December 20, 2019

Three Tips for Life After College

Posted by AGU Career Center

1. Monitor Your Finances

It’s always a good time to start practicing fiscal responsibility. One way to do this is to monitor your monthly expenses and earnings using an Excel tracker. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, as there are many money-tracker templates available online. These templates have categories such as savings, earnings, and grocery bills to help you know precisely how you spend your money. Knowing your spending trends provides a reference point so you can reduce spending or determine how and where you can divert funds for emergencies. Overall, internalizing this money-monitoring habit allows you to make more informed purchases within your budget.

In short: The more you monitor your money with precision, the more you’ll make informed choices regarding how you save, spend, and invest.


2. Inexperience is Also Flexibility

The sunk cost fallacy is the justification to further invest your unrecoverable faculties (time, energy, money) in a plan until a payoff is reached.

For a recent college grad, it’s helpful to be aware if the sunk cost fallacy affects your decision-making process while you are investing your time, energy, and money in building your career. It may inhibit you from opportunities such as relocating for a job or going to grad school, or from doing a project like writing a book, hiking the Appalachian Trail or immersing yourself in a new country. These activities add a variety of experiences to bolster your world outlook which is invaluable in life and for your career progression. Consider embracing new opportunities while you are in a relatively flexible time in your life, and question your rationale behind your plans.

In short: Be mindful on how much your invested costs should influence your decision making and flexibility for new experiences.


3. Take Charge of What You Learn

Information you don’t use, you lose. In college, you had exposure to courses, events, and extracurricular opportunities within and outside your fields of interest. After graduation, you’ll have to take a more active role to seek opportunities like this. Your decisions –or lack thereof– of what you seek to learn can narrow your scope of contrasting perspectives or of a big-picture view. This limits the options that inform your decision-making.

You can expand your information flow and big-picture awareness by investing in learning topics (in books, videos, etc.) that are outside your areas of primary interests. You can also enroll in a class or webinar to learn a subject you know nothing or little about. Everything you learn has lateral applications to other aspects of life, especially decision-making. Diversifying what you learn provides a wider insight for your future decisions.

In short: Everything you continue to learn throughout your life has lateral applications, and proactively diversifying what you learn results in more interconnected decision-making.


Sean Franco, Talent Pool Intern, American Geophysical Union