5 Tips for New College Graduates

Hello! If you’re just tuning in, we’re Sally, Ming, and Linda — hosts of the Moving Oolong Podcast, where we share personal and hopefully relatable stories and dreams as Asian American best friends in our early twenties.

In our 47th episode, we sat down with Crystal and Jeesoo from Eat Your Crust podcast to chat about work-life balance, how to quit your first job, and navigating friendships. As college grads from c/o 2018, they’ve had a few more years to figure out post-grad life than c/o 2020 us. They’re our first fellow podcast host guests, and live on the West Coast, so it was exciting to hear from their perspective!

“I used to look forward to going bar hopping with friends on Friday nights. Now I hope to be able to fall asleep early so I can wake up early to do work, and I would look forward to sleeping.” — Jeesoo, Eat Your Crust

Here are 5 tips for new college grads!

  1. It’s okay to not have the idealized job search experience of securing a position early and then enjoying senior year. Many people take months to find work after graduating. It can be disheartening to face job rejection. Especially during a pandemic, you’re not alone if you are struggling with this. And if you’re in comfortable situation, it’s also okay to take some time and enjoy what might be your last summer off after graduating :)
  2. Your first job is most likely not going to be perfect. It can be hard to leave because you might lose the stability, or if it was really hard to secure the position. A lot of advice says to stay in your role for at least a year, but it’s worth considering if you can cut your losses early for better opportunities in the long-term. It’s great if you can feel excited about your job and continue to learn and be stimulated.
  3. While you might hope you would have more free time with a 9–5, you can also feel drained and emotionally depleted after work. If you feel like a shell of your former self after working, we’ve been there! Combined with new responsibilities such as finances and family, time can feel more limited so balance and intentionality can really make a difference. Making friends and keeping up with them may have felt a lot easier in college. After graduating, you have to take the initiative and reach out to maintain friendships, while being mindful of others’ schedules.
  4. There can be cons to sharing your personal life at work, such as when coworkers might bring in family drama. Especially for women, seeing personal details can unfortunately be detrimental in how people see you as a professional. But having a close friend or just someone with a good relationship with at work can really help you enjoy your job. Commiserating at work can be a way to lead to a connection :)
  5. If you find yourself stressing out at work for no reason, sometimes the outcome is better than you think! If your boss sends you a cryptic meeting invite and you feel like you’re going to be fired, you’re not alone! But there’s so many positive possibilities — it can be a surprise happy hour or just a heart to heart to thank you for your work (it’s more likely than you think). And if you are a manager, use your vague meeting titles wisely…

If you’re a new grad, hopefully these tips and stories can be relatable, helpful, or affirming! As the generation graduating in a pandemic amidst other anxieties, it was reassuring to hear from Crystal and Jeesoo’s experience. Tune in to the episode to hear more about their perspectives growing up in Silicon Valley, starting a creative career, and navigating a long distance relationship during COVID!

Listen to this episode on Spotify and check out our Instagram!