Let me give you a little background on my experiences after graduation. It was about a month before I graduated and I had no idea where I wanted to live and I did not have a job, so my options where completely open. A friend of mine had recently taken a job and his company was moving him out to Los Angeles. One night we were out and he asked if I wanted to move to LA, I took my chance and moved out there to start "The Real World".
During the last 9 years after graduating, I am still living my dream of doing what I studied and have been blessed enough to be successful at it. I can tell you it hasn't been easy, it took a lot of sleepless nights of perfecting my craft, along with stepping stones from the bottom. It has been a long road to get where I am now and there is still such a long road with a ton of obstacles to where I want to go.
Some stats from my "Real World"
Cities I have lived in- Two
Jobs - Six
Laid Off - Twice
Highest Credit Card Debt - 5k
Unemployed - Once for 6 months
Jobs I have loved - Two
Jobs I have hated - One
Freelance - Twice
Contacts - 153+ LinkedIn
Managers - 11
Corporate Buzzwords - To many to count
As You can see in 9 short years a lot can happen, I know some friend's stats that would blow mine out the water. The point in putting those numbers out there is to tell you keep a level head about all your situations. Jobs/managers/partners/collegues come and go and business's are constantly changing, plus you can add in circumstances that are beyond your control.
I moved out to LA and couldn't find a job for a few months. Once I finally found a job, 9/11 happened and all of a sudden there were no jobs to be found. It took a good three years after 9/11 for me to land a solid job I was proud of. During those three years I had a job not paying much that I hated. Instead of getting down (which I did) I started to network and choose working at night to perfect the skills I knew I was going to need if I wanted to make it. Every job situation I have ever had, led me to the success I am seeing today, even the one I hated.
Your career is going have hills and valleys just like life in general. You just dont want your life's hills and valley to be directly connected with your career, which is very hard to avoid. One of the hardest task is to keep a balanced head no matter what your earning capability is. Making minimum wage or making more money that you ever thought you could or would, you should always learn and love to live within your means. Living within your means, you will always be able to grow your wealth, this is important because you never know what may arise. If you start to save from the time you graduate, you will find out that you will be able to pursue so much more in the future. It might be going back to school, open a business, or if you lose a job you have an emergency fund so you can choose the next job position that is right for you, and not have to take a job because you need it. My mother has always said "it is always easier to get a job, when you have a job", and this is a very true statement. It also a very important statement because you can choose a job that you love rather than one you hate.
Find a career, not a job, a job is something that you hate on Monday's and look forward to Friday's. Constantly looking forward to Friday can only take you but so far. A career is something you love from the first day to the day that you retire, enjoying the failures and the successes that come with it. When you retire you can look back and rest because you have worked hard everyday to get to this point.