Stepping Out of the Fog: Life Advice
As a job seeker for the past two and a half months, many realizations have surfaced about the working world. Some of them because I am looking at my past life as an employed individual in a hazy fog of "I actually lived that life?', others because I am looking at my future with A LOT more clarity. To that end, I am here to give some life advice:
Being Broke Isn't Your Biggest Worry. This is still one of the biggest worries I have heard and still hear from everyone, not just graduates. But as a graduate take this seriously. Because you're honestly going to be broke for at least the next five to ten years if not twenty. Why? If you are a high school grad deciding to go to college that means you are liking going to be in a partnership with student loans for the next 10 years. If you just graduated from college you are now realizing that master's degrees are the new "in" thing even for positions that seem like they are entry-level. More schooling, means more pay right? It also means more student loans (count yourself lucky if not). Decided to forgo the first two options? Even if you live in a state that has raised minimum wage to $15/hour, that means annually your will be making roughly $28,000/year.
I am to trying to crush you financial dreams; I am just putting finances into reality.
Education Isn't Everything. But knowledge is. Three weeks ago I was being a dutiful wife (tongue in cheek) and told my hubby I would take care of the DVD that was stuck in the PS3. After examining the numerous different screws holding the contraption together, I decided to consult YouTube. I am not a gamer. I never had a hankering to be a tech head, but in 5 minutes I learned how to dissemble and assemble a PS3. The moral of this story is that knowledge is free. Define it as you may, but in my book knowledge = you can figure it out. Education on the other hand is information and is not free. If you don't use knowledge to put information to good use, why pay for it? Just some food for thought.
A Job is NOT the Definition of Who You Are. Many conversations I have had since losing my job have centered along working. "Now that you’re not working, it’s easier..." WRONG. I work every day. As a mom, an entrepreneur, a volunteer, etc. etc. Having a job only means I am employed by someone and I am contracted to work in order to get paid. In short, paid or unpaid, working means you are involving yourself in activities that enrich your mind and enrich others.
It's OK to Limit Your Opportunities. "But I NEED a JOB!!" you moan. I know. I want one too, but I also don't want to work for a company that says it doesn’t hire jerks. (Yes, I have read a job post that said exactly that.) Taking any job that comes your way should be a last ditch resort for financials, not to start a career. But in the meantime match your priorities to your opportunities. (Don’t start the millennial bashing please) This doesn't mean you're picky, it just means involving yourself in activities and projects that make you more hirable for a position you want. This is off-the-clock, on-your-own-time, I-do-this-because-I-love-it opportunities. Trust me people will take notice.
If It's Worth It, Risk It. This is simple. No one gets anywhere worthwhile without adversity, failure and hardship. If you want something enough you have to fail at it a couple of times to get the right formula. Every human being goes through failure (I wholeheartedly believe this.) The difference from those who get it and those who are stuck is mentality. I personally refuse to let a standard or another person define my success, but I will keep trying on until I know I've reached my own definition.