5 Common Post Grad Problems (and How to Deal with Them!)

Every year, around this time, I see so many of y’all’s gorgeous graduation pictures, and it reminds me of my own post-grad experiences! 

Graduating is so, so exciting! But once it’s over, it can be so, so scary if you don’t really have anything lined up right away. 

Welcome to adulthood. 

Not to sound discouraging at all, but I’m learning that it really is just so typical that things in the “real world” don’t always work out the way they did in school. 

5 Things Recent Grads Should Know

School is like this nice little bubble, where you plan your life one semester at a time. You receive explicit instructions and rubrics. You know that if you follow those instructions and rubrics, you will pass. Then you move on to the next semester and start it all over!

The “real world” is so different. All the promise and hope and opportunity and potential that you felt at graduation gets wiped away when you start applying… and applying… and applying for jobs and hear nothing. 

It can be pretty overwhelming and it can definitely be a discouraging time of life for lots of people! Don’t worry! It’s not just you!

Here are the biggest complaints crises problems questions that Post-Grad Students have and advice for dealing with them!

How can I get 3-5 years experience if every job requires 3-5 years experience? 

The experience thing can be so ridiculous and tricky. I know that when I first finished undergrad, literally every job description I read “required” 3-5 years of experience. Queue all the tears. HOWEVER, something that I’ve learned is that this is just standard language for employers. It doesn’t mean that they won’t actually look at your resume (or even hire) you if you don’t have that much experience, it’s just what they would prefer. 

Bottom Line: If you see that, and you’re otherwise qualified for the job, then GO FOR IT! 

How many jobs should I apply to before I can officially feel discouraged? 

I think I actually Googled this exact phrase earlier this year. I started applying for teaching positions in Nashville in December (waaaaayy too early) so by the time actual teacher hiring season came around, I was pretty burnt out. The answer Google gave me is about 20 jobs, btw. So, if you’re 4 applications in and you haven’t heard anything back, keep on going! You’re nowhere near eligible for the “maybe I’ll live with my parents forever” attitude yet! 

Bottom Line: If you’ve applied to 20+ jobs, just keep swimming. Less than that? Try harder.

I’m overqualified and under experienced… what can I do about that? 

This is the saddest part of it all. Even with a degree, you’ll probably still have to start at the bottom, financially and title-wise. The good news!? (yes, there is some!) Once you find a company you love, and you start at the bottom, and you show up on time and work hard every day, you will have a killer advantage at working your way up! Most companies would much rather to hire someone they already know than to bring in someone from the outside. 

Bottom Line: Start at the bottom of the job you want and work your way up from there!

Should I have been paying attention to LinkedIn this whole time? 

Technically, yes. But if you ignored all of those LinkedIn requests and things while you were in college, no worries! LinkedIn is a pretty easy thing to build up quickly. Just import your contacts from your Gmail and Facebook accounts and you’re halfway there! There are step-by-step instructions that make it easy to understand what’s going on in that little society of connections and endorsements. So, you’ll be fine! Plus, it’s not a make or break type deal.

Bottom Line: Spruce up your account, add your favorite professors, and get active!

Why did I choose the major I chose and what can I do now? 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Your major does not permanently lock you into one profession for the rest of your life! Do you have a huge advantage over other people if you just happened to major in your life calling? Absolutely! But most of us didn’t find that calling at age 18 and that’s ok. Hopefully, you chose a major that you were interested in studying. Maybe it was a skill you wanted to acquire. And maybe you love it or hate it now. NBD.

Bottom Line: Most Americans work outside of their major. Just call yourself “well-rounded”.

For many of us, post-grad is the first time in our lives that everything isn’t neatly planned out, and that can be a little overwhelming! Remember to think of the uncertainty as a big adventure! Reframe your anxiety about the future into excitement and enjoy this adventure!

Are you a recent post-grad or have you passed that season of your life? What have you experienced so far? Do you have any questions or answers to add to this?! 

CHARMING GIVEAWAY: Samsill Duo Binder + OC Printable! (March 9-16)

I LOVE giveaways! Like, a lot. And I really, really love giving away awesome, amazing, and just all around incredible organization products! 

And guess what? This week, I am partnering with Samsill Corporation to give away an awesome, amazing, and just all around incredible organization product! The Duo Binder

You can check out some cool photos of the Duo (valued at $10.79) in use here! Also, you can check out Samsill’s Pinterest page to see how others have used it here! 

The Duo is perfect for organizing whatever season of life you’re in right now! Whether it’s wedding planning (gosh, I wish I had this thing when I was planning my wedding!), job searching, a full college semester, or just to use as an ultimate household organizer! 

The giveaway will start at midnight Sunday March 8th and run for one week (ending next Monday, March 15th at midnight)! I will contact the winner via e-mail the next day! ALSO, I’ll throw in any printable from Organized Charm’s Etsy shop for the winner, as well! 

Enter the giveaway below (you know what to do)! Then comment below and tell me how you’d use the prizes if you won! 🙂 


5 Ways to Use the Duo 2-in-One Binder

Have you heard of the Duo Binder by Samsill? It’s nothing short of organization perfection. Seriously. It is (are you ready for this?) a 3-ring binder and a filing system. Yes, you read that correctly. And I have to say that it really is the coolest invention for organizing that I’ve seen in a really, really long time! Traditional 3-ring binders are awesome… but this is even better because it allows you to file away papers you may not need frequently. Best of all? It comes in a super wide variety of colors AND there is even a trio with a hanging file option!

The greatest thing I’ve discovered about this binder is how super easy it is to transition it between different categories in your life! So, maybe you’re using it for school this semester but next year you’re coaching a soccer team and will need a place to store all of your rosters, schedules, etc? It works perfectly for both! Or you’re working on a HUGE project at work right now, but in 6 months you’ll be planning a wedding? Yep, it would be absolutely essential to both things! As life shifts and changes, you can use a Duo to keep it organized! 

Here are 5 ways I’m currently using Duo binders: 

1. Career Portfolio
Job searching is no fun. And job searching in a different city is even less fun. Job searching as a teacher also includes keeping up with a ridiculous amount of paperwork to prove that you are actually capable of doing your job. To keep track of it all, I created a career portfolio! I used the filing system to hold all of my state documents, Praxis scores, employment evaluations, copies of my resume, references, letters of recommendation, etc. The 3-ring binder holds all of my research, like potential schools and dates I send out documents. 

(Shameless self-promotion: I’m job searching in Nashville, by the way! If you hear of an elementary school that needs an excitable, perfectionistic, elementary teacher who gets really into dressing up for spirit days and organizes for fun, please let me know!)

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2. Lesson Planning Binder
Teaching makes you a hoarder. This is an absolute truth. Even I, the writer of an organization blog (where I constantly preach on the importance of getting rid of clutter) have fallen victim to this hoarder-ism. Why? Ask any teacher you know how much of their own money they spend buying supplies for lessons, decorating their classrooms, or printing papers off of their home computer… and they probably won’t even be able to tell you. Because it is THAT much! 

If there is a way for us to save ourselves time/money in the future, believe me, we are absolutely going to try it! 

It is for this reason that we start to collect junk trash things that we “might need one day”. Graphic organizers (because they’re Common Core), lesson plans (because maybe I’ll teach 5th grade and need this lesson plan one day), old magazines (because students could cut those pictures out for an activity on… something). So where to keep it all? I filed all of those handouts, articles, standards, and forms in the filing system and the 3-ring binder section is where I pull all of that information together to create the actual lesson plans! 

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3. Moving Folder
I mean, you can’t move to a new city without the move itself having its own folder, right? So I also have a moving folder (similar to the one I wrote about last year). Right now, it is mostly full of pictures I ripped out of the Pottery Barn and West Elm catalogs. However, as we get closer to our move, we will use it to keep comparison charts, flyers, moving/packing notes, and eventually our new lease agreement! Moving is something that I *definitely* enjoy because it offers a chance to clear out and really analyze every single item we own! 

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4. Schoolwork Organizer
I know that this is what y’all are waiting to see! I have received so many requests recently on how to organize school things and I have a couple of posts coming up to delve way more into that topic! BUT for now, here are some reasons that I think the Duo would be the perfect way to organize your high school/college/grad school work:

-The cover is durable, great for sticky notes (or washi tape quotes), and available in many colors
-The filing section is big enough to hold calculators, flash drives, paper, pens, and Post-Its!
-The 3-ring binder section is perfect for notes and Semester Assignment Spreadsheets
-This system would work well for several different classes or for a semester research project
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5. Scrapbook Organizer
Finally, I filed all of our little momentos (photos, tickets, etc.) into another binder. If you are into scrapbooking at all, the Duo was practically made for you! It provides the perfect way to collect all of those tiny little things until you have time to arrange them onto your pages! I divided mine into Journal Pages, Photos, Post Cards, Stickers, Tickets, and Vintage Photos. This turned out the be the perfect home for those meaningful things we gather: silly photo booth pictures, printed Instagrams, game tickets… everything is organized so neatly now! 
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So, those are 5 ways that I’ve been able to put these binders into use in my life! 🙂

Now it’s your turn! Because, guess what?! We are giving one away! YAY! Starting on Sunday, you’ll be able to enter for your very own Duo Organizer in your very own color! 

How could you use this to better organize your life?! What color would you choose? Which of these binders would you be interested in seeing a tour/tutorial of?