Full Time Student to Employee

Deciding When to Begin Working After College

Some may disagree, but I think change is good.  Whatever those changes may be, I firmly believe that a person is able to make changes to his or her life by taking a step back to look at things with a new perspective. 

For seniors graduating in May, life is going to throw us a curveball, and we have to be ready to hit it out of the park.  Graduation day is the beginning of the rest of our lives (I know, so cliché).  Realistically, each and every one of us students hope to have a job lined up upon graduating.  Knowing we have some financial security when we leave school would be an extremely comfortable feeling.

However, if those of you reading this are anything like me, job hunting is not the only difficult part of seeking full-time employment. The other is when to begin our lives as full-time employees.

Many of my friends that graduated last year have given me the following advice: do not start working right after graduation.  Each of them decided to enjoy their last summer “off” and postpone their lives as working women until August or September.

They spent the few months after graduation vacationing and traveling. They also used that gap between college and the “real world” as a transition period. However, there are many graduates that begin working the week after graduation.  So, when should a recent college graduate begin working full-time?

The good thing is that there is no right or wrong answer to that question. In my mind, it really boils down to two things: the kind of person you are and the hiring employer.

Your personality, attitude, and decision-making abilities help decide when you really want to start working. If you are the kind of person that cherishes all of the free time you can possibly have, especially during the summer, then waiting until beach season is over is probably a better choice.

If you are the kind of person that doesn’t like having too much spare time on your hands, then you may want to start your job sooner than later. 

Some people do not begin their job search until the middle of the summer with intentions of postponing any stress of interviewing and working until after beach season. Some started searching in January in hope of securing a job immediately upon graduation.

From what I have noticed,   patient people wait until a few months after graduation to begin working.  The more eager people, like myself, want to secure a job immediately and start right away.

The hiring employer is a huge factor in deciding when to begin full-time work.  Some companies are seeking immediate hire, and those that are still in school at that point often suggest that they can start right after graduation.

This limits your flexibility as to when you would prefer to start.  Often, companies will interview candidates for job opportunities that may not be available until the business exceeds certain financial goals.  This may postpone a candidate’s start date. 

I have also heard from friends that negotiating a start date can be tough, but possible.  You may be able to persuade them to allow you to start a month or so after graduation.  I would not suggest telling them you won’t start working until after summer if they have not yet offered you the job. However, the employer ultimately makes the decision as to when they need you to begin working.

Transitioning from college life to the working world is already an unsettling thought.  It is definitely going to be one of the biggest changes of my life and other graduating seniors.

The most important advice that I give myself and that I can share with others in the same situation as me is to decide what would make you happiest.

If enjoying the three months of summer and then working is what you want to do, then do it.  If starting work the week after graduation is what you want to do, then do it. 

A lot of people have told me, “You have the rest of your life to work”. So whatever you decide, keep that in mind.