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In the eighth episode of The College Student's Guide To Money, Chelsea shows you how to start building your career from the ground up after college, and balance the need to pay your bills with setting yourself up for a fulfilling professional life long-term.

Changing jobs stats:

Choosing a career path:

The myth of the dream job:

On-campus career resources:

Job postings not listed:

Preparing for a job interview:


The Financial Diet site:

Now that we've talked all about getting the right money habits for yourself and starting to build-out the right goals so your money can serve a purpose, one of the most common ways that most of us are going to be earning the majority of our money is in our careers.

And it's easy to feel very intimidated by the concept of a career, especially when you're coming out of college and you feel like there's this enormous pressure for you to immediately find your, quote unquote, "dream job"-- that is fulfilling and not too taxing and pays you super-well and has prestige. And there's all these high expectations that will inevitably lead to some disappointment.

So one of the most important things to remember during this time is that you do not have to figure it all out right now. The job you get coming out of college may very well not end up being the career path that you stay on long-term. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, people change jobs about 12 times between the ages of 18 and 40.

That doesn't necessarily mean a career change. That does include promotions, moves within the same field, and so on. But it does mean that what you choose today doesn't have to be what you're doing in five years.

But that being said, given that most of us spend the majority of our waking hours at our jobs, it is in our best interest to make sure that that job is something that we actually enjoy doing. So even though you don't need to put on this massive pressure that you find the right career you're going to stick with forever fresh out of the gate, it is important that you look for a career path that has potential to grow, that fits your needs, and that is something that you genuinely want to do. Because the more emotionally invested you are in the work, the likelier you are to excel at it., which is a website you're probably familiar with if you've ever looked for a job, has seven steps to defining the right career path for yourself when coming out of school. These are making a self-assessment, identifying your must-haves, exploring job possibilities, researching what those job possibilities entail, getting training if needed, and tailoring your resume to the job-- all before you start applying. The most important of these, in my opinion, is the self-assessment.

Because if you're not able to be honest with yourself about what is truly important to you, tuning-out all of those outside expectations about the jobs that you should have, or that other people would be impressed by, you can only start to get a sense of what actually will make you fulfilled and be something sustainable for you. As I mentioned in our previous video, for example, something like a short daily commute might have a huge impact on your quality of life. Having flexible and comprehensive vacation time, work from home policies-- there are all of these factors that sometimes have nothing to do with your base salary, that can make huge differences in terms of the actual day-to-day job experience.

But only through a serious and honest self-assessment will you know which of these things are truly important to you. You should be able to define what your values are in a workplace, what is important to you in terms of mentorship and managerial structure, and day-to-day work-life balance. You want to be honest with yourself about your aptitudes-- where your best skills are and what you're maybe not so great at.

And finally, you have to understand what you're really interested in. Now, this can be confusing for a lot of people. Because there's a perception that if there's something that you absolutely love doing, for something like a hobby, that it should automatically be what you attempt to make your full-time job.

And that's not necessarily true-- both because we may not be skilled enough at what we love doing for a hobby that it could be a full-time career, but also because we don't need to be in the mindset that everything we enjoy doing needs to be monetized. But you should try and find the middle section of the Venn diagram between what I enjoy doing and what can be a sustainable career path for me. It may not be the most perfect day-to-day activity, depending on your interests, but chances are it's probably something that you could enjoy enough for it to be a long-term career.

All of that said, though, what is always very important to remember is that there is no such thing as a dream job, and the idea that you would love your job is an unrealistic expectation. I own my own company, and I do something that on a near-daily basis involves writing and performing and public speaking and other elements of work that I genuinely love doing. But at the end of the day, there is also a ton of my day-to-day job that I don't love-- the administrative elements, the managerial elements.

For the past two weeks, I've spent more time going back and forth about insurance forms for our employees than I have writing or doing anything remotely fun. And I'm probably one of the people who has the most reasons to, quote unquote, "love her job." But it's not realistic to expect that love is a sensation that you'll feel at minimum on a regular basis at any job. Because a job isn't supposed to fill our emotional needs.

And nor is there such a thing as a dream job-- something idealized and perfect that will never leave you feeling unfulfilled or bored or tired. Having an expectation for that is going to set yourself up for failure. Remember when you're looking for a job that the most important thing to do is take advantage of all of the networking opportunities that may be around you.

Being on a college campus usually will offer tons of resources, in terms of alumni networks and career days and representatives from different companies coming to speak to the student body. Never leave any of that on the table. Because as much as we all kind of roll our eyes at the concept of networking, so much of landing a job is based on who you know and how you find out about the job.

Because do remember that the majority of jobs are never listed publicly, which means you're going to have to have a more unique way of finding these jobs if you want to have a much wider array of jobs to choose from. Once you've landed a job interview, which is obviously a very difficult part of the process, you want to make sure that you are well-prepared for a job interview. And according to Alison green of Ask a Manager, there are four basic steps to preparing for a job interview.

You need to get to know your potential employer, so you can cater your answers to that employer specifically. You need to be incredibly familiar with the job description, so that you can reference specific parts of it, to prove you can do the job with evidence from your work history. Next, you practice your interview.

And this is where a career center can come in handy. They often hold mock interviews with actual employers, so you can get interviewing experience. But you can also partner-up with a friend to practice asking each other common interview questions.

Finally, you should come up with a list of your own questions for your interviewer to show that you're engaged in the process and thinking about how you might fit into the company. And of course, as far as dressing for the interview, you usually want to err on the side of business casual. And you can Google what that entails.

But do remember to tailor your dress to the style of the company you're interviewing for. If it's a super-casual work environment, don't come in dressed like an old-fashioned lawyer. And assuming that you've aced the job interview, one of the last but most important steps into entering that first job out of school is going to be negotiating for your salary.

So many people don't even realize that negotiation is an option. But not only is it an option on the table, it's something any professional should be doing. There is nothing embarrassing or desperate or awkward about negotiation.

You just have to know how to do it. First, you should be going into this interview with a target salary in mind. And you can usually use sites like Glassdoor to give you insights as to what would be a competitive salary for that position.

You should assess the skills and experiences that you have that set you apart for this position, and can act as further leverage. You should also generally try to postpone talking about the salary until you've been offered the job, if possible, so that you can establish that the employer wants you before you enter into that negotiation process. But you should, above all, remember that salary is only one part of the job package.

As I mentioned before, things like vacation time, work-from-home flexibility, hours, benefits-- all of these things can be part of what makes a job desirable to you. And you can have other areas on which you can negotiate to relieve some of the pressure from just focusing on the salary. Once you have a clear and fleshed-out picture of all the different avenues on which you have to negotiate, and what you do and don't have as leverage for the position, you can go into any negotiation confidently.

And even if you don't necessarily raise your salary to the place that you would have wanted it, you at least have established upfront with that employer that you're someone who wants to be treated as a professional and has expectations about how you should be treated by the company. Entering the world of careers can be incredibly intimidating, and it's totally understandable if you feel scared about it. But taking some of the pressure off by remembering that this is just one step in a very-long journey and having the right tools to landing the job and the package that you want are the keys to being confident-- and remembering that, at the end of the day, it's just a job.

Don't forget to check out the next episode in our guide to getting good with money for college students. And for all things talking about money, don't forget to check out the Financial Diet here on YouTube, or all around the internet.