by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
1. Remember your sporting endeavors in college, be it intramural or Division one? Keep playing.
2. Volunteer as a youth coach.
3. Schedule at least one get-together a year with your best college buddies.
4. Encourage well-wishers to buy you Facebook stock.
5. Look for your first job in Asia.
6. Pick where you want to work and take any job you can get there. Smart people will rise in any organization.
7. Be annoyingly proactive to land your first job.
8. Never, ever burn bridges.
9. Don’t worry about not knowing what you want to do. This is very normal and means you are human.
10. Customize your URL on LinkedIn.
11. LinkedIn Keywords: Keywords are how recruiters do job searches.
12. Don’t exaggerate your credentials on your resume or on LinkedIn. Ask Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson about the downsides of that.
13. Go out for drinks with friends, even when you don’t want to.
14. Once you have earnings, start saving for retirement through an employer-based 401(k) account and/or an individual retirement account (a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA).
15. If you can, make your 401(k) contributions Roth IRA-style rather than traditional.
16. Don’t go to law school unless you really think you will love being a lawyer.
17. Open your wallet. Take out your credit cards. Now cut them up and never use them again. You’ll thank me in ten years.
18. Even if you think there are no jobs or only low-paying jobs in the industry you want, don’t fail to apply for those.
19. Now is a good time to check the privacy settings on your various social networking accounts to make sure your party pictures are available to ‘Friends’ eyes only.
20. Make a conscious decision now about how you plan to ‘connect’ with your new boss and colleagues.
21. Do take control of your digital footprint. Blog. Set up a LinkedIn page. Lock down the Twitter account for your name.
22. And please, I beg you, put a Google alert on your name.
23. Learn how to program.
24. Read. Read as much as you can. It will make you a better writer, a better speaker, and more interesting.
25. Start paying back student loans as soon as you get a job!
26. Don’t settle. It’s just as important that the company is a match for you, as it is that you are a match for the company.
27. Get business cards printed for yourself. You have no idea how handy (and impressive) they’ll be for working in your favor.
28. Get on LinkedIn and have your profs write recommendations for you before you graduate. Start blogging.
29. Always live below your means. Start saving for emergencies & retirement now. Sign up for a Budget Plan.
30. Don’t let the ‘real world’ shock you, be humble & persistent. You may not start by doing what you love, but you’ll get there.