As graduates seek to start their careers, many have high expectations, and many questions on how to get ahead. Below are four things I’ve learned over the course of my first decade in the working world.

  1. Save. Save now. Savings will not only allow you to retire one day, but they will also let you take advantage of opportunities that may require you to take time off work, or to start your own business one day. Put aside 10% of your wages right away, and increase that every year by another 1-2% until you reach 20%. For ideas on where to save and how to save while paying off debt, read my past blog titled ‘Debt Payoff Strategies.’

  2. Savings alone isn’t enough… you need to invest. Recent studies show that younger employees are the most interested in conservative, guaranteed income. Older (and wiser) participants had lower expectations that guarantees were the best way to maintain their wealth.

  3. Think like an employer. Jobs like you might see in a movie like Office Space, where employees may do a few hours of work over the course of a weeks just won’t exist for you. To get ahead you have to think like you’re the boss if you ever want to become the boss (or, if you want to become your own boss).

  4. Continue to learn. Perhaps the best way to use your savings may be to invest in yourself, which may mean going back to school. The payoff from investing in yourself and a new degree, or simply learning new skills on your own, may not lead to much now, but can open any number of doors over the long-run.

Print this page
Find a planner