That’s it kids, commencement is over and your certificate is in hand. After celebrating for a few days, you’ll eventually have to face the reality of find a job and entering the spooky world of adulthood.
If you’re lucky, you may have secured a decent posture from a task fair or past internship.
Once you’re in the door, however, you could get lost wondering what the next steps should be beyond get a gym membership to work off that influx of college weight. Here are three things you should instantly do after get your first job.
1. Set up a 401 k account
When you’re signing on the dotted line of your first real-world task with a salary, you’re going to come across some benefits that perk up the offer. Some companies will provide reimbursements for continuing education in a specific field, while others may encompass travelling expenses if you’re commuting from a good distance away.
But, if your employer offers up a matched 401 k account, you shouldn’t even hesitate to sign up and start shuffling funds into it. When they match your contributions- typically up to 5 or 7 percentage of your pay – you’re already securing your retirement at an early age. While the overall growth of your funds will ultimately depend on the institution your employer employs, it’s solid peace of mind knowing you’re planning early for long days expended golfing in Florida and wearing Velcro sneakers.
Sometimes, your employer won’t offer a 401 k match because it’s a startup with few funds to spare or a cheapskate nickel-and-dimer. Whichever the example, you can check out services such as Betterment, which will help manage your 401 k and other funding for a small fee. It’s worth looking into if you’re forced to build an account on your own.
2. Focus on your budget
You might luck out and land a high-paying task right out of the gate, and abruptly you don’t “re going to have to” drink Colt 45 anymore. With some fat paychecks rolling in, you’re hitting the waspy bars and clubs, ordering vodka Red Bulls and Bud Light Limes for all your bros. It’s important to celebrate your newfound freedom, but you need to keep budgeting in mind.
Luckily, you’ve got apps like Mint to help keep you in check when Payday Friday rolls around. With Mint, you can connect your bank account into one service and monitor your spending right from your phone. As paychecks come in, you’ll consider where your spending habits start to lean before they get out of control. Keep in intellect that certain taxes- health care, nation and federal tax, for example- will automatically be removed from your pay, so tracking your budget gives you a better idea of your actual cash flow.
Does budgeting various kinds of suck the fun out of celebrating your first task? A bit, but you’ll thank yourself when you choose to avoid hefty bar tab trying to impress your 63 rd Tinder match at the local watering hole.
3. Build out your network
No, Facebook isn’t the best alternative for networking with like-minded professionals. And let’s face it: Your latest photo album from a night on the town doesn’t precisely scream Connect with me! to your coworkers. In fact, unless you’re homies with some of your office peers, you should really steer clear of friending anyone through Facebook until you clean it up.
You should rather focus on building your professional network through LinkedIn and Twitter. There’s always a risk with the latter devoted how much damage you can do with 140 characters, but you can lock down your Twitter much easier than other networks. LinkedIn can become an invaluable resource as you move through your first task to help you network with your higher-ups and build long-lasting its relation with them.
As you complete new tasks and build unique skills and abilities on the job, hurl them into your profile to boost your social reaching. If and when you decide to move on to another opportunity, you want to have a place to display your proficiencies to prospective employers. That shot of you doing a kegstand at whatever broternity you were at after graduation isn’t the best resume booster.
These are just a few of the things you should start focusing on after get your first task, but they’re not the end-all, be-all steps to take. Let us know in the comments what else you think is important!