3 Steps to a Successful Transition After College
Life after college whether you’re a graduate or a dropout can be exciting and scary. I decided to cut my college career short in order to run my business full-time. This was something I had considered for over a year, and in November of 2013 I finally committed to the decision. At the time I had dropped out, I had my solid list of clients and projects that would keep me afloat on my small amount of bills. When you go from a structured Monday through Friday schedule to doing what you want, it’s easy to get comfortable.
During the first few months, I spent a lot of my time on social media, watching Netflix, and going out. I finally felt free. And while that was fun for a short while, I realized that I wasn’t really going anywhere. There wasn’t as much progression as there should have been. If I was going to sacrifice a successful college career, I needed to make sure I was going to be a successful business owner.
Within the past year I’ve gotten more valuable clients, more work and I’m earning way more money. I finally had to do these 3 things to make my transition from college student to college dropout more successful. College grads, this list applies to you, too!
1. CREATE A ROUTINE
Of course every day cannot be the same, but if you can begin and end your day around the same time, that’s a good start. I’m very careful to budget my time wisely. Create a daily things-to-do list that tracks what takes priority and approximately how long each task will take. No matter how much you plan, you have to be okay with failing with at least one task on your list. Learn to say no to things that don’t fit your immediate schedule and track your time spending wasting habits. I used to waste way too much time on Twitter when I should’ve been spending more time responding to emails. If you spend more time scrolling through your Facebook timeline than filling out job applications, you need to reprioritize.
2. LEARN FOR FUN
College really didn’t teach you everything you needed to know. Shocker. Now that I’m out here in the real world, how do I find new clients? How much should I charge? What services should I offer? How do I make more money? A lot of what I know now is from reading books and blogs, listening to podcasts and watching Ted Talks. There are different ways to become more educated besides sitting in a classroom. Here are 3 WAYS TO GET A FREE EDUCATION.
3. ACCEPT THAT FINDING WORK WON’T BE EASY
The thing about searching for new clients or looking for a new job is that everyone else is doing the same exact thing. You have to find out what makes you different. Be able to identify your top skills and hone in on them. Learn HOW TO PROPERLY NETWORK and meet new professionals in your industry (this would actually require you to leave your house and actually go to relevant networking events). Be specific about who you want to work for/with. I specifically enjoy working with bloggers, coaches, speakers and authors. This means I don’t want to create a business card for a mechanic or design a website for an accountant. Being able to narrow your list of companies you want to work for/with doesn’t mean you’re limiting your opportunities; it means you’re targeting them.
Life after college is an amazing thing. While long walks across campus to get to your class that was cancelled unbeknownst to you is a pleasure, there’s nothing like taking matters into your own hands and creating a successful after-college career.
Tell us about your post-high school education! Did you go on to college? Did you learn by experience?