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What Next?

Your Five-Year Plan for Life after College

Create a five-year plan that covers all aspects of daily life—including work, finances, and health—with this all-inclusive guide to successfully reaching your goals after college graduation.

The celebrations have ended and you’ve finally graduated from college. But the one looming question remains over every recent grad’s head: what’s next?

In this book, you’ll find a detailed guide to putting together a five-year plan to set yourself up for success. No need to stress about having the rest of your life mapped out—instead, you’ll focus on how to make the most after graduation so you can thrive in the years to come. Whether you’re looking for advice on turning your first job out of college to a long-term career or need some tips on managing your money so you can pay down your student debt (and treat yourself), you’ll find all that and more in What Next?.

Filled with advice from journalist and lifestyle blogger Elana Lyn Gross, What Next? includes all the tools you need to achieve your goals one step at a time. Offering helpful guidance on every aspect of life, you’ll have no problem answering the question: what’s next?

Photograph by Jacqueline Clair

Elana Lyn Gross is a journalist whose writing has been published in Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Women’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Allure, Women’s Health, Teen Vogue, Well+Good, and many more. She is also the author of the popular personal and professional development site, ElanaLyn.com. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and lives on the Upper West Side.

“What Next? is the post-college survival guide I wish I’d had! Elana’s advice is not only engaging and practical but actionable! Knowing you’re not alone on this post-college journey is refreshing and humbling, and Elana helps you map your five-year plan with more clarity and confidence than ever before. Do yourself a favor and buy this book.”

—Lauren McGoodwin, founder of Career Contessa and author of Power Moves: How Women Can Pivot, Reboot, and Build a Career of Purpose

What Next?: Your Five-Year Plan for Life after Collegeis the step-by-step guide to adulting that I wish I had when I graduated! Elana breaks down big (often scary) concepts into a relatable, manageable, and actionable plan. I highly recommend it!”

—Ashley Feinstein Gerstley, founder of The Fiscal Femme and author of The 30-Day Money Cleanse

“It’s apparent that Elana is a lifelong learner with a heart to help young adults ready to take ground, live intentionally, and implement strategies as they launch into their next phase of life. This book covers everything from relationship building to financial responsibility; from cultivating spiritual health to increasing self-awareness. Elana takes you on a journey that could possibly change the trajectory of your future. A must-read for those who are ready to fly.” 

—Dr. Melanie Ross Mills, life strategist, relationship and friendship expert, licensed temperament therapist, and author of The Friendship Bond

“Elana Lyn Gross is the mentor new college grads need as they embark on post-college life! Comprehensive, actionable, and practical, What Next?is an essential career-start guide. Rather than muddling through those first post-college years, put your master plan into action with Elana’s sage guidance.”

—J. Kelly Hoey, author of Build Your Dream Network

“In case your college didn’t offer a class on how to get the jobs that build a satisfying career, or how to actually set and achieve your life goals, or everything you need to know about personal boundaries, having a social life, and prioritizing your wellness—What Next?covers it all. Basically the Google Maps of post-grad life, Elana Lyn Gross’s What Next?: Your Five-Year Plan for Life after Collegemakes your drive down the winding road of post-grad life a whole lot more navigable and informed. Filled with tactical advice like how to negotiate a salary and determine if a company culture is right for you plus holistic guidance on how to make sure you don’t sacrifice your wellness or mental health on the job, this book will get you up to speed on how to make sure you have a super-informed, super-fulfilling post-grad life. There should really be a college class on everything in this book!”

—Melisse Gelula, cofounder of Well+Good and coauthor of the The Well+Good Cookbook

 “Elana has written thego-to guide for life after college—giving recent grads a step-by-step process for winning at life. It’s a new world out there, and What Next?helps folks understand exactly how to navigate it. This is a must-buy for recent college grads!”

—Carrie Kerpen, CEO and cofounder of Likeable Media and author of Work It: Secrets for Success from the Boldest Women in Business

 “This book is a must-have resource for new college grads who want to build a solid foundation for a stellar personal, professional, and financial life—and feel like a functional human in the process. The approachable self-care tips to help ease the post-college transition into adulthood are gold. This is the book I wish I’d had to give to my corporate wellness clients who were struggling with adjusting to take care of themselves while working their first real job and navigating the way friendships, romantic partnerships, and family relationships change after college.”

—Jessica Cording, registered dietitian, health coach, and author of The Little Book of Game Changers: 50 Healthy Habits for Managing Stress & Anxiety

“The book every twentysomething needs. This is the crib sheet on how to go from college student to twentysomething success. Managing career, money, family, relationships, friendships, and more—all while navigating a whole new world of adulthood—is hard, but this book will make it easier. This is the SparkNoteson how to manage your twenties.” 

—Molly Beck, founder of Messy.fm and author of Reach Out: The Simple Strategy You Need to Expand Your Network and Increase Your Influence

“Elana Lyn Gross’s book helps college students answer that critical question of ‘What now?’ and then ‘What next?’ as they jump headfirst into this completely new stage of life. She manages to take that terrifying concept of a five-year plan and boil it down to actionable, motivating, doable points that will leave any student or recent grad with a sense of confidence, direction, and purpose when it comes to what lies ahead.”

—Stephanie Kaplan Lewis, cofounder, CEO, and editor-in-chief of Her Campus Media and coauthor of The Her Campus Guide to College Life

“An in-depth look at the tools you’ll need to find success after graduation.”

SheReads

“This is a post-graduate/adulting bible… you can't ask for more.”

Blog Lovin

“This book is the survival guide you’ll wish you had when you graduated.”

The Everyday Real

"All-inclusive."

Gen Twenty