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Should You Have a Job Right Out of College?

It’d be nice, but is it absolutely required?

With the pursuit of a college education often comes an assumption that you’ll land yourself a job almost immediately after graduating. The thing is, though, due to a combination of societal factors, as well as your own luck, landing a job right after getting a degree isn’t always a feasible option. This is not, however, the worst possible outcome.

While I’m sure that, following your graduation, you’re eager to get out into the world, stake your claim, and start becoming something resembling a functioning adult. First of all, no one ever becomes a fully functioning adult. Trust me, none of us have any idea what we’re doing. More importantly, though, there are a factors in your own life that you need to consider before immediately flying the coop.

The most pressing question is the availability of jobs in your field. With any luck, you’ve created some professional connections in the pursuit of your degree, so if you have an immediate lead on a job, then you’re on the right track. However, you need to consider how much this potential job pays. Do you already have some money in the bank? Do you have student loan debt you need to tend to? The unfortunate truth is that you can’t really strike out on your own if you don’t have enough money to provide for yourself.

This is why a lot of college graduates spend a year or two living with their parents. I’m sure after four years of relative independence, returning to your parents’ place isn’t your first choice, but if they’re willing to provide for you, then you should take the opportunity. If you can find some manner of job, temporary or otherwise, while still living under your parents’ roof, that’s a great opportunity to save up some money before you need to start taking care of yourself.

If you’re lucky, maybe you can get a degree-relevant job near your parents’ house and start pursuing your career goals early. If you can’t, though, there’s no shame in starting slow. You’ve got the education, you can put it to use in due time.

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