You've Qualified for your First Paycheck. What's Next?

By: Thilak

In this competitive business world, getting a job seems to be getting tougher day by day and more and more graduates are jobless. But, you've got your first victory of securing yourself a job. Congratulations!

Okay, with your first victory in mind, you have to continue your daily life with whatever amount promised for your qualifications. You have to do a very good financial planning or budgeting of your income and expense. Apart from that, you must also take care of your career path. An early start is a good start!

I've heard numerous complaints that the paycheck is too small, not enough to meet expenses, etc. But, hey, trust me... I used to save more in my first job than I could save right now, even though the current salary is much higher. Why, you ask? Simple. That's it. Simple. Keep your lifestyle simple. During my first job experience, I used to take public transport, eat simple food and do loads of overtimes. Now, I drive my own car, no overtimes and at times, let myself indulge in hearty meals in posh restaurants just to keep up to our standards (or other people's view of our standards).

So, here I list some of the things that I suggest you should do right from the start:

1. Use public transport for as long as possible

* It may seem glamorous to get on your own car, but the hassle of finding a parking space in the city centre, getting stuck in the traffic jams and getting an occasional summons for over speeding is not so glamorous after all. And not forgetting the fact that once you are used to getting your own vehicle, getting on the public transport would be the last thing you would want to do.
* And try to save as much as possible for the down payment of your car. The more down payment you put for the car, the lesser interest you would be paying for the loan later.

2. Get yourself covered

* Shop around for a suitable insurance plan.Since there are various insurance companies with various plans, get a good/reliable agent that could suggest an appropriate plan for you. Remember, as your needs are unique to you it is not necessary that the plan suggested to you would be the same as the one suggested to your friend. And do not delay getting yourself covered, as you would be paying higher premiums as your age catches up with you.

3. Start building yourself a safety net

* No one else, but you yourself are fully responsible to take care of your financial health. This means that you should also be fully prepared for the rainy days. As the workplace gets highly volatile nowadays, you should be prepared for self-sustaining without any income between 3-6 months. This would depend on the number of people who are dependent on you for financial support. The more people signifies that you should get ready for a bigger, stronger net.
* Even though with lowest interest rates, it is advisable for you to keep them in a savings account (separate from your salary account, if possible).

4. Start investing

* With whatever amount leftover from your salary, start your investing, even though with a smallest amount. The earlier you start, the better for you as the power of compounding has a miraculous effect on your savings.
* Remember, investing is not saving and there can be short-term investing and long- term investing.

5. Pick up saleable skills

* At times, you may be wondering why you are getting lower offers while your friend who studied together with you and graduated with similar results can command a higher pay check. He/she probably has a skill that is wanted in the industry. A saleable skill. That is what the employers are looking for. That is what that makes a high earner apart from his other mates.
* For example, if you are in the IT industry, ask from your seniors/ read from related magazines:
o What is the current trend in the industry?
o What programming language/skill in demand currently?
o Which is the booming sector right now? (eg. medical,banking, etc.)

Use all these knowledge gained to boost your skills so that you can command a relatively higher jump for your next pay rise or even your next job.

6. Build your network

* This is very very important in the long run. Whether you plan to work for others until you die or go on your own, networking is very important. People should look upon you as an expert and reliable person in your field. If there's any offer for part time jobs or even favours requested from you, by all means take them up if you think you can deliver them (higher quality than expected, and faster than due date). If not, you are just risking yourself to be shunned by them even before you are going to bid for a job.
* For the beginners, try to build your name first rather than worried about the money. Once you have built sufficient credit to yourself, others will start looking for you.

7. Don't jump jobs just for the money

* Money is not everything, but it is the only thing! You may have heard it and yet why not hop jobs for the sake of money? It is in your best interest that you do a proper analysis before you jump.
o Does the new company provide you with a good career growth?
o What about the work environment there?
o Do you enjoy that type of job?
* Apart from that, make sure that you stick to the same industry and build up yourself. Then people would start to recognise you in that field. You will find that it would be more rewarding in the future in terms of monetary gains and self-satisfaction.

For a start, practise these little tips first. Let's start small to ensure that you have a great financial well-being in the future.Good luck!

Share this article :

Most Read
• Need Your Paycheck (And Then Some) Early?, by Dror Klar
• Paycheck Loans: Help you Avoid the Tenuous Processing, by Ashley P Lewis
• Paycheck Loans: Get Access to Low Rate Instant Finances, by Ashley P Lewis
Top Searches on Banking
•  Small Business Health Insurance Plans•  Term Life Insurance Premiums