Graduation from College without a Job

We all know that graduating from college has its many financial challenges. This period in someone’s life usually marks the changing point. It means that they are forced to do everything on their own. Some parents help stretch out this period by forcing their children to pay for most of their college themselves. While this can add a bit of stress, it does usually mean that they will learn financial responsibility better than others. After all, this was the case for me and I was able to graduate college without any debt. If you are graduating from college this year, there is one area that you need to consider right now – getting a job.

Why Look for a Job before Graduation from College?

If you are looking to graduate from college in the next few months, it is never too early to start looking for a job. You may be thinking that you need to have your diploma in hand in order to land your first “real” job, but that isn’t the case. Many college students fail to think about what they want to do after they graduate before hand. I know this from personal experience. While I had a job lined up after college graduation, many of my friends did not. They paid for it in the end.

You may be thinking, “What is so bad about not thinking ahead?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Think about what will happen when you graduate from college. If you aren’t getting married after graduating from college, most likely you will return to live with your parents. A summer with them may be doable, but at what point do you want to live on your own? If you don’t have a job set in place, odds are it will take you 6 months to land a job that you want. Sure, you can wash your college diploma down the toilet and work for Starbucks, but that won’t get your very far. By planning ahead and securing a job now, you can skip this time that feels like imprisonment.

What Getting a Job Before Graduation Will Get You

If you are successful in getting a job before you graduate, think about all of the possibilities this gives you. Most likely, you have agreed to start working a couple weeks after graduation, so this gives you time to move (if necessary) and adjust to life. Not only do you not have to worry about finding a job, but you also have another hidden benefit. If you are smart enough, you can use the time in between to travel or do something fun. Why not take advantage of this time in between. You are only young once – live it up! By acting now and finding a job, you can enjoy the financial freedom later. What are you waiting for? It’s time to kick the TV habit and be proactive.

Readers, were you able to secure a job before graduating college?

22 Responses to Graduation from College without a Job

  1. Dave Hilton says:

    I was lucky to already have a full-time Radio job before I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree. Without doing the work to start my career before graduation- it could have taken me more than a year to find something…plus I probably would have had to move to another state.

  2. I secured a job a couple of weeks after I graduated.

  3. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t at least start looking while they’re still in college. There are so many resources available to you through your university’s career center that evaporate or are much harder to access once you leave campus. I have found career centers to be very helpful in career exploration, job searching, resume- and cover letter-writing, conducting mock interviews, arranging networking events, and hosting on-campus interviews.

    I started looking for a job in August before my May graduation (as soon as I decided I wasn’t applying to grad school for that year). I secured my job in December. I got it purely through a networking connection with one of my professors (another perk to starting the job search while still on campus). I took three weeks off after graduation to take a road trip with friends, go on a cruise, and attend a wedding before starting work in June.

  4. Absolutely! I began negotiating with my internship supervisor in the fall semester of junior year and was actually able to go full-time before graduating college :)

  5. I actually looked for a summer job doing vacation relief. It was a great way to get my foot in the door and start building some experience.

  6. I got a job before I finished college. Our college had a pretty good recruiting program and employers came to interview graduating students. I thought all schools have those kind of programs.

  7. WealthNerd says:

    I’m in the same boat as the author in that I’ll graduate college debt-free. I’m actually very blessed; the state of Georgia has a tremendous in-state scholarship program called the HOPE Scholarship (now Zell Miller). Assuming you are an in-state resident and maintain a strict set of eligibility criteria (GPA, etc..), you get 100% of your tuition covered, a book stipend, and it also pays for mandatory school fees (ex: athletic fee, facilities, etc..). It’s lottery-funded, but has seen a lot of cutbacks and payout reductions in the past year or two. Thank goodness I’m graduating when I am!

    I’ll be finishing up at Georgia Tech in December, but in regards to a job, I’ll complete my third professional internship this summer prior to graduation. I’m not sure if it’s my major (computer science), school career services department (*phenomenal* career fair), or some combination of the two, but my experience thus far has been that jobs aren’t hard to come by.

    It’s actually pretty incredible, here are the list of companies hiring exclusively for my major (as of a few years ago and after having outgrown the general career fair, the department now has its own):
    http://www.cc.gatech.edu/events/careerfair

    I generally get ~10-20 job inquiries by email per month, with around half of those coming from LinkedIn and the other half from having found my resume from my school’s repository.

  8. Christa says:

    I didn’t plan my graduation well at all. I should have interned and gotten a second major, but I didn’t. All in all, though, I was able to get by on part-time gigs until I landed a full-time job. But in hindsight, I wish I had done things differently!

  9. Daniel Milstein says:

    That is true,Corey. As an author and business man, I can relate to how you said, ” While I had a job lined up after college graduation, many of my friends did not. They paid for it in the end”. I hope more people discover your blog because you really know what you’re talking about. Can’t wait to read more from you!

  10. I graduated from college job-less, and was SO jealous of my friends who knew what they were going to do. It all worked out in the end, but still — it was stressful for a minute!

  11. [...] others in the age group can attest, Graduating college without a job is rough.  Take a look at 20′s Finances for the [...]

  12. Daisy says:

    While I’m doing a lot to set myself up for success once I do graduate, I’m pretty terrified of not being able to find a job in my field once I grad in August (hopefully). Theres a lot of fierce competition, and looking for a job takes a long time – each resume and cover letter sent out should take a couple of hours if they are done properly!

  13. [...] Finances:  Graduation from College without a Job – I got a job before I graduated, and it evolved into a very good [...]

  14. I was recently talking to someone I know at work about higher education’ she has sixty thousand dollars of student loan debt. I asked here if see thought college should be free and here response was no that it would be a bad idea because than it would lose much of its high regard if it were free. I tend to agree. I don’t know a lot about higher education. I taught myself to type on the computer. Although I believe that some education beyond high school is useful. I believe that society places to much weight on the four year degree. She commented that here husband was working at a retail store and the management was impressed enough with his job performance that they enrolled him in a management training program when they checked their personal records they found that he did not have a college degree so they unenrolled him and at that point he left the company. The Idea was that higher education is the great equalizer as far as socioeconomics go but in many cases today it has become the great unequalizer. Another guy I know used to work for ford motor he told me that he applied for a job as a department head at the plant but he was rejected not because of a lack of ability he was qualified they told him that he did possess the skills and ability to handle the job but he lacked a college degree. We have now created a class structure based on these varying degrees’ high school’ associate’ bachelors’ masters’ or doctorate. Now we have a situation where because of the inflation in higher education costs the likelihood of someone at the middle of the totem pole as far as family income goes has less ability to qualify for and meet the financial qualifications of higher education unless their willing to go deeply into debt or unless their very bright which would mean they could qualify for a scholarship’ what about everybody else. What if the standard for getting that better job becomes not the bachelors but the masters degree this will only increase the inequality even more leaving only the rich and affluent to take advanage of higher education and qualify for all the better jobs. All this system of things does is create even more inequality than we already have. This is anything but a positive development.

  15. I didn’t find a full-time job in my field until a year and 3 months after graduation. It’s not that I didn’t look until after I graduated, I was just looking for a job in a field that doesn’t hire entry level people that far in advance. I worked in a coffee shop and babysat, but it was pretty stressful.

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