5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Finishing College
I’m 24 right now, about to turn 25 and it’s been a little more than a year and half that I finished college and started my professional life. This was, and kind it is, a difficult period in my life since it’s the first time I have real responsibilities and nobody is holding my hand like it was in high-school and college.
So, these are 5 things I wish I knew Before Finishing College (And Starting to Work)
1. Define What Want Out Of Life
For whatever reason, schools and universities don’t help us decide what we want to do with our lives. I have a Business Degree and one of the reasons is probably because my father is a business owner himself. Looking backwards, I’m not so sure if I would have chosen that career if would have taken some time to think what I wanted – or at least explore different directions.
Also, just after finishing college I began working for a tech company doing Sales. And it’s not that I’m not enjoying it – I was not certain this is what I wanted out of life.
For the first year, I only focused on that job but in December of 2018, I decided I would pursue my passion project – and that’s how this channel got created.
I for sure have nothing figured out on this topic but I believe it’s a really good idea to define what you want for life professionally and personally. Decide if you want to be an entrepreneur, an employee or a freelancer. What do you want to be doing? What type of job are you looking for, in which type of industry and what kind of company are you looking for?
Because if you don’t know where you want to be, you’ll end up somewhere you didn’t want. Kinda like “No Wind Blows in Favor of a Ship Without Direction”.
2. Do Internships
This is one recommendation that I would have liked to have before finishing college. But not just like – “it’s a good idea to do internships”. It’s like: “Dude, you better do some fucking internships”, you know?
I was doing my resume, trying to find a job just after I finished college. I was 23 and I had almost zero work experience. I mean, I worked for my father when I was 15 but it was nothing I could put on my cv. Actually, my boss caught me several times napping on my desk so I cannot say I that had much responsibility.
So there I was, 23 and almost no professional experience, competing with people that maybe had 2 or 3 internships. There was no way I could compete with them. Thankfully, I ended up finding a job but it took more than 200 applications and 20+ interviews. Not a fun process at all.
That’s why I suggest don’t waste your summer vacations. Do something productive like an internship, experiment with a business idea or got travel alone. See what you like or don’t like doing – gather information that can help you on your decisions in the years to come. You’ll never have 3 month-long vacations for quite some years so don’t miss this huge opportunity to grow as a human being and a professional.
3. Take Responsibility for Your Dreams
What I’ve learned early on in my professional career is that everyone is fighting their own battle and facing their own struggles. If you have a vision for your future, nobody is going to do it for you. You’ll have to put the time, the work and the effort to make it happen.
It took one year for me to start this channel, and it was because it was subconsciously waiting for something to happen. It was never the right time and there was always an excuse. “There’s too much work” “My room is not very pretty to make some videos” “I’m not qualified enough” “I won’t have free time”.
There was always a “but” that got in the way of me starting my dream business. Until one day I said “fuck it”, it’s now or never. I took responsibility for my own dreams and made it happen.
So, if there’s something you want to accomplish in your life, don’t wait for permission or help – everyone is busy doing their own thing. It’s your duty to make shit happen because nobody will do it for you. Life is not college or high school where your only concern was to get good grades. We are talking about your life and your dreams and your goals here – and time is ticking.
4. Walk The Extra Mile (permanently)
When people finish college and start working, they are super pumped up and want to ascend the ladder. Same with starting a business. They do extra-work, stay for 1 or 2 more hours and take on side-project. And I was like that too.
But this inertia doesn’t go that far. We become lazy and end up doing the minimum required to get the job done and get paid. And it’s very easy to fall into this comfort zone. But’s it’s not the best place to be if you want to advance personally and professionally.
By consistently walking the extra mile, day in and day out, people will start noticing your efforts, your customers will realize the extra care, and you’ll start reaping the rewards sooner than you expected.
5. Embrace Change
This was a huge one for me since I’m very structured and I have “everything” figured out – or at least I want to think so. When I was 21 and moved to San Francisco, I was sure I would end up working at some tech start-up trying to change the world for the better or “doing well by doing good” (that’s how the Tech-people like to call it). But life, fortunately, doesn’t work the way we imagine. There are thousand variable we cannot control and we ourselves change a lot in the process.
That’s why I recommend having some plan for the future, but at the same time let life surprise you. You never really know what’s going to happen 1, 2 3 or 12 months from now. So, if change comes and it didn’t fit your original plans, embrace it and go with it – that’s the beauty of life.
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