STUDENT LIFE / APR. 20, 2014
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5 Mistakes Made By Young Professionals After Graduation

Getting a job is priority after graduating college. You might have the perfect occupation in mind; and before hitting the job market, you may hone your resume and practice your interviewing skills. Both efforts significantly impact whether you're hired. And once you're hired, it's important that you make good decisions.

Unfortunately, making mistakes is common as a young professional. These mistakes can affect the dynamics between you and your coworkers, as well as your wallet -- but they don't have to.

Here are six common mistakes made by young professionals after graduation.

#1 Know-It-All Attitude

Nobody likes an arrogant, know-it-all, including your coworkers. If you beat out several applicants for the position, you undoubtedly know what you're doing. However, it's important that you avoid a superior attitude.

Don't look down on older colleagues or complain that their viewpoints are outdated or old-fashioned -- even if you're right. Offer suggestions, but don't get upset if they're not immediately implemented. You need to respect the wisdom of older colleagues and trust their knowledge. Therefore, don't have a temper tantrum or act standoffish if things aren't done your way. You can bring fresh ideas to the table, but you also need to listen and be willing to learn.

#2 Deferring Student Loan Debt

Student loan repayment does not begin until 6 to 9 months after graduation, plus there's the option to defer loan payments for several years. Some young professionals don't want to think about their mountain of student debt, and they defer loan payments for as long as they can. However, interest accrues during deferment, which can significantly increase how much you owe. If your income allows, start repaying your student loan as soon as you find regular employment.

#3 Ignoring Retirement Planning

Retirement might be 40 years in the future, but the sooner you plan, the more cash you'll have later in life. Therefore, don't decline enrollment in your employer's 401(k) plan. If this isn't offered, open an individual retirement account with your bank or financial planner. Early planning can be the difference between an early or late retirement, and it can determine whether you'll need to seek part-time employment after you leave the workforce. 

#4 Maintaining a College Social Calendar

It's okay to be social and have fun, as long as it doesn't impact your productivity at work. Your employer expects you to arrive on time and perform at your best. And fortunately, if you regularly party late on the weekdays, it'll be harder to get up in the mornings and give your boss 100%.

#5 Job Hopping

There is a learning curve with any job, and you may not click with every coworker. Don't turn in your resignation because someone gets on your nerves or because you're bored. Job hopping doesn't impress from an employer's viewpoint. If you apply for jobs and employers see that you've worked at three different companies within two or three years, they might conclude that you're flaky and unreliable.

#6 Not Saving Enough Money

As a college student, you could probably spend all your paycheck (after bills) on fun activities, vacations or clothes. However, as an adult, you owe it to yourself to make better financial choices. In addition to exploring retirement options, save about 10% of your paycheck. This way, you can start building a cash reserve and pay down debt before you take on greater financial responsibilities.

Finally, consider these common career mistakes young professionals inevitably make and figure out how to improve your attitude as an entry-level job ‘fresher’…


Image Credit: Flickr

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