So, you graduated? Now, what?!?
Life after graduation can seem a lot more complicated than what your cocky college self would have thought. After all, maybe the parents were right when they were telling you to appreciate what you have because of how hard they had to work to get it. It is not all that easy being a so-called "adult".
But, oh the possibilities if you play your cards right…
Below is a list of my take on the top 10 things you should know before entering this dog-eat-dog “Real World”:
1. Patience is a Must-Have
Going from napping between classes to the long hours of full-time can take a while to adjust to. Thus, patience is key. While it is beneficial to be the eager, full-of-ideas new kid on the job, it is necessary to “slow your roll” enough to understand that success is built one step at a time.
This means that one little mistake does not have to undermine your entire career (unless you royally screw up). But, in the same token, success can be very short-term, as well. Therefore, it is important to take the necessary time to build the right habits.
Learn how to starve. Because, if you can make it with very little, you will be prepared to manage things when you hit the “Big Time.” For now, respect those that came before you and learn from their successful habits. Before long, these “little things” will accumulate to form the foundation of your success.
2. Constantly Develop Skills on the Side
If there are other interests that you would still like to explore, but that are not listed in the description of your regular nine-to-five, you still have time to capitalize on these. After all, you have the evenings and weekends to discover what interests you most. But, do not use this time to work on things that you truly cannot see yourself enjoying. That is just more work and WHO WANTS MORE WORK?!
Instead, use this free time to research different career possibilities in relation to your passions. The Internet is a never-ending resource in which you can learn countless information. It has never been easier than now to obtain a world of information, so take a few minutes to explore what all it has to offer.
In addition, get out and meet new people. This can open up your eyes to new possibilities that you would have never thought of otherwise. Whether at a volunteer event or the bars, you can always be networking. And, not in the schmoozing kind of way, but in a genuine manner in which you are truly interested in the other person’s ideas.
3. Have Natural Confidence, Not Look-At-Me Cockiness
It can be quite intimidating to realize all of the new responsibilities that go along with the “Real World.” Hence, confidence is a trait that you simply NEED, no matter what. This does not mean that your confidence should be never-ending in all situations. But, overall, life is a hell of a lot easier if you have natural confidence that things will work out in some way.
However, if confidence is replaced by cockiness, things can get ugly, especially, coming from the new kid on the job. No one wants to hear you be extremely cocky. Instead of helping your potential, it isolates you from others. Be respectful and relatable and put a cork in it, Honey!
4. You Can Still Call Your Mom
Just because you are trying to make others proud now that you are all out on your own does not mean that you have to go cold turkey on asking for help. Quite the contrary since with real maturity comes the knowledge that there will be times in your life when you need to depend on others and times when you need to be self-reliant.
So, when things get tough, never assume that you do not have someone to turn to. You should know who really cares about you in your life and if you don't, maybe you are hanging out with the wrong people. You find out who your true friends are when things get tough. So, never forget those people. It is okay to rely on them and then help them out when they need it later.
5. Pick and Choose Others’ Advice
After realizing that it is okay to rely on others, you must also recognize that they are not always right. No one knows 100% of what it is like to be in your shoes. So, do not take their advice as the Holy Grail. It is good to have a sense of healthy skepticism as long as you are open to learning from them too.
Listen to your instincts and past experiences in times like these. Just as you do not have to buy everything a salesman tries to sell you, you do not have to buy into every single opinion that others have of your life.
6. Remember, Nothing is Permanent (BASICALLY)
When you are in a situation that does not make you happy, realize that you will come out stronger on the other side and that there is an “Other Side”. Almost everything in life is temporary. This does not mean that you should make bad decisions left and right because it will eventually work out. But, you should learn to become adaptable. Life is constantly changing with new standards for how things should be done. To resist such is to impede all future growth. Embrace the changes in life and you will go much further and be much happier, overall.
7. Read As Much As Possible
Amazingly, statistics show that 42% of adults will never read another book after college graduation. Yet, those that do read are two to three times more likely to do charity and volunteer work. Even if giving to the needy is not your thing, those that read regularly are also more likely to exercise, yet another reason to crack open a book (Statistic Brain RSS).
For example, Billionaire investor, Warren Buffett estimates that he spends 80% of his working day reading and thinking. “I just sit in my office and read all day,” declares Buffett (Parrish). After all, the old man is not doing too bad.
Reading opens up your mind to new perspectives and possibilities. There will never be a time in life when you know enough. Thus, invest in reading and you will never stop learning all that there is out there.
8. Do Not Get in the Habit of Making Excuses
It is one thing to say that you have integrity and an entirely different thing to actually put it to use in your daily life. There are far too many people in the workforce who constantly blame others for their shortcomings. This negativity starts accumulating day after day and, soon enough, these individuals end up becoming hopeless.
Constantly blaming others not only makes you appear less of a person, but it also undermines your thinking. You begin to believe that nothing is really in your hands. While a great portion of life is out of your control, you must recognize that you have the power to react accordingly. You cannot always control the event, but you can manipulate your reaction, thus influencing the ultimate outcome.
Failing to realize this will hold you back from your true potential. Yet, once you decide to stop having excuses in life, things become a lot simpler and less wishy-washy. Own up to what is in your control and either change it or accept the status quo. Quite simple, really.
9. Never Change Who You Are to Please Others
Establishing yourself in the real world can be overwhelming, to say the least. Whether you are moving to a different place or just trying to prove that you can make it on your own, you will be coming up against a lot of changes. But, instead of fighting these changes, choose to adapt accordingly.
Change for the better or not at all. Whether it all makes sense at the time, you must have some kind of trust that these current challenges will make you the person you are ultimately supposed to become. Choose to roll with the punches, but remain confident in the person you are.
It is time to let go of caring so much what others think and free yourself from that cage-like mentality. Most people enjoy being around someone that is truly genuine, whether that person is like them or not. If you are trying to be a good person and they do not accept you for who you are, forget them. Life is too short. Keep it simple, Kid, and move on.
10. If Someone Tells You No and You Give Up, You Need to Grow a Pair
Lastly, if someone stops you from accomplishing a dream, the dream must not have been that important in the first place. But, if it is something that truly matters to you, screw what others think of your potential. Go out and get it. No matter what. Work until there is absolutely nothing left. Otherwise, you never cared that much in the first place.
Now, Bon Voyage to all! And may we fake it til we make it with these 10 simple steps.
Parrish, S. (n.d.). Http://theweek.com/article/index/248655/the-warren-buffett-formula-how-you-can-get-smarter.
Reading Statistics (Statistic Brain RSS) http://www.statisticbrain.com/reading-statistics/