Transition time: Strategies to handle life after college

This year, almost 2 million young individuals will graduate from college and another million will earn an associate degree.

With their degree in hand, they’ll set out to make their mark on the world. But this change can be difficult for many.

Pressures to get a job, pay off debts, and find a place to live can take their toll.

There are some strategies though that can make the transition a little smoother.

First, adjust your expectations. Research shows it takes an average of three to six months for college students to find a job after graduation.

One survey found 73% of graduates took a job that didn’t fit their career goals. Use your first job as a chance to build experience, network, and learn new skills.

Finding a mentor can also ease the transition from college to the corporate world. Mentors can help you navigate your field and develop skills. Consider asking a professor, a former boss, or even a family friend to be your mentor.

Also, create a budget. Start by gathering all your monthly expenses and determine which are fixed, like rent, and which are variable, like groceries. Categorize each expense and if you’re spending more than you earn, look for ways to adjust.

Keeping a journal about your career goals can also help you figure out your next steps. Experts recommend taking a little time each day to write down your honest thoughts and goals.