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First Fulltime Job out of College: WHAT ARE THE THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO?!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by ChadHidsley, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. ChadHidsley


    Jul 26, 2012
    Just accepted an offer for my first full time employment gig after graduating college last year...annnnnd im nervous!

    When/What are the things I have to look forward to/need to learn about?
    What is the transition like from HS/College into the real world?
    What is a generic timeline going to look like for the rest of my life? (when first car, first house, etc)
    Give me your expriences and feedback!

    Social Life
  2. pflash4001


    Dec 2, 2011
    Live for the day, but take time to plan for later. I guess in other words, look at setting things up for your future as you go, but don't worry about it so much that you miss out on today. Save a reasonable sum for the future and live within your means as you go. You're going to want to do something nice for your parents, significant other, or friends sometime, so set aside a little for those occasions as well. Use reason when making these choices. Don't skimp out on today in order to save for the future, but don't blow it all today either. I hope this makes some sort of sense. In the words of John Lennon, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." There's a lot of truth in that statement.
  3. The best advice I can give is to find someone that has the job you want and ask them to mentor you.

    The second best advice I can give you is save. If you get a bonus, save half. If you get a raise, save half every month.

    Third best advice I can give you is don't date anyone at work.

    The transition from college to the real world... In the real world you don't get a C. You get fired.
  4. Sorry, forgot the other stuff.

    Credit is evil. Try as hard as you can to avoid putting anything on a credit card. If you do, pay it off right away. Buy inexpensive, reliable transportation. Don't lease unless you actually drive 10k miles per year. Buy a house as soon as possible... Or at least a condo... But not a 1 bedroom. One bedrooms are really hard to sell. Don't talk to me about social life. I'm an introverted computer nerd.
  5. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    First job? Look forward to Happy Hours.

    +1 - Disaster for me both times. Stay professional - you are building a career. Keep your nose down and build a reputation based on being a valuable employee and good worker. Work hard, play hard.

    One time in my office, the head programmer was banging the secretary. One time, when they were making out in his office, her bum must have rubbed up on the phone intercom button on the desk, and the ENTIRE office heard her moaning. We all slowly backed out of our cubicles and looked at each other. They both got fired.
  6. Unprofessional


    Mar 5, 2012
    Make sure you contribute enough to your 401k to get all company matches. That's free money. (I ignored this one)
    Your take home after all deductions will be about 2/3 of your gross salary. Plan accordingly.
    Establish a cash emergency reserve account of some kind and fund it. Back in the day, "experts" used to say at least 2 month's salary. Now I think "experts" recommend much more. Layoffs are a fact of life. (I ignored this one)
    Don't go out and buy the most expensive new vehicle you can possibly make payments on. Let somebody else take that new vehicle depreciation hit when it rolls off the lot. Be sensible about cars when you're starting out.
    Don't allocate every penny of your take-home pay to some sort of payment. Being in debt up to your eyeballs and living from paycheck to paycheck is stressful.
    Don't date people you work with. It's nothing but trouble.
    Learn all you can on this job even if you don't like it. Skills and experience transfer to the next job.
    If your employer gives you the "we are family" speech, don't believe it. Employment is a business relationship in both directions. (I ignored this one)
    If your employer offers any kind of tuition reimbursement program, I strongly recommend you take advantage of it now. The older you get, the harder it is to go back to school and make it stick.
  7. Taxes, you get to look forward to taxes :p
  8. a lot of good advice here.

    the experts are saying 6 months salary now. which is not feasible for many of us, but you should still try.
  9. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Look forward to the slow, crushing grind of the modern work world.
  10. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    Ramen noodles.
  11. You will work all the time, you will be alone and some days you'll even enjoy it. Got a debit card? Try not to bother with credit.
  12. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    This is bad advice.

    Well, it's good advice, in the sense that you shouldn't be buying things that you can't afford to pay cash for.

    However, it is important to establish a good credit history. Get a gas card and pay it off at the end of the month, or get a dept store credit card and use it occasionally.

    You are not going to get approved for a loan, especially at a good interest rate, if at all, when it is time to buy a house because you have no established history.
  13. Want a good credit history? Sign up for one, choose a fallback major, and go to community college til you complete it, then repeat. The idea is only charge tuition and books to the card, and leave it alone.

    Personally I'd rather remain loyal to my bank card and cash over any form of credit. But it does help in a few tight spots.
  14. UncleFluffy


    Mar 8, 2009
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    Yeah. Look at living on 11 months money a year and putting aside the rest. Add a month a year to your reserve pile if you can until you're up to six months.

    This is a reserve on top of your 401(k), which you should be paying into from day 1 - believe me, your future self will thank you if you do.

    It's easier if you get into this habit from the beginning rather than trying to reduce your spending after you've got used to a certain standard of living. Automate this at the bank so it comes out of your paycheck before you get a chance to spend it.
  15. nolezmaj


    Sep 22, 2011
    A lot of good advice here.

    I will add something, one thing I've found changes, is expected performance: when you are studying, you have an exam to pass, and if you fail, you can try again, no sweat. When you start working, you are expected to give quality work CONSISTENTLY. Boss will not tolerate ups and downs, because clients wont have it. No one will cut you slack, at least not more than once or twice.

    I recently found out that I have good paycheck and great work conditions for last 7 years (and safe place), not because my work is quality, but because I am consistent and never fail to meet criteria.
  16. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Read a good book on personal finance, so you understand how things work such as loans, leases, mortgages etc., and are capable of working the numbers yourself. You should be able to figure out which financial products are colossal rip-offs. A lot of financial products are designed to hide the true cost from people who are largely math-illiterate, and getting "approved" doesn't mean that anybody thinks you can afford it.

    Be skeptical about projected starting salaries, market demand, and salary growth in your field. Those things don't always materialize. Instead, get in the habit right away, of living on what you're earning right now. If your salary goes up later, you'll already have the good spending habits necessary to enjoy the additional money, instead of just sending it all to the credit card company.

    Avoid restaurant food, except as an occasional treat. It's expensive, and will kill you. Learn to cook and eat good food.

    Avoid negative people, and people who are cynical about work. There is nothing useful to learn from them.
  17. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    1) Get a mentor.
    2) Find your true friends. Move the others to the side.
    3) Grow up. Monday through Friday is for work. Your weekends are for fun. Just don't let your weekends fun your work, especially in this economy. You're easily replaced.

    Regarding your questions, it depends if you're living on your own or staying at home. For me, I stayed at home for a couple years after college to save money. If this is an option, I highly recommend it, especially if you have student loans to pay down.

    The transition from college to the real world was a bit shocking. I had less than four weeks from graduation to my first day of work. From that time, I have concentrated on my career.

    You're young, do everything you can. Push yourself now to get those extra opportunities. I've traveled internationally for work, have international experience launching a brand in foreign countries, have presented products to the owners of some of our biggest customers and vice presidents of major retailers, and I've had an opportunity to work in almost every facet of our business. Now, come promotion time, my can-do attitude and reputation is giving me a leg up on my competition, and I only turned 26 this past weekend.

    Don't worry about buying anything. If your car works, drive it into the ground. Save money. Now is the time to budget yourself. The sudden influx of cash is tempting to buy everything you ever wanted. I've seen people do this and at 28 years old are still living at home and have nothing valuable. I bought my first new car in November, three years into my career when my last car was driven into the ground. I plan to drive this for between 6-8 years.

    As far as houses, I'm shooting to buy one next year. This could vary based on your job/lifestyle/etc. I see myself at my company for another 26 years, so I'm confident in my ability to buy a house locally. If you're not sure of how long you'll be sticking around, renting might be more beneficial.

    Now for some quick opinions:
    Housing[/b] -- live as cheap as possible as long as possible. If you can live at home, do it as long as you can tolerate it. If you can't, get a roommate who isn't a partier.
    401k -- put as much money as you can afford to here. If your company matches, take full advantage. At 26 years old, I have a 401k that makes me comfortable, and it looks good in the future.
    Cars -- drive what you have into the ground, or until it's unsafe, or more expensive to maintain than a car payment would be. Only then should you look into upgrading.
    Credit -- double edged sword. With responsible usage, this builds your reputation as a responsible borrower. This will work to your advantage when it comes to getting a car loan, or a mortgage. Get a credit card and pay it off every month. Find one with good rewards, and charge EVERYTHING, but don't spend money you don't have.
    Social Life -- make friends. GOOD friends. Go out and enjoy yourself. Just 1) make sure the photos stay off Facebook and 2) be careful of what you spend. I watch people blow through $100 or more at the bar each week. That's over $5000 a year that you could be putting away for your future.

    These are just my opinions. Work as hard as you can. Consider it an investment in your future. The more you do now will have the biggest payout over your career. If you get the opportunity to travel on the company's dime, do it. If they have tuition reimbursement, get a Master's degree, it'll pay off eventually.

    If you have any questions, I spend a lot of time on these topics. I'm a mentor to new associates coming into my company, and these are very common questions.
  18. 4dog


    Aug 18, 2012
    And bills endless bills a ceaseless plethora of, bills. RUN!
  19. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Avoid debt as much as possible and be very, very careful about any debt you do take on and make it as short-term as possible.

    If you are not working in the core business of the company you are with, you will never recieve top pay or positions and you can damage your progress in your chosen profession.

    If trying to decide between two different offers, be they for a job, an assignment or a promotion, always take the one that pays the most. This is because your raises/bonuses will be based on a percentage of your salary and if you move to a new job your salary history will many times be the starting point of negotiations on beginning salary.

    Network, all the time. Take every opprotunity to meet people within your profession and those associated with it. In your social life make real, face to face associations with others with similiar hobbies and interests.

    If you arrive early you are on time, if you arrive on time you are late.

    Life is not fair....EVER. Don't expect it, don't whine about it.
  20. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Do not buy a new car

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