Lessons every college grad must learn before entering the professional world


The gurus of our ancient past did not teach their disciples to never question authority or worse, never ask questions at all. On the contrary, they encouraged among their students a healthy sense of self – by guiding their curiosity in the right direction. A far cry from what most schools and colleges teach their students today. As a result, young adults, who are on the verge of starting a new career, seem more like test dummies –made to undergo ‘crash tests’, than inquisitive minds who take on competition and pressures that comes along.

So, if you are a young college grad who’s yet to take flight towards your aspirations, it would be advisable to re-evaluate your choices, reasons and methods. Here is some food for your thought that will put the matter into perspective.

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Be aware of your ‘self’

You are what you know. Before you venture out to one of the longest running phases of your life, you need to know the answer to this question – What kind of a person do I wish to be?” These answers are not taught in colleges that guarantee ‘100% placements’ but in the inner corridors of one’s self. In order to know yourself, you must find yourself first. One of the best ways to do that is to take a gap year. Travel the world, experience new culture, volunteer, meet new people, pick new skills, fall in love with others and most importantly yourself. This will bring about fresh perspective and more clarity on what you wish to pursue and how to go forth.

Before you build a company, build your company

The above statement is a time-tested adage. But with like most things, we hasten to conclude its meaning too. The word surround does not mean to drown yourself in amity and companionship day after day after day. It simply means choosing the right people over the wrong ones as friends.

As a young college student, you must find it easy to make friends, almost as easy as when you were a child. But as you climb up the social and corporate ladder, you will soon realize that the word friendship is replaced by the word network. It’s important for you to not lose yourself in the confines of your office. Seek out company outside and do not let the embers of old friendship die. Moreover, since you will be entering new territories, make friends with the right books, the right movies and the right conversations.

Use your first job to learn what you can.

Yes, your first job is an important milestone, but stop behaving as if your life depends on it. According to Jessek Strom, “College graduates and their parents put a lot of pressure on landing that perfect first job out of college. Young professionals agonize about making the wrong choice, as if it has the power to doom them to a horrible career path forever. This couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Look at your first job as a walker which helps you tread the testy waters of professional life. As a young adult, you have with you the benefits of better focus, better retention and on the whole, a better sense of curiosity. Keep these guiding torches lit and rest assured you will not feel directionless.

Life is the grand unification of your thoughts, emotions and actions. As long as you remain cautious to stay on the right path, a favored destiny, for you and the world, will always be at your doorstep.


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