When I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree (as we all know ‘just an English BA‘ even though I was about 6 credits shy of a double major in English and Studio Art.) I was in no way prepared for the real world…whatever that meant.
Do I have any regrets? No. Would I change some things if I could to make it a bit easier/ less expensive? Sure. So here is my advice to you, 22 year old self…if I could do it all over again with some minor tweaks.
Advice I would give my 22-year old-self if I could do it all again…
1. Get an Internship
Society sends a crippling message to young people regarding careers. “A career should be fulfilling, make a difference in the world and earn you a lot of money.” It will become part of your identity so it must also make you happy. But you can’t work too much because you need balance.” Sound impossible? That’s because it is. I remember my Dad telling me that when he was young, the goal was to find a job to make money and support a family. Your job should not and does not define you as a person. We are all more complex than that. Sometimes it’s just a job.
7. Network Like Crazy
Meet new people and talk to anyone who will listen. Get on social media, go to free events, put your resume online. Volunteer at a non-profit. Connect with career networking sites like LinkedIn.
I exchanged a few emails with Joe, Community Manager at TheLadders (an NYC based job finder) and not only is he a smart and personable guy, he was quite genuine when I asked him why the company is looking to help young people find careers:
“TheLadders wants to help young professionals be more successful in their job search because many of us can relate to the struggle of finding our first real job. I know not too long ago, I was in the same situation myself, looking to start my career after I received my diploma. When you don’t have a lot of experience searching to find the right fit, it can be hard to know where to start. The job market is very competitive and can sometimes be a little scary.”
Well said. The first step is usually the most difficult. And then you take the next one. You got this.
If you try and fail it’s better than not trying at all. Even if everything falls apart you will learn something valuable. Don’t remain paralyzed by fear or negativity. You will not recieve your dream on a silver platter, no matter how long you wait, so you best get out there and risk it all. Here is the best article I’ve ever read on finding your purpose. The article says you should be doing the thing that “makes you forget to eat, sleep and poop.” I never thought anything could make me forget to eat, but writing does. Nuff said.
Best wishes for an inspiring and rad journey! x