Get VIP invites to recruiting events with popular employers! Sign up here.

MBA Corner
First Time on Brazen?

Spice Up Your Inbox!

Get invites to exclusive career events, networking opportunities and top career advice.



3 Things No One Tells You About Graduating from College

Pin It  

college graduation

Want to earn money as a social media consultant — even if you already have a day job? Check out our exciting free webinar with social media strategist Alexis Grant to learn how.

When you graduate college, you’re inundated with cookie-cutter advice like, “Follow your DREAMS!” and “Believe in yourself!!!!”

Let’s get real, guys: this advice means nothing once you step out into the real world. 

So let’s dig into some advice that’s actually useful. Today I present to you: The top three things that I wish someone had told me when I graduated college.

(You’re welcome!)

1. It’s OK not to know what’s next

When I graduated college in 2006, I had no clue what I wanted to do next.

The result? Constant anxiety.

I wish someone had told me that it’s OK — in fact, it’s more than OK — not to know the answers.

I wish someone had told me that I wasn’t gonna die if I didn’t have it all figured out, that it often takes time and experience to live your way into the answers, and that despite feeling the world is gonna end, it won’t. Confusion or no confusion, you will continue breathing and you’re gonna be just fine.

What’s more, I wish someone had told me that not knowing in no way dooms you to failure. In fact, some of the most happy, successful people I know started out without knowing where they’d end up.

If you feel like you have to have your whole career planned out, think again. Not only is this expectation unrealistic for most of us, but it’s often ineffective as well. Consider your current confusion a prerequisite to a clarity that can only come with trust and with time.

It’s OK not to know. Embrace it.

2. You have the rest of your life to be serious

If you want to jump straight into a serious career, then by all means go for it.

But if travel or adventure or soul searching are whispering in your ear, don’t feel pressured to jump into “real life” right away. You’re still young. You’re still free. You’ve got THE REST OF YOUR LIFE to go to work. You’ve got THE REST OF YOUR LIFE to be serious.

If you want to take a chance, take it now. Lose everything before you feel like you have everything to lose. Do it before it’s too late, before you’re old and wrinkly and looking back on your life with regrets.

The year after I graduated college, I took off to Australia for three months and allowed myself to wander and to explore and to experience life. When I came back home, I secured a desk job in corporate accounting, and I was able to do this without feeling a sense of regret about the risks I’d failed to take.

Your degree isn’t going anywhere. Work isn’t going anywhere. You have years and years and YEARS ahead of you. Don’t feel pressured to rush into a “real person job” — instead, try considering that living may be your real job. And living doesn’t have to be so serious.

Which leads me into my third point…

3. There are no “shoulds”

The horrible affliction of shoulditis is running rampant in today’s society.

“I should have it all figured out,” we tell ourselves over and over again in our heads.

“I should get a good job and do what’s expected of me.”

“Should should should, blah blah blah.”

THIS IS BS!

Allow me to let you in on a little secret of life: You WILL NOT DIE if you drop the “shoulds.”

I repeat: YOU WILL NOT DIE IF YOU DROP THE “SHOULDS!”

At the age of 28, I just quit my corporate job to travel around the country, to live my passions and live more simply, and to slow down. And LOOK, I’m still alive! What’s more, I’m happier than ever.

There are no “shoulds,” guys. Listen to your heart and don’t ever let other peoples’ expectations dictate how you should or shouldn’t live your life.

If you want to go travel the world, do it.

If you want to teach English in Thailand, do it!

If you want to go bartend on a tropical island for awhile, who am I to stop you?

If you want to go straight into real life and get a “real job,” that’s fine too — just make sure you’re doing it because it’s what you want, not because it’s what you think other people expect of you.

In the end, you’re the only one who has to live your life. Others may have their thoughts or expectations, and that’s fine — they get to live their life how they want to do it, but only you can know what’s right for you.

Therese Schwenkler is passionate about bringing more and better direction to today’s generation. Feeling lost & confused after graduation? Stuck in the “shoulds?” Visit Therese’s blog, The Unlost, for the cure.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

  • http://youhavemorethanyouthink.org/ Shawanda

    Not needing to have it all figured out should take some pressure off of new grads. But if you don’t have a job lined up and you don’t have any income, how do you decide you’ll travel the world instead of trying to make a living for yourself?

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Hi Shawanda,

      Good question :). For most people, it’s not an option to immediately drop everything, take off and travel the world. Thought, planning, and time are often involved. I explore ways to do this on my site and in my guide.

  • Mike

    This article is only relevant to students that didn’t acquire a large amount of debt while in college. When you’re funds are low and you’re debts are high, you have got to do whatever you need to do to survive. Traveling and “not being serious about your career” is not a viable option.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=13956859 Samantha Lee

      I like the idea…but student loans wait for no wo(man). Sadly the creditors care not for being free!

      • http://www.facebook.com/kumar.piyush1 Kumar Piyush

        wat was ur context behind wo(man)?

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Hey Mike,

      You do have to do what you have to do, and again, I’m not advocating irresponsibility (see my comment above). This article isn’t about traveling, per se– that’s only one of a myriad of options (that said, there ARE ways to travel AND to make money at the same time if you’re resourceful and if that’s what you want to do).

      If you want something bad enough, you’ll figure out how to make it work (even if this takes some time and some planning, which it often does).

      If you don’t want it bad enough, then you won’t, and that’s ok, too.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=47802377 Emily Aiken

        This is a remarkably immature and narrow-minded view of the world. Everyone gets whatever they want just by wanting it, and if you don’t succeed it’s your fault for “not wanting it bad enough”? Try living in the real world for a little while, please, before you start telling other people how to live their lives.

        • Giglio

          Funny you should mention narrow-minded as your post reeks of narrow, single-minded negative thinking.

          You are basically projecting your shortcomings on the poster blaming her optimism for your cynicism in an attempt to leverage your own position as superior. The irony is of course that this narcissistic behaviour is extremely immature.

          You suggest the poster “try living in the real world” when you have no idea what “world” she lives in, your term itself ambiguous and the fact that you bring up what you don’t know and try to pass it off as factual genuine advice just goes to show you are full of BS and will betray logic at the drop of a hat simply to get the satisfaction of pushing someone down and coming off as “right” to those pathetic souls that don’t know any better (of which there are few under you).

    • http://www.facebook.com/C.Rese21 Reesie Love

      so true, unless the person wants to join the military and travel but they must be serious about the career

    • Young at heart

      There are many programs that help pay for graduates to go abroad. Also living a more frugal life at the moment: living with parents or roommates for a year to save, buying a used car instead of a new one, cooking instead of ordering out all help. Plus you have your whole college career to work part time and save half your check.

  • Lenore

    Let’s be realistic: it’s money, not “shoulditis” that’s limiting college graduates from having the kind of experiences the author describes.

    Travel-hungry college graduates need to do more than just “listen to their hearts” and jump on a plane–they need a concrete plan for 1) covering or deferring their loans, 2) saving up enough money to cover all fees and expenses, including a cushion for unexpected emergencies, 3) storing their stuff, & 4) ensuring they have at least a couch to crash on when you return to the States.

    There are lots of ways to do this. Some TEFL programs will pay for first time teachers, rather than charging them for the experience, and you can always sell your stuff (assuming you have anything worth selling–I definitely didn’t). But chances are you’ll still need to work a “real person” job for a while to finance your soul-searching expedition. Isn’t that essentially what the author did herself?

    This article is overly simplistic, but I’d love to see a follow-up that helps new graduates better understand how they can make teaching in Thailand or bartending on a tropical island a reality, without asking their parents to bankroll their travel.

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Hi Lenore,

      Agreed; a concrete plan is necessary. I’m not advocating being irresponsible– I’m simply suggesting that there ARE alternatives. If you need to work a “real person job” for awhile to finance travels you’d like to take, then so be it. Not everyone should take the path I took– those were my own decisions and I made them in light of my own particular situations.

      That said, this article IS overly simplistic– there’s only so much that can be said in one short piece. Moreover, there’s no “cookie cutter” solution; new graduates have to use their God-given intelligence to come up with a solution that will work best for THEM, whatever that may be. If you’re willing to think outside the box and take initiative, you’ll be amazed at the myriad of opportunities that can be created.

      Most people are too busy making up excuses to think about the alternatives (comments on this article are a case-in-point), and that’s fine– it’s the ones who don’t who will actually use their brains, take initiative and make something happen ;-)

  • Guest

    Really Brazen Careerist? As wonderful as this all sounds, it does not translate too well into the reality for recent college graduates. It’s wonderful to hear some positive encouragement every once in a while, but let’s not shy away from the new normal that is abnormal student debt.

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Hi “Guest,” see my responses to comments below. It’s rarely as simple as dropping your responsibilities and taking off to never-never land.

      Also, if you don’t have it all figured out, this doesn’t mean that you aimlessly wander around or sit around doing nothing all day. Is it possible to “not have it all figured out” while simultaneously job searching, working, and/or planning for and working toward solutions? Ask yourself this question…

  • Kopoosky

    Quitting your corporate job just set your annual salary back a couple years.

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      I’m not worried about my annual salary– that’s not what’s the most important to me ;-)

      • Anonymous

        I think Kopoosky is speaking to a time when being at a position for a year, 2 years, etc. inevitably led to a raise and likely a promotion. In an economy where a non-specialized Liberal Arts degree qualifies you for a million entry-level corporate positions (the job I have currently after 3 jobs and 3 years in the workforce), corporations are not in the business of granting raises. You are expendable and infinitely replaceable.

        Sooooo just get that job and work hard but ALWAYS remember that life > work. You make money to LIVE, and as long as you can pay your rent and feed yourself, you can be living the life you want. A raise is a perk, not a guarantee.

  • http://www.jaclynschiff.com Jaclyn Schiff

    Hi all, thank you for the comments! The points about student debt are all very relevant — yes, it can be a big limitation. That’s why we’ve published a number of articles with strategies on how to pay off student debt.

    I don’t think Therese was saying everyone should travel — and I don’t think she’s assuming everyone is in a position to do that. Her point seems to be that you should pursue your own path and not do things because you think you should. So maybe you’ve taken one job purely for the money — to pay off your student debt faster. I think this piece asks us to consider other options. Maybe take a slightly lower paying job that you think you’d enjoy more. There are lots of possibilities when you don’t restrict yourself to things you think are expected of you.

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Exactly; thanks Jaclyn :). There are a multitude of possibilities, and taking a job purely for the money (to pay off student loans or to save for travel, etc.) is one that has validity for many people. Everyone has to figure out the path that’s best for them. If only life were simple enough to offer one cookie cutter solution :-P.

      • http://akhilak.com/blog Akhila

        I agree that a lot of people have student loan debt which makes it very difficult to travel and pay your own way. I think this article could be more useful if it provides concrete suggestions on how to make this happen. I have some suggestions though:

        1) Look at programs that help you make a living while traveling abroad. Peace Corps, Princeton in Africa/Asia/Latin America, Humanity in Action, 100 Projects for Peace, Insight Collaborative Fellowship, Fulbright, Watson Fellowship, Simon Fellowship for a Noble Purpose, JET, are some of those available. There are many more if you contact your university’s fellowship office!

        2) Teaching English is often a good paid option and not very difficult to get.

        3) Finally you could take a paid job in the U.S. for 1-2 years, save up, and then use your savings to travel for a few months. That’s what I did (am going to Bangladesh & India this summer, in California now using my savings before law school) and one of my friends recently did this to go to Taiwan/China.

        4) Tons of job opportunities in the East especially China. I have heard recent grads just go there without a job and almost always find a paid job soon/quickly. I know several people who got jobs easily in China because unemployment is very low and economy is booming. Huge market for those who can speak English there.

        Hope this helps!

        • http://akhilak.com/blog Akhila

          Also Luce Scholarship. It’s awesome. I might apply for some of these in between law school as well :-)

          • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

            Thanks Akhila. Great options! All the best to yu on your travels this summer :)

  • http://twitter.com/downfromtheledg down from the ledge

    We have very little tolerance for the unknowns in life. It would be much easier to have a secure little path to walk down, so that we could stay diligently on that trail to our guaranteed result of success and happiness….if only it worked that way.

    If someone had told me that I could EXPECT failure and floundering and falling off course – well, honestly, I would’ve hated it and thought, “Not ME, I’m doing everything right.” But maybe down the road when things didn’t turn out according to plan, I wouldn’t have taken it as a personal failure.

    And for sure, for sure, there is forever to work-work-work and be serious.

  • http://journeyofasoulsearcher.blogspot.com/ M Sonnier

    Oh, Therese. I love this.

    I’m not a college student or a college graduate, so I feel sort of out of place here (I only wanted to read the article because you wrote it). So I can’t really relate to having loans to pay back, etc. But I completely agree with everything you wrote here. When I graduated from high school, I thought I had to have my entire life mapped out. I thought I had to immediately jump into the real world, suck it up, and be all professional and serious. I wish I had discovered your website and your articles THEN. Probably would’ve saved me from being depressed all the time.

    “You have the rest of your life to be serious.”

    It’s true. Even though I feel older than dirt sometimes, I’m only 20. I have my whole life ahead of me. I don’t want to waste my youth living up to societal expectations. I don’t even completely know how to be an adult yet. I feel like a 10 year old trapped in a 20 year old’s body.

    I’m just glad that I decided at a young age that I was going to pave my own path. I’m still working on it.

    This is good advice. These negative nellies probably just don’t realize it yet. But then again, what do I know? I’m not in college. ;P

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Miss Madi,

      Yes, you are SO young, and I’m proud of you for deciding to pave your own path! Also, this advice doesn’t just apply to college grads, but I think you already know this ;-)

      & I’m not sure when we EVER feel like “adults”… did you ever read this post of mine about becoming an “adult,” haha: http://www.theunlost.com/life-in-general/wait…-when-did-i-become-an-“adult”/

      I’m not worried about the “negative nellies…” my advice is neither wrong nor right, neither good nor bad, and people are more than entitled to their own opinions. All I know is that I wish someone would have told me this stuff when I graduated, and I know there are many, many more who feel the same way. Reaching these people is all that matters, and I’m not concerned with much else.

      The truth is, forging your own path is HARD and it’s not for everyone. Most people would rather make excuses for why it can’t be done. These aren’t the people who I write for, so while their opinions are valid, they aren’t really relevant for me.

      Thanks for your awesomeness!

      :-)

  • Kelli

    I really enjoyed this piece, Therese. I especially appreciated point number one – “I wish someone had told me that it’s OK — in fact, it’s more than OK — not to know the answers.” I spent three months feeling like a loser because companies were not breaking down my door to hire me, and looking back all the worry seems like a big waste of time. I think we limit what we may be really good at by trying to fit in certain positions at certain companies – and may limit our earning potential – because we are so worried about the process. I, too, am a college graduate (2007) with hideous student loan debt and had to jump directly into a job after college, but I have found after working in four totally different industries that had I known all the answers and taken the track I expected, I never would have had the experiences I’ve enjoyed – let alone been paid to experience them. Try the unknown, work for a startup, maybe even work for less than your worth. But I would tell any graduate try to enjoy some of the journey, just make sure you can pay your bills.

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Yes, yes, yes. Well said.

  • Fretzeroguitar

    You lost me at “there are no shoulds.”

  • Patrissijp88

    wishful thinking..wishful thinking…only viable options for travel: Peace, Americorps, Teach English in China, or Teach for America.

    Good luck paying off loans..hurray for the lost generation of the great recession!

    Sincerely,
    Mr. Poverty&Clueless from New York

  • Anonymous

    I really do wish people told me these three points when I graduated college 6 years ago. Instead, I was sent off with well wishes and high expectations of a corporate job in sales and marketing. Uncertainty about my career path and my own passions seemed irrelevant.

    Even though I had a small amount of debt from college and I desperately wanted to move out of my parents’ house, I quit the job I had lined up before graduation (it was an Account Executive job at a marketing firm), packed up my belongings, put everything in storage, and went off around the world. I caught two fish with one worm–moving out of my parents’ house and following my own passions.

    Fortunately, I landed a full-time job a few weeks after I returned to the states so I was able to move out and continue to live on my own. Taking that time off had boosted my self-esteem and had given me invaluable skills that were comparatively more important than the ones I would have gained at the marketing firm. All the “shoulds” no longer mattered to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/morana.medved Morana Medved

    I was really interested in this article because it showed so much potential but then it completely fell flat. I’m sorry if this is harsh but this advice is no more useful than “believe in yourself” and “follow your dreams”. “There are no shoulds” is just another way to state the same sentiment.
    I agree that there is no prescribed path and there is a variety of things to do, including travel, but if you don’t want a career in your chosen field, why go to college? You can travel the world and bartend on tropical island for a while before you go to college, or omit college altogether, but isn’t the point of getting a higher education getting a “serious” job? Why spend the time and money otherwise?
    This is great advice for high school graduates and I took some time off myself after graduating high school. Then I picked my career, went to college, graduated 10 years ago and I’m still enjoying my chosen field, probably because I took the time to think about it without thinking about “shoulds” – but with mounting debt and need to keep myself fed with roof over my head, I did not have that luxury when I graduated and worked three jobs for a while.
    More than 50% of last year’s graduates are still looking for that first job – that’s the reality. Taking time after graduation is not very good timing as good college programs are meant to transition you into a job with a network of peers and professors to help you out and if you take time off, those connections might fade or be gone.
    Seriously, if you’re a sophmore in college and don’t have some answers about what you want to do with the degree, then take this article’s advice, take time off and figure it out before you graduate with “I don’t really know what to do now” frame of mind. College is too large of an investment to do otherwise.

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Hi Morana,

      “This is great advice for high school graduates and I took some time off myself after graduating high school. Then I picked my career, went to college, graduated 10 years ago and I’m still enjoying my chosen field, probably because I took the time to think about it without thinking about “shoulds””

      Good advice and well said– I LOVE THIS! The period after high school is a MUCH more ideal time for soul searching and exploration, after which you’ll be much more likely to know yourself well enough to pick a field and a career path that suits you. (I mention this here: http://www.theunlost.com/work/this-myth-about-finding-your-career-path-is-gone/)

      Shrugging off the “shoulds” immediately following high school and waiting to go to college until you’re more clear on things is almost certainly a better way to do it. I better get crackin’ on a high school article!

      That said, it’s too late for many of us (myself included), who went to college right after high school because it’s what we thought we were “supposed” to do, but without having a deep understanding of where we wanted to go with it or what we wanted to do with our lives– and then after graduation we find ourselves in a tough spot. Being in this situation certainly makes exploration & other options more difficult, but I still vote for battling shoulditis rather than falling victim to it for the rest of my life :)

  • Jrandom42

    There actually are a couple of shoulds:

    1) You should not free-load and mooch off of parents, family, fand riends and expect them to continue doing so indefinitely

    2) If you turn to crime, like dealing drugs, to support your lifestyle, you should be prepared to do the time when you get caught.

  • http://twitter.com/abfamilycoach Amandah Blackwell

    I agree with these points, specifically when it comes to “shoulding all over you.” Shoulding, what iffing, etc. creates anxiety and frustration. But I’d like to add that most kids aren’t ready for college when they graduate from high school. Some don’t even want to go to college. Let me explain.

    No one has the ‘guts’ to tell students that some of them aren’t ready to go to college after graduating high school. This is why kids in the UK, Europe, and other countries take a ‘gap’ year (or two) to experience life, gain some maturity, and figure out what they want to study before they accumulate a mountain of debt. Just because your parents want you to go to college, it’s better to speak up and say you’re not ready to go. There’s nothing wrong with working first or even working full-time and going to school part-time. In fact, you’ll probably have an advantage (I did) over kids in college. You’ll have ‘real world experience and skills’ that employers want. You’ll network and make connections that can lead to fantastic opportunities now and in the future.

    I’m not sure ‘why’ people think college/university automatically means you get a job after graduation. Currently, there are experienced and qualified people out of jobs right now that probably have one or more degrees. I’d encourage kids today to become entrepreneurial and start their own business while they’re young. It can be done, especially if mom and or dad are entrepreneurial. For example, a teen on ABC’s “Shark Tank” is already a millionaire at the age of 15. Why? Because she thought of an idea when she was in elementary school and it took off. She went on “Shark Tank” to get help to expand her business. You see, it can be done.

    In general, if you’re not passionate about continuing your education, don’t do it! You’ll waste time and money and more importantly you’ll waste your parents’ money ‘if’ they pay for college. Let’s face it; colleges and universities in America aren’t shutting their doors anytime soon. You can always go to college just like you can always quit your job or don’t even look for one when you graduate from college. Go travel around the world and see for yourself what’s happening. A little culture, perspective, and introspection never hurt anyone. In fact, it could lead to your dream career.

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Agreed. Well said, Amandah. Morana had some similar thoughts below– both of you couldn’t be more right, in my opinion.

  • http://www.wineworldaccessories.com/c-4-wine-gifts.aspx Wine Lover Gifts

    Just want to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your post is simply cool and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject.

  • http://www.moeheid.com/ Mada94382

    Great articel.

  • http://twitter.com/TomGimbel Tom Gimbel

    It really is ok to be uncertain about what you want to do after graduation. Too many graduates jump into a career that they don’t enjoy because they think they need to. It’s acceptable and necessary to take time to determine what you want to do and what you are passionate about. It’s ok to accept temporary work until you find your dream job.

    I explain more in my recent blog post: http://pastfive.typepad.com/pastfive/2012/05/advice-for-the-class-of-2012-do-what-you-love.html

  • Vance

    Great article. I graduated last year (didn’t walk, pocketed those precious $80), and with six months of freedom before my debts came due figured I’d rather job hunt in California than job hunt under my mom’s roof.

    It meant consolidating all my savings (I worked all through college), buying an old, used wagon, and filling it to the brim with all my “essential” accumulated junk. I took three weeks to see the country on me way out – couchsurfing.org, and spent my money mostly on gas. With one friend in LA, I crashed until I found a cheap (not “good”) apartment on craigslist, month to month, and started looking for anything to get me by. Worst case scenario, I run into my red zone of savings and have to haul it back to Pennsylvania.

    California’s got a ridiculously high unemployment rate, 10% sales tax, and a comparatively “high cost of living”. I had no expectations coming out here, I lived in a sh*tty apartment in college, and I still live in one now. I share a bathroom with four people, the dog sleeps on the couch, the washer’s broke, and I sleep on an air mattress, but so what? I’ve certainly had my depressing times (at least the weather is nice), but I don’t think of this as lowering my standards. It’s all about attitude, and one year later I’m no big success working in a grocery store, but I’m no failure, either.

  • Anonymous

    Regrets would always be found in the end. That’s reality, I suppose. We only get serious when we are already left hanging from a cliff holding on to a thread and praying for dear life. As graduates, our outlook in life MUST be “Mark Zuckerberg did not finish school a graduate, but now he has billions.” He is blessed with a mind just like Einstein’s. But what I’am trying to say is our laziness just takes a hold of us for too long. Now that we know that planning ahead is important then it’s not to late to do so. Plan life ahead. Never plan when you are a hairline off the cliff.

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Joel,

      Questions:

      Can planning coexist with letting go and with “not knowing?” Can we do both, or must we choose one or the other?

      Can light-heartedness coexist with getting serious sh** done, or must we be all “business-like” in order to achieve anything?

      Do lightheartedness and letting go necessarily equal laziness? I agree that they can, under certain circumstances– but must they?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jdmorgan87 Joshua Morgan

    This advice might be useful for someone who graduated before the sharp upturn for the cost of college, but Mike is right. If you have loans there is a definite “should”, you need to be serious about it, you HAVE to make it your first goal to know what to do next. Whether the economy is improving or not, plenty of college graduates are not going to find that job that allows them to: pay their monthly loans, live comfortably, not worry about your car, and travel.

    I agree you should do what you want and not what people expect of you, but now it has broken down to, “you need to do what you have to to pay down your debt because your lenders expect you to and so does your future credit worthiness.”

  • http://www.jjinfra.com/ JJInfra

    Good nice share, thank you.

  • Bkowker

    Thanks for taking the time to share that w/ us. . . it was a nice reminder, I keep telling myself “I can’t believe I graduated college over 8 yrs ago and I’m still not working in the field I planned. . . ” . . . . . NO BIG DEAL, I’m employed and have the best fiance and 3 yr old on the planet. “it’s my life, it’s now or never, I ain’t gonna live forever” -Bon Jovi said it best :-)

  • qifei2012

    ‘microsoft office’ Cell, your mobile model regarding Microsoft ‘office’ programs, the perfect solution is is built-into your link Business office made for Home windows Phone 7, which usually doesn’t need to down load as well as deploy whatever else to begin but navigate to the hub involving Workplace in mobile phone to start along with work on Ms office documents Microsoft office 2010. office 2010

  • http://www.tonygoddardconsulting.com/ Tony

    I think this relates to anyone graduating. The worst mistake you can make is to set off in a career that does not switch you on. It tends to lead to stress – long boring days are very bad psychologically. Plus you can end up getting fired and then have a problem with references when you find the job that you really do want.

    If you aren’t sure what you want to do take the time to find out – talk to people doing jobs and find out what a typical day and week is like

    • Danielle

      I agree that setting off into a career immediately after graduation is dangerous. I had a friend who went to law school straight out of undergrad and ended up getting dismissed his last year for grades– really set him back psychologically for a while, 60k in debt will do that. IMO if he would have taken 2-3 years off to figure out what he wanted to do this may have not happened.

      Referencing what you said above, “if you aren’t sure take the time out…,” this could be read as taking time “off”, easily interpreted by others as taking time off from work. The majority of people do not have the opportunity to take time off work because they have bills, credit cards payments to pay. Its better in my opinion to fall into any industry (if you are really clueless of what profession you want to do) and get a feel for it. If you are the type of person that is hands on and needs to learn from experience then listening to here say from other people won’t help you figure out the career that’s right for you. Personally, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer but when I immersed myself in the profession I couldn’t have been more wrong. So don’t listen to other people, learn for yourself that’s the only way to know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=526903019 Timothy Clark

    I hope this is geared towards recent undergrads and not towards recent grad students. You should have some level of independence once you get a masters or doctorate.

  • http://www.tauedu.org/ Caribbean Medical Schools

    Thank you for this wonderful and beautiful Article added.Please keep on blogging. Really good keep it up.

  • Lauren

    Hey so I’m seventeen, just about to go into my second year of college. For probably 6months I’ve been doubting doing the second level of my course, i told my friends but my parents, grandparents, aunties…etc all expect so much of me. they think I’m set on doing that course. I got the courage up to tell my parents that i dont want to do it but they wouldn’t listen, they just think I’m scared about doing the next level but really i just desperately want to change course. It’s stressing me out so bad now that i am hardly sleeping and having panic attacks. Reading this though has made md feel less alone and shown me I shouldnt have to do the course, other people want me to do it but i dont…I never wanr to let my family down and ive felt that i am but I think my family would want to see me happy so I’m going to have q talk with my parents.again and be totally honest because i cant continue acting like I’m fine. I need to do what makes me happy. Thanks for helping me! Xx

    • Danielle

      I had this exact situation happen to me when I was in college, which wasn’t that long ago 2010. I was a Food Science major my first two years and then Junior year changed to Philosophy! My parents were outraged, especially my mom. But see, when I got to my upper level courses I realized that I was not understanding/or even absorbing the subject matter and it made me very confused. I was always an A/B student so I didn’t understand why it wasn’t working. Lesson learned: Sometimes in life things to go to plan and you have to change course. There’s nothing wrong with you or that this happened. In fact I read a statistic somewhere that nearly 40% of students change their majors at some point. So my only advice to you is not to stress THINGS WILL BE OK. Just do your best at following through with what your plans are and in your free time remember to relax and enjoy life a little. Best of luck.

  • Danielle

    I agree with the concept of “letting go” of expectations upon oneself and allowing yourself time to figure out what it is that you want to do. However, more than this preconceived notion that college has all the answers, I think we project this focus to finding all the answers in a “job” as soon as we graduate. It’s important for everyone to remember that purpose is extended throughout ones life. So your purpose everyday is to find yourself in the responsibility of being an adult and being/doing what you want to do. I think as others mentioned it’s important to make room for many experiences in your life so that you become a well rounded person. School partially trains us for life. We don’t benefit when we only learn to regurgitate facts and think as if we know things based solely on these facts. This makes us stupid. If we follow this mentality it leads to cog worker /working large corporation, not thinking for YOURSELF, but doing as you’re told 100% of the time. Society wants this for the majority of people because they are sheep that need to be led. Entrepreneurs/CEO’s/Inventors are not sheep they are leaders by which our society is transformed. If you are a leader you can never wander blindlessly, you are constantly aware of your own power. My advice: Be your own person with your own thoughts and understanding. If people/companies don’t get you it’s OK. In my opinion success is a journey to find yourself and what works for you, so trying to fit into a box will only make you feel awkward and not yourself. When you are awkward and not yourself you aren’t happy, and when you are not happy people are not attracted to you. Leaders naturally want this attraction. People who plan their lives to a T are not leaders, they are squaring their-lives into boxes. For example: A student majors in engineering so that they can secure a “safe” job that pays well. Ok this idea is great, when you graduate you will make more than all your friends but 10 years from now will you be happy? Will you attract people? A very small percentage would say yes. You need to allow yourself time to find your purpose and anyone who says they found it in 4-5 years of training has a shallow view of purpose. As long as you graduate and understand the importance of paying your bills, loans, etc. it doesn’t matter where you work as long as you do what you think you want to do. If it doesn’t work try something else. In my experience, you will only find what you want to do by knowing with certainty what it is that you do not want to do.

  • MEowmix

    Nice post, moron! Not everyone is rich you entitled fuck,

  • liv

    I would love to do what I want but I agree strongly with previous commenters I don’t have the money to just go traipsing around europe and finding myself. I have no money. Who does this apply to? I’m sure none of my friends could afford this either. But i appreciate the idea.

  • geleesa

    UUUUGGGHH OMGGGG! You are all missing the point! She wasn’t giving you a plan (you need to have your own) like many of you obviously expected by reading this article (although she clearly says you don’t need one) she was trying to get you to see that there are other options and just because you have a degree doesn’t mean that one of those will be getting a job because you have to wait to get hired first! so instead of feeling like a failure, try exploring more of life’s options because once you start working, you’ll be working for the rest of your life and THAT will cause more anxiety and stress when you’re 50 looking back than if you take then time now to weigh OTHER options and not just the ones you can see if front of you and live your life how YOU want..basically USE YOUR BRAIN, that’s mainly why this article is so “simplistic” *eye roll* Come up with your own options because these are only a few examples. Yes we have accumulated debt and yes we get hungry but like she says, if you really want something you will FIND A WAY, OR MAKE ONE(school motto). -almost graduated Clark Atlanta University c/o 2013 – and no, i don’t have it all figured out but i promise whatever i decided, however seemingly impossible, I WILL find a way, or make one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=517795903 Ciara Simone Bradley

    =0)

  • Pingback: Taking The Plunge | X Marks The Spot