Graduated! What do I do now?

OK - so you've finished your degree and decided that it's time to join the real world. The idea of having more income than debts per year is an appealing thought even though you realise that you're not going to be able to defer those student loan repayments for too long.

So you've decided to join the rat race and not remain an eternal student, supplementing your lifestyle with odd jobs for the student union. The big question is - what do you do now? Working too hard is out of the question and so is earning too little money. You need to find a job that will enable you to buy that villa in Florida and that flashy sports car, while also giving you the free time to be able to take advantage of them.

I don't want to depress you but lets do some simple arithmetic together:

You will be spending 5 days per week at work that equates to 100 days off out of 365 per year. OK, plus holidays (8 bank holidays), and vacation allowance (around 20 days) leaves you with 128 days not working per year. So 128 days on holiday versus 237 at work - that's almost double.

Let's go into more depth - most people require 8 hours sleep per day. So that's a third of your day gone. Also bear in mind that you're going to be working around 10 hours per day, and that you'll possibly be commuting at least 30 minutes each way, and don't forget breakfast and dinner. That leaves you with about 3-4 hours of free time per day.

These numbers are not meant to depress you, but rather to reinforce the importance of choosing the correct role for you. Don't just jump at a job, just because it sounds interesting, but rather draw up a list of pros and cons. Find out the things that are most important to you in a job. It could be something as simple as location, pay or hours of work, or it could be that having a nice boss, co-workers and work environment is most vital (remember, you'll be spending more time with your colleagues than you will with your friends and family).