Friday, June 2, 2017

Young Professionals Top 5

Hanging up the phone I replay our conversation over in my mind. A massive, goofy grin spreads across my face.

"We are completely swamped. We have more work than I know what to do with. Is there any chance you're interested in a job?" he asked.

"Sure! Should we schedule a time to meet and talk?" My body temperature has risen; I could feel it in my face.

"Actually, if you have 5 minutes we can talk salary and benefits now. I'd really like you to start next week," he said, his words muffled by the confetti poppers and champagne pouring soundtrack I had playing in my head.

"Oh! Of course! Let's do that. I'd be happy to start next week," I said, already forgetting about my part-time gig I started two weeks ago in a desperate attempt for money.

My first job after graduating came three months after I received my diploma, and days before I was starting to hit panic mode since my student loan payments would start in three more months. But at the drop of a hat my anxiety was wiped away and I found myself prepping for my first big girl job. 

Like most college graduates, I was starting off in the real world with a fairly empty savings account. I had some graduation money and a new laptop, a gift from my parents for graduation. Knowing I would be receiving a weekly paycheck, I sat down and made a priority list that I titled: Things To Buy. 

Today, I'm sharing an updated version of that list: Top 5 Things a Young Professional Needs to Reach Success and Comfort. I've tried to shorten that name, but I can't, so we're stuck with it. This is of course all relative, because different careers will call for different things, but this is a basic list that should help most college grads. Here we go:

5. Luggage
Whether you're working for a large company with offices across the country/world, or a small business, the chances are good you will take some sort of trip in your first year of working. I found myself on three the first year, and two of those were in the first three months. I was able to borrow from my parents, fortunately, but eventually I bought myself a three-piece set. Luggage can be expensive, so I recommend buying during Black Friday sales. Most would recommend choosing something professional looking, and that could be fine for some. But I would hate picking up every black suitcase off the conveyor belt to find my own. 

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4. Pillows
This one may sound really odd, however, it wasn't until I bought my first pillow (one of those $5 doorbusters at Target/Sears/JC Penny/WalMart on Black Friday) that I realized cheap pillows are cheap for a reason. And that's because they are crap. I was working harder than I ever had, learning more in a day than an entire year at the university, and coming home completely exhausted. To say I was disappointed in my $5 pillows would be an understatement. Invest in a great pillow that provides support and allows for an uninterrupted nights' sleep. My Casper pillows were well worth the money spent. And briefly, while we are on the subject of sleeping, PLEASE DON'T EVER buy furniture from a furniture store that's going out of business. You are basically forgoing the option of a warranty. This comes from experience. *palm to face emoji

3. Professional Network Membership
Finding a group of people who can give insight to the field you're in can be incredibly invaluable. These networks can provide opportunities for continued education, certifications, job openings, as well as friendships. If your job has you relocated to a new city, this could be pushed to the top of the list, as the social aspect can really help you to feel comfortable in your new home.

2. Wardrobe Basics
There's a good chance you bought a suit when you started the interview process. That's a really great start because you can wear the pants with different blouses and the jacket with different pants. A few other basics to consider include a cardigan, a comfortable pair of flats or loafers, several pair of dress pants in different neutrals (navy, black, khaki). Choose simple things that mix and match easily. If your office allows casual Friday, always keep your shoes and tops professional.

1. Reliable Transportation
My car was two years new to me, but ten years old when I started my job. It was reliable in the sense that it got me to and from work easily. However, as things started going wrong with the car, I realized I was putting a decent amount of money into repairs and my money would be better spent on a different vehicle. I needed to transport furniture occasionally, and that little car was too small for that purpose. So I sold my car and purchased another one that was seven years old, but had very low miles. It was a small SUV, so it had decent gas mileage, but plenty of room for the furniture I needed to haul. That car surprisingly lasted me up until last fall, and I paid it off years before that. However, while that worked out well for me, I do wish I had leased a new car instead. Older cars constantly require some kind of maintenance. Looking back I probably paid for the car twice over with the repair bills. A leased car would not require that kind of attention. As long as you have no issues with the mileage restraint, leasing is a great option for a young professional. And if you're in a big city, get yourself a Metro pass. :)

As a bonus option number 1, technology is a great choice. Like I mentioned earlier, I had a new laptop at the start of my career, so this was not necessary for me. It's inevitable that you will work during your off hours, even if it's just independent research or continued education. Invest in a good computer that will last you several years. I'm a fan of Apple products, so I especially recommend an iMac or a MacBook Pro.

I hope this little list is helpful to you. It can be exciting to get your first couple of paychecks and if you're anything like me, it's very easy to blow through a lot in a small amount of time. So make yourself a list of your priorities and consider the things from this wise ol' gal. ;)

p.s. If you are ready to purchase from Casper, I would love for you to use my referral link! It saves you money and also puts something back in my pocket. xoxo