As you transition from the college campus to the working world, it is inevitable that you would need to spend some money on necessary items. Rather than think of what it is costing you, consider it an investment for your career and your future. Here are nine things that any new graduate like you must buy to be a professional and advance your career. Don’t get these confused with items you shouldn’t buy.
1 You Need Nice Threads
You will probably spend the next few months going job hunting. If lucky, you will be invited for several interviews. Making a great first impression matters and appearance is everything. Invest in a good suit that fits really well and makes you look professional. Looking good will also give you a confidence boost.
2 A Good Pair of Shoes
Gone are the days where you can walk around campus in flip flops or sneakers. Say hello to wing tips and pumps. Office shoes can sometimes be considered as devices of torture. This is especially true if you have to send the day on your foot, walking across various floors or standing on the job. Invest in a good pair of shoes that are stylish yet comfortable.
3 Nice Briefcase or Bag
You are dressed professionally in a business suit and tie. Nothing says “mismatch” more than using your old college backpack or messenger bag to carry your things to work. A professional looking briefcase or laptop bag will do the trick. For the ladies, there are some great work totes that have a built-in compartment for files or a computer. If you really prefer using a backpack, switch to an office backpack. It doesn’t have to be made from expensive leather, and there are some great-looking canvas and nylon bags that can do the job.
4 Gym Membership or Home Gym
Health is wealth. No matter how busy you may be, you must always take care of yourself first. Exercise is also a great way to de-stress. Paying for a gym membership can be a great motivation to actually go and work out. You would hate to waste all that money so you would use your membership. A gym membership is also a great thing to have when it’s too hot or cold to be jogging around the park.
5 Pots, Pans and Everything in Between
You are an adult now and as such this is the time to learn how to actually cook. It is a skill that everybody in their twenties should at least have a rudimentary knowledge of. Eating out can be so unhealthy for you, not to mention so expensive. To save time, you can cook big batches of your favorite meals and just freeze them. Buying a slow cooker is also a great way to prepare dinner. You just put all the ingredients in one pot before leaving for work and it will be done by the time you get home.
6 A Financial Plan
As a college student, you probably were not that concerned about the state of your finances. It is only when you are off living on your own and relying on your paycheck that you wished you paid more attention on learning how to balance a checkbook. You might want to enlist the services of a financial planner to help you with your money concerns.
7 Health Insurance
This is an absolutely necessity, even for someone in your twenties. Some companies offer medical and dental plans as benefits, which is great. However, others do not and leave you to shoulder the costs. You should always be covered by health insurance. It is after all, basic protection.
8 A Cellphone
Your cell phone should be with you at all times, especially when you are job hunting. Missing a call from the human resources department can be a career suicide. Back in college you might have been on a family plan. Now that you are paying your bills, choose a plan that will fit your budget. If you don’t use your phone that much, you can always pay as you go.
9 A Travel Mug (Maybe :-))
Transitioning to a nine-to-five job is one of the hardest things for a recent college graduate. You actually have to wake up early five times a day now. Nothing is more helpful that a dose of caffeine first thing in the morning. For those hurrying to get to work, a travel mug is the best way to enjoy morning coffee. Forgoing your neighborhood coffee shop will save you a bundle.
What are some other things that you think every recent college grad should have?