June 24, 2020

The Launchpad Series from GradAustralia

Caitlin MacPhail Caitlin MacPhail

As seen in Guild Weekly: The Launchpad is GradAustralia's series designed as your cheat sheet to working life, full of advice and recommendations on making the transition from student to working professional. Whether you've already started work, are waiting for an internship or grad role, or are still weighing up your options, The Launchpad has your back!
We've put all the topics in one place, giving you a complete guide to navigating life after uni.

Topic 1: Everyday Banking

We've figured out the best banking deal in Australia - does your bank make the list?

It may not be glamorous, but now is a great time to review your everyday banking setup. Why's that? Because The Launchpad has done the hard yards to figure out which bank accounts are the best for students and young professionals in a world of banking rip-offs!

Best All-Rounder goes to uBank, while ING wins Best Travel Companion. CBA takes out Best Full-Service, and Bank Australia leads the pack on environmental and social impact.

Want to know who has the best interest rates? Or their app usability? Check out the full research and see if it's time to make the switch!

Topic 2: Superannuation

We’ve found the best super funds in the country - are you with any of these? 

Choosing the right super fund for you and understanding the risk involved is key to a successful pot of gold at the end of the working rainbow. The Launchpad has crunched the numbers (and much more) to find the best super funds for young Australians. 

In our “Price is Right” category (the search for the most economical options), AustralianSuper, HostPlus and QSuper were deemed best of the bunch. In our “More than Money” category, we consider super funds offering sustainable investment options. In this category, we give a big tick to Australian Ethical, Future Super, UniSuper and First State Super. 

Topic 3: Starting Work

Just started work? This is how to stand out in your first few months.

Starting working life can often be a tsunami of emotions. There’s nothing wrong with a healthy dose of nerves, but how can you hit the ground running at work while keeping those pesky nerves in check?

The Launchpad has you covered. We’ve developed our patented Boss Basics as your go-to-guide on acing your start to work. It covers six boss categories; (1) mindset & behaviour, (2) capability & output, (3) brand & network, (4) stakeholder engagement, (5) workload) and (6) direction. 

Topic 4: Work Wear

Need some help figuring out your company’s dress code? 

Mastering the workplace dress code is one of the things that’s expected of you when you start a new job - but one of the key things that university fails to prepare you for. And unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how much you know about a prospective employer - if you don’t nail your interview attire, you won’t get a foot in the door. 

Rocking up to an advertising agency in a suit might make you look like you watched one too many episodes of “Mad Men”; going to a meeting at a finance company in a white tee and chinos will suggest you lack care and judgement; and going to a meeting with Nike sneakers (when you’re presenting to the Lifestyle Marketing Manager of adidas) would be catastrophic. 

We’re here to help you navigate this often hidden code by breaking it down into two categories: corporate and casual. There are nuances that come with each, and with our recommendations you’ll be kitted out appropriately. 

Topic 5: Workplace & Team

Adjusting to your new colleagues? We’ve put together a set of simple rules to fit into any new workplace or team.

Starting a new job and finding yourself in a new environment with a whole new set of people can be difficult, but we’re here to help! Adapting to any social situation is the result of a combination of small factors that add up to shape the perception of those around you.

We’ll guide you through our three rule system to know yourself, observe and adapt which can be applied to any new workplace situation. 

We’ve also packed in our pro tips on what things to look out for and what to avoid when you start a new job (here’s a sneak preview - accept those coffee invites!).

So what are you waiting for? 

Topic 6: Budgeting 

Get rich or die budgeting - we’ve figured it out for you

You’ll never know you need it until you need it the most - a budget could be the difference between getting what you want and… well.. not getting what you want. It may not be at the forefront of your mind right now, but with plenty of changes ahead at this stage of life, you’ll quickly figure out why managing your money is important.

Setting one up takes some work and sticking to it can be even harder, but the Launchpad has you covered with a bunch of tips to make budgeting as simple as can be. We’ll introduce you to a few handy apps to help you along, plus some useful changes you can look to incorporate in your everyday life to give yourself the best chance at success. 

Want to know more? 

Topic 7: Working Remotely 

Working remotely and staying sane during COVID-19

It’s becoming clear that our current coronavirus situation is here to stay (at least for a while). That unfortunately means our current situation is also here to stay. Assuming you’re doing the right thing (staying home!), this means more virtual socialising, meals in bed, pyjamas to work (if you’re lucky enough to work remotely) and progressively later wake-up times. But how do you stay home and stay safe, while also staying productive and sane?

The Launchpad has you covered. In this exclusive COVID-19 edition, we cover the 5 Pandemic Principles to working remotely: (1) setting up, (2) staying productive, (3) adjusting your work style, (4) managing self-care and (5) embracing the perks. It’s a stressful time, but we’re here to help!

Topic 8: Bills & Utilities 

How to keep paying the bills during COVID-19

It’s painful to see how much money goes out the door to keep the lights on, stovetop cooking, phone ringing and Zoom connected. No doubt this is even more painful now that our economic outlook is simply: COVID-19 soz.

This means it’s even more important to make sure you’re getting the best deals on your bills and utilities. Not all providers were created equal though, and choosing the right ones can help you keep on top of it all with cash to spare.

We’ve broken down the best deals and providers for your energy, internet and phone bills, as well as what support is out there for those affected by COVID-19. 

Want to find out more? 

Topic 9: Loans & Credits

What are the best credit cards in a COVID-19 world?

It’s not something often talked about, but getting a credit card can actually benefit you financially. Of course, it’s not always rosy, so there are a number of things you need to be wary of too. 

With a multitude of card options available, it can be a challenge finding what’s right for you. Don’t worry though, The Launchpad has picked out a few of the best to help you narrow it down. UniBank takes out our pick for “Best All-Rounder”, American Express has been awarded the “Best Low Rate” option, while ANZ takes the title for “Best Points Hack”. 

Keen to see what else there is? 

Topic 10:  Investments 

Investing during COVID-19 - we’ve broken it down for you.

Investing sounds complicated and expensive, particularly during these uncertain times. I’m sure there are many of us asking ourselves ‘is it really worth it?’ But never fear, the Launchpad has made investing easy, and found the best ways young Australians can put their hard-earned money to work. 

In our “Price is Right” category (the search for the most economical options out there), Self Wealth and CMC Markets were our top brokers. In our “More than Money” category, the stand outs were Westpac and Commsec. When looking at exchange traded funds (ETFs), Betashares and Vanguard were the top performers in our “Price is Right” category, while in the “More than Money” category, AMP Capital joined Vanguard to round off our top picks. We also considered a range of neo-investments, with Stockspot, SixPark, Raiz, BrickX and Spaceship making our “Price is Right” list. Finally, our “More than Money” category highlights two managed funds run by Colonial First State and OnePath.

Topic 11: Living Out of Home

Thinking of leaving the nest after COVID-19? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back

Moving out of home is a huge step. Even without considering COVID-19, it can be daunting to take the plunge. How will you know if it’s the right time to leave? What kinds of costs can you expect? And should you move in with friends or chance it with a stranger?

If you’re thinking of leaving the nest, the Launchpad has created the ultimate guide for you. We’ll help you answer these questions and show you how to find your dream house on Domain.com.au (or your dream housemates, with a little help from Flatmate Finders). 

We’ve also rounded up some useful services that can make the transition easier, from moving in (thanks GoGet) to settling in (with online grocery delivery from Coles and professional cleaning services through Helpling). Plus, we’ll share our top tips to make sure you keep your housemates on side and get the most out of your experience (without blowing your budget on UberEats!)

Topic 12: Managing Time & Stress

Feeling even more stressed and time poor with COVID-19? Follow our advice

We’re all prone to stress. But if we don’t manage it (particularly during these turbulent times), stress can really take its toll on our well being. Luckily, The Launchpad is here to help you stay on top of it all. 

We’ll show you how to prevent unnecessary stress with our top five time management tips and tools. Spoiler alert: if you’re not already a Trello convert, you will be soon. 

We’ll also look at how apps like Headspace can help you maintain a sense of well being. What is mindfulness? How can exercise help? And what else can you do to beat stress? Find the answers here!

Topic 13: Splash or Stash

Struggling to find the line between spending and saving?

You can change this without being forced to live the life of a depleted monk. In this article, we have pieced together findings from the fields of behavioural economics and psychology to develop a framework that will help you shift your behaviours to be more savings friendly without acquiring the ‘boring’ lifestyle that seems to come with it. Continue reading to see how you can make a few changes to your life and start getting the most out of every dollar you spend!