Life After College

By Tori R. Terhune and Betsy A. Hays, APR, Fellow PRSA, authors of “Life After College: 10 Steps to Build the Life You Love”

As you gear up for graduation, keep in mind that you hold the keys to having a great life after college. The more you take charge of your world (inside and outside of work), the more it will be the way you want it! Here are a few tips to get you started:

Be Indispensable

Arguably the best way to maintain the momentum of success you’ve created for yourself in college, and to solidify your place in your new career, is to make yourself indispensable. You want to be someone they can’t afford to lose! This will not only make you feel better about your job security, but you will also reap the benefits of added promotions, raises and everything good that comes from being a super star.

Do your supervisors thinking for them. A big mistake most newbies make is not trusting in themselves enough. And while asking questions when you’re new on the job is a good thing, try not to overburden your boss with questions. Your boss is your boss, not your professor. With this in mind, take the time to figure out what you can on your own (asking coworkers, using materials given to you by the company, etc.) and make sure everything you hand your boss is your best work (your A+ material!).

Be the “go-to person” to get things done. And the best way to do this is to simply get things done! The more reliable and responsible you are at work, the more people will trust you with bigger projects. Don’t make excuses – just do it. You want to be the person people turn to when they have a problem. Build a network by making connections in other departments in case you have questions, and keep Google at the ready in case it might be as easy as an Internet search.

Be a team player. Go the extra mile for those on your team. Share the credit and the praise!


Find a Mentor

Mentors are fabulous! And finding a mentor is vital to post-grad career momentum and success. Mentors are a safety net, especially for new graduates, as they can help us make some of the big decisions and navigate the bumpy waters of new careers. They also have a bigger network than you do and can generally help you find what you need.

Set expectations. Let your mentor know what type of guidance you would like moving forward. Clear goals and expectations make everything easier.

Take and maintain initiative. Realize that this relationship mostly benefits you, and so you will need to take control and stay on track. Make things convenient for your mentor, be on time, and never cancel unless you absolutely have to.

Be flexible. Again, this relationship benefits you – so be flexible and don’t get upset when times need to change or your mentor needs to cut things short. It is important to remember your long term goals and know that your mentor is helping you on the way to achieving them. Also be open to things your mentor needs. They may ask you for help when you least expect it, and it will benefit you to go out of your way to help them as well. This is called “reverse mentoring,” which you can learn more about in our books!

Enjoy it!

Taking these steps to success will launch your career in the right direction. You can expect to grow faster, earn more rewards and be overall happier in your career when you approach your new job and life after college in a proactive way. Enjoy this exciting time in your life. We wish you the best of luck!


Connect with our authors on Twitter!

@ToriRTerhune | @BetsyHays

Be sure to check out their book, Life After College: Ten Steps to Build a Life You Love. Get your copy here 

Author bios:

LifeAfterCollege - AuthorsTori Terhune
 is an award-winning author, speaker, coach and public relations and social media professional. She is CEO of Brand Chicks, an online branding consulting firm, and her experience varies from career coaching for recent college graduates to website and social media search engine optimization practices for companies. She is a popular speaker to college groups
and women’s conferences, as well as serving as a guest lecturer for many college courses over the last five years.
She was recognized as the Outstanding PR Graduate by Fresno State in 2009 and as Rookie of the Year by PRSA Central California in 2008. You can reach Tori on Twitter @ToriRTerhune.

Betsy A. Hays, APR, Fellow PRSA, is an author, keynote speaker, and workshop presenter whose topics include personal and professional success, public relations excellence, effective communication, and landing your dream career. She is also the lead Public Relations Professor for the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at California State University, Fresno — a post she has held since 1999. Betsy is the faculty adviser for the Public Relations Student Society of America and Fresno State’s student-run PR firm, Talk. Active in the PR world’s premiere professional organization (Public Relations Society of America) since 1998, she is currently the Chair of the North Pacific District. You can reach Betsy at or @BetsyHays (Twitter). 


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