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Getting into the grind of the ‘real’ world after completing college – a major milestone in your life – could be quite nerve-racking. However, if you are mindful of a few factors, you can make the best use of this time instead of worrying about the challenges ahead. Entrepreneur and motivational speaker Gary Vaynerchuk had once aptly said, “If you recently graduated, you are entering the greatest 5-year window of your life.” 

We have compiled a list of steps you need to take, as soon as you graduate: 

Write down your goals: Firstly, ask yourself where do you see yourself in the next five or ten years? Write them down and make a list of things you need to do, in order to achieve those goals. The simple exercise of writing down your goals and sharing it with a friend you trust is said to be really effective, in order to accomplish your goals. (1)

Create your resume: Now that you’ve graduated, it’s time to add any accomplishment from school/college to your resume. Make sure that your CV is concise and easy to read. List your special skills that set you apart, along with your educational qualifications. Don’t forget to include any awards, acknowledgements, accolades and also a little about how you were actively involved in extracurricular activities. 

Don’t let social media fool you: It’s alright to spend time on social media and follow people whom you look up to or admire. But never fall into the trap of comparing your life with others’. Remember that everyone out there is only showing the best moments and not the parts of their lives, which involves struggles or disappointments. 

Find an internship or volunteer: If you haven’t found a job yet, apply for an internship. Even if you might not get paid, you will definitely learn a lot. It will provide you with on-the-job experience and is a great way to build connections with your potential employers. An internship can also lead to a full-time job, since it’s common for many companies to hire interns, who impress them. Volunteering for a cause you are passionate about is another great option since it gives you a chance to give back to society and also makes you feel more connected to your community. Make sure to include any volunteer work on your resume. 

Start saving: You can start setting aside a small amount in your savings account every month. This will help you fall back, in case of an emergency and also instil the habit of saving from an early age, which could go a long way in making you responsible while making financial decisions. You should also create a budget, in case of long term plans, such as buying a house or travelling. After creating a budget for yourself, you’ll be better equipped to pay any student debt in a timely manner.