Did your college grad move back home? Here are some tips to help you cope.

Congratulations. Your son or daughter got that diploma, and you were so proud on graduation day you just about burst. But now, he or she has moved home, and you’re not exactly sure how you’re going to cope.

You’re not alone. A poll conducted last year by Twentysomething Inc.  found that 85% of graduates moved back home for awhile after college graduation.

So, what do you do now? Don’t fret. There are some things you can do to make that transition easier for both you and your son or daughter. College Parents of America  says planning and good communication are the keys. Here are some other suggestions:

Stay Positive
It can be demoralizing for college grads to have to return home, so try and help them stay positive. If tension arises and you need to address a situation, start with the negative but be sure to end on a positive note.

Be Supportive
Continue to offer encouragement. Tell them you’re happy to help them while they get on their feet and that you’re confident that they’ll be able to do that soon.

Don’t Enable Them 
Your son or daughter may need financial support for awhile, too. It’s important to encourage and support him or her without enabling them. If you make things too comfortable, they may never leave. While it may be hard to watch them struggle, the experts agree that you should not compromise your long-term financial and retirement goals to help your son or daughter.

Help Them Prepare for the Future
There are many ways to do this. Perhaps as a graduation gift you can take him/her shopping for professional clothes. Help them with their resumes if you have those skills. If her or she is looking for professional advice, share your job experience and look for opportunities within your own network. If your son or daughter feels awkward asking you, suggest a colleague or friend who they may feel more comfortable talking with.   

Show Interest in their Job-Search Progress
It’s important for you to communicate to your son or daughter the importance of having a job and that their job right now is finding a job. Ask them regularly (you’ll know when you’re asking too often) how their search is going.

Have you been through this before and have a suggestion or two? Please let us know.

Advertisements

Got debt? Here’s what you can do about it.

It happens to many of us – we graduate college and get a job, but with student loans, maybe a car payment and/or rent, and a mediocre salary, we realize we’re broke or pretty close to it. What can you do? Plenty.

Collegeaftermath.com offers several good ideas on how to cope when your wallet is pretty skinny.

Prioritize

Figure out what you need to live. No, we don’t mean pints of Häagen-Dazs ice cream every day (though it is pretty awesome).  This is not the time to buy new clothes or go on an electronics shopping spree.

Stay positive

Being broke sucks. But try to stay positive by realizing there is always something to be thankful for.

You still have to have some fun

Like to read? Borrow books from the library instead of buying them. Enjoy watching movies. Rent them instead of going to the theater. Like to hang out with friends? You can do that at your place or theirs; you don’t have to go out where you’ll get socked with food and drink costs.

Every little bit helps

Pay attention to those opportunities where you can save money. Maybe it’s carpooling. Perhaps you could shop for clothes at thrift stores. Maybe you can make some big meals – like soup — on the weekend that you can then divide up and freeze to use during the week. Every little bit helps.  

Ask for help

If you have family or friends who are willing to help, let them. But, don’t rely on it, and make a note to pay them back when you can. Also, when you’ve finally made it, be willing to help someone else out if he or she needs it.

Know when to say when

If you’ve done everything you can and it still doesn’t work, have a plan B. It might be moving in with your family or a friend, finding a less expensive apartment, or moving to a new town where the cost of living isn’t so high.

Good luck.

Got the recent grad blues? Here’s how to beat them.

Congratulations new graduate. You’ve earned your degree. You’ve made your family happy – really happy. Maybe you had a party. Maybe there were balloons and cake. It was exciting.

But, graduation is over.Some of your friends have moved away or back home. The abundance of campus activities is gone. You may be trying to adapt to a new job or to find one. You may be feeling a bit … well, down. So, what now?

Collegeaftermath.com offers some suggestions on how to beat the recent grad blues.

Discover life beyond campus
Whether you’re living in the town in which your college is located, moved to your hometown or relocated to another town, get to know the area. Discover life beyond college.

Stay connected
We’re fortunate to live in an age where technology allows us to stay connected. You don’t ever have to feel alone or isolated. Call or Skype your closest friends at least once a week.

Find a hobby
When you were in college you may not have had the time for a hobby because you were in class and studying.  (At least we hope you were.) Now, when you come home from work, you will likely have more free time. Fill it with a new hobby – read fiction, learn to play an instrument, join a community team,  volunteer.

Join young professionals’ organizations
This will give you the chance to meet young professionals like you. It’s also a great way to make friends and stay busy.

Do you have any suggestions? If so, please share them.

 

 

Don’t make these job-search mistakes

You’ve graduated. The next step for many of you is to find a job. But, before you get start looking, you should know some of the mistakes to avoid.

Patra Frame from clearedjobs.net offers what she calls “silly self-sabotage” job-search mistakes.

U.S. News & World Report also lists what it calls 10 costly mistakes:

Here’s what not to do:

1. Relying on outdated sources of job-searching advice.
Be sure you’re accessing recent information.

2. Listing just job duties on your resume.
Focus instead of accomplishments.

3. Including on your resume everything you’ve ever done.
Your resume is the tool to market you. Use only what will put you in the best light.

4. Sending your resume without a cover letter.
You’re hurting your chances if you don’t include a cover letter that helps to grab a potential employer’s attention.

5. Following up way too much.
Most employers don’t look favorably on a candidate who follows up with a phone call.

6. Coming to an interview unprepared.
Most people don’t do well by flying by the seat of their pants. Before your interview, practice how you’re going to effectively sell yourself.

7. Using gimmicks to stand out.
Employers don’t care if you’re resume is fancy, unless you’re apply for a graphic arts job. Stand out by being a highly qualified candidate, writing a great cover letter, and being responsive, thoughtful and enthusiastic.

8. Not paying attention to references.
Make sure you stay in touch with people whom you want as references so that when you’re asked by a potential employer for them, you can supply their names quickly.

9. Ignoring danger signs. 
Yes, you want a job. But do you want an awful job? Probably not. Pay attention to any signs such as a high turnover rate that may indicate that this job will be awful.

10. Becoming bitter.  
Looking for a job can be frustrating. Resist the temptation to get bitter because if you’re feeling that way, it’ll be almost impossible to hide it. And that kind of attitude will turn off a potential employer.

Have you already been through this? Let us know if you have any suggestions.

You need these five tips to help you ace that job interview

You have great news – you have a job interview. You’re a little excited and nervous. But, there are things you can do to ace it. Really.

Brian Tracy, author of “Earn What You’re Really Worth: Maximize Your Income at any Time in any Market” offers several tips to help you kick that interview’s butt.

  1. Always be on time
    You do NOT want to be late. So be sure to give yourself enough time to get there. If you’re early, you can wait in the lobby, which will make you look eager. Employers like eager.
  2. Dress well
    You want to make a good first impression. Your clothes help you do that. Dress the way you would expect to dress if you were working there.
  3. Relax
    Before your interview, breathe deeply several times. This will help release endorphins and give you a sense of calm. Relax your shoulders. Close your eyes and imagine yourself as calm, confident and relaxed.
  4. Smile and shake hands firmly
    Look your interviewer in the eye. Give a good handshake, full and firm, without cutting off your interviewer’s circulation. A firm handshake is important for both men and women.
  5. Interview your interviewer
    You can and should ask questions, too. Ask about the company, the industry, the kind of person the interviewer is looking for. The more you ask, the more you’ll learn. You may find out you don’t want the job. Or, you may learn it’s perfect. Either way, by asking questions you’ll look smart and enthusiastic. Employers like smart and enthusiastic.

What if your interview involves dinner? The Chronicle of Higher Education offers some valuable hints to help you ace the job interview while you’re trying not to get spaghetti sauce on your tie or blouse.   

Now go get ’em. If you have any suggestions just let us know.

Looking for a job? Check out these job-hunting tips

To commemorate your graduation from college, we’re dealing with post-graduation topics all of this month. Today, we bring you what gradspot.com calls the 30 best job-hunting tips.

Here are some of those 30:

Don’t get discouraged

Don’t get bummed out if you don’t get your dream job after you accept your diploma from your college president. In fact, according to the folks at outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, the average job search last four months. So, give yourself some time.

Twitter your way to a job

Nicole Crimaldi, a career advice specialist at WomenCo. says using Twitter can help you connect with people who share your interests and career goals. Plus, you will be able to talk with people you wouldn’t be able to talk to on the street. Twitter allows you to connect with top professionals, brands, bloggers and authors.

Find out which industries are doing well  

Let’s face it. Some areas are looking for people more than others. Career expert Alexandra Levit says health care, education, accounting, agriculture and utilities, and the local service sector are often in need of employees.

Read the news to find your passion

When you pick up the newspaper – or read it online – what section do you gravitate toward first? Do you read sports? The arts section? The news? This may give you an idea of what your passion is, and that may help you in your job pursuit.

Start with your family and friends

Not everyone has a large number of professional contacts, but we all have family and friends. Let them know you’re looking and what kind of job you’re looking for. You never know. Maybe your cousin’s, friend’s sister may work at a great place that is looking for someone just like you.

Good luck with your job search. When you land that great job, let us know.

 

Top 10 most common mistakes a new college grad can make

You’ve made it to college graduation successfully. Now, you have your life ahead of you. But, there are some pitfalls. Collegeaftermath.com  features a list of the top 10 most common mistakes that college graduates make from Stuart Schultz, co-author of the book “Guide to Life After College.”

We’re sharing them so you can avoid these mistakes.

  1. Not traveling after college
    You won’t have many times in your life when you can just pick up and go. (Think job, spouse, kids, mortgage, etc.) If you’re able, time some time to travel. If you’re worried about student loans, remember there are many volunteer opportunities.
  2. Not considering moving home
    It doesn’t have to be permanent (and probably shouldn’t be). But for now, moving back home could give you a little financial flexibility. You don’t want to rent a place then find you’ve added a financial burden you can’t bear.
  3. Ignoring health insurance
    This is just dumb. Remember, something relatively simple like a fall could send you to the emergency room, and if you’re not insured, you’re going to be paying for that ER visit for a long time. There are affordable insurance options out there.
  4. Only looking for a job when you’re looking for a job
    In other words, do something while looking for a job. Learn a new skill. Find an internship. Even a volunteer opportunity will sound better to a job interviewer who asks you what you’ve been doing for the last six months.
  5. Not preparing to succeed at that job
    Remember that you’re going to have to adapt to the work environment. So, you’re going to have to be prepared to show up on time, leave when (and not before) the day is over. Avoid getting trashed at the office’s Memorial Day picnic.
  6. Missing a bill’s due date
    We’ve all done this, but we’ve all suffered for it as well. Besides making the person/company who is owed pretty mad, it’ll also wreak havoc with your credit.
  7. Procrastinating when it comes to saving
    We know this isn’t easy. But, if you put just a little away consistently now, you’ll reap pretty sizeable benefits later.
  8. Buying or leasing a new car
    We know this is tempting. You’ve graduated from college. You feel you deserve it. But, resist that temptation. The payments will kill you.
  9. Ordering takeout every night
    Like the new car, this is going to get expensive. Treat yourself occasionally but on those other days, go online, download some easy and delicious-sounding recipes and make something.  (Besides, it’ll impress your girl (boy)friend, mother, father, friends, grandparents, etc.)
  10.  Forgetting all the awesomeness of college life 
    It’s easy to get consumed with post-college life, but don’t forget how much all the fun you had. More fun is on its way. We promise.