalizing on the number of rewards you can earn.

15. Avoid Buying a Brand-New Car

Avoid Buying a brand-new car

One of the biggest financial mistakes you can make is buying a brand-new car. Once you drive that car off the lot, it becomes used and decreases in value by at least 22% in the first year. For years 2-4, a vehicle loses 12% (Check out our math for yourself at USAToday.)

Our favorite place to find used cars is Carmax and Autotrader.

Pro Tip: Make sure if you use AutoTrader you check the company website for the vehicle. Many AutoTrader vehicles are added by hand and may not be updated.

16. Don’t Lease a Car. Ever.

Stay away from leasing a car

Think leasing a car can help your financial situation? Sure, the down payment and monthly payment may be lower. However, leasing is worse than buying a new car. Leasing requires you to have excellent credit, higher insurance deductibles, and you are restricted to a certain number of miles with a steep penalty for going over. Also, once again, as soon as you drive the vehicle off the lot, it becomes used. At the end of the lease, you’ve paid the car’s depreciation and then some, and you have nothing to show for it because you don’t even own the car.

Save your money and look into a used car. Buying a used car can save more than $10,000 per purchase.

17. Stop Renting

Stop renting

When you first move to a city renting is a fine choice. However, it costs you more money. Often you can expect to pay 50% more per month for a rental than a mortgage. Yes, you need good credit for a mortgage. If you are renting, it will be difficult to raise your credit score because of the extra monthly strain of the rental. It is wise to save money before moving. This way you can look into a mortgage over a rental.

Another popular housing option that is a waste of money is rent to own. Only part of your rent goes towards the purchase price of the home. You would still be better off with a mortgage where the entire payment goes to paying off the home loan. Purchasing a home over renting can save you $10,000 a year on its own.

18. Avoid an HOA Community

Avoid an HOA community

Before you buy a home, make sure you check out your new community thoroughly. Look at the tax bill for your new hone, but also check out community fees, like those charged by an HOA. Home Owners Associations (HOA) charge $200- $400 per month, and they set all kind of rules and regulations you must follow. HOAs can have amenities benefits; however, you can access the same type of amenities elsewhere and save money. Avoiding an HOA can save $2400 per year.

19. Move Out of the City

Move out of the city

You could cut costs even more by not living within city limits. Often cities charge more for garbage, electric, and water than their country or suburban counterparts. Buy moving just outside the city limits, you could save money. On average, I pay $100 less on my electric then my family members in the city, and I break the rule and have an average house temperature of 73. I do live in a smaller home, but would still pay less as I do not have the upcharge the city adds to electric and water (we have a well). I save $1200/year just by living in the country.

20. Decrease Your Cell Phone Plan

Decrease your Cell Phone plan

Are you using all of the data you pay for each month? If not you’re wasting money. Just by switching to a lower data plan, you can save $20 per month.

Pro Tip: To save on data, turn off the cellular data option on apps that don’t need it. Check your battery usage to see what the top 3-5 apps you use the most, then turn cellular data off for the rest. Also, many apps have background refresh. By turning off cellular, the app can no longer refresh unless it’s on Wi-Fi, saving your battery and your data. By living within your data plan, you could save $2,400 per year.

21. Shop around for insurance

Shop around for insurance

If you bought that used car, it’s going to need car insurance. Now is a great time to look into options. By comparing rates, you can save $1000-$2000 per year. When we changed our insurance, we doubled all of our coverage and still paid less. Also, save money by paying your insurance every six months. Yes, it can be an investment, but the $20-50 extra charge for paying your insurance monthly adds up.

Consider looking at the health insurance options your employer offers. If you have not seen a doctor in years, you may want to consider a lower coverage plan. However, if you are seeking medical attention frequently, then the higher plan may save you money in the long run by the type of coverage offered. If you lower your coverage, depending on your employment options, it could cost you $0 out of your paycheck. Looking into health care options can save $100 a month or $1200 per year.

If your employer doesn’t offer insurance, make sure you compare policies and find the best plan that fits you and your budget.

22. Stop Smoking

Stop Smoking

Smoking is not only hurting your health–it’s hurting your bottom line. If you smoke one pack of cigarettes a day, it will cost you about $3000 per year. Think vaping is better? Wrong. While vaping costs less than cigarettes, at about $400 a year, that’s enough money for a car payment. If you partake in recreational drugs (and you really shouldn’t), you are wasting money and could be missing out on potential job opportunities.

Other Posts you may enjoy:

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22 Ways to Save up to $10,000 this year, even if you don't have time to side hustle #savemoney #managemoney #budget #career

Congratulations! You’ve graduated college. Your long journey from home education or public school drama to learn-who-you-are college life is complete. Next step: the real world.

You have a lot on your mind right now. You have to frame your diploma, open your graduation gifts, and wash a semester’s worth of laundry. Sooner or later, though, you are going to have to face the fact that you’re not going back to school in the fall, and it’s time to grow up and start adulting. Are you ready?

You might be feeling a bit overwhelmed, so we’re going to keep this short and easy for you. Here are four small steps you should take right now to start crafting your adult life successfully:

1. Get Your Money In Order

The moment you stepped out of the grand doors of your college institution, your financial circumstances changed drastically. You don’t have a lovely financial aid check coming each semester. Your parents aren’t going to pay your bills any more. If you’re like most college graduates, you now have a student loan to pay. It’s a big smack in the face—you need to take a harsh look at your money situation.

To help with the student loan saga, visit studentloansconsolidation.co to learn how to make it easier to swallow. Believe it or not, there are all sorts of income-sensitive plans for paying back your loans. Your loan officer won’t do this automatically, though. You have to fill out the proper paper work and ask for it.

You should also sit down and create a budget. Figure out what, realistically, you can spend each month on necessities and luxuries. Necessities include food, transportation, and a place to live. Everything else is a luxury.

2. Find a Real Job

Your shiny new degree has a purpose—to help you find a job. It’s the key to unlock jobs that require a college degree. You’ve worked hard to earn it, but now it’s time to let it serve its purpose.

So, you need a resume that shows that you’re more than just that shiny new degree. A creative copywriter can help you spruce up your resume and tell your story in a way that employers see you as the perfect person for the job. You should also tidy up your LinkedIN profile and take a good long look at your social media profiles to make sure you look squeaky clean online for employers. A lot of them will Google you before an interview, so make sure they find exactly what you want them to find.

You also need to prepare for job interviews. Find two outfits you can wear to interviews that are completely professional and make sure they are always clean and pressed, waiting for you to land an interview. You should practice how you will answer common job interview questions, like “tell me about yourself” and “describe a situation where you solved a problem.”

Of course, you also have to actually apply for jobs. Set weekly goals for the number of job applications you will complete, and keep a log of where and when you applied. The log will help you send follow up emails, and it also shows you and your parents the amount of effort you’re putting into your job search.

3. Gain More Skills

Just because you’re done with college doesn’t mean you’re done learning. While you’re job hunting, work on acquiring more skills for your resume, and bonus points if those skills are directly related to your industry. You can learn anything technology-related on the internet, so there’s no excuse not to learn a coding language like HTML or software used everywhere, like Adobe Acrobat.

At the very least, find a course in leadership, management, or marketing. No matter what your industry, eventually you will want to lead something, and learning to market products also helps you learn to market yourself.

The point is, you should never stop learning. The world changes rapidly, and you should be able to change right along with it.

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4. Make a Lifestyle Design Plan

While you’re focusing on finding a job and figuring out how to pay your bills, it’s important that you think about the kind of future you want. You need a clear idea of what you want from your personal life so that you can stay focused on achieving it.

Many people want a family, but there’s no rush for that. Make a list of goals for things you want to do and what your ideal life would look like. Maybe you want to travel the world, or achieve a fitness goal. Maybe you want to meet new friends or stay connected to old ones. Maybe you want a house at the beach or a cabin in the mountains. Making a list, or at least a Pinterest board will help you remember what it is you really want out of life. It will remind you why you’re working so very hard.

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4 Things to Do as Soon as You Graduate College - #career #college #getajob