Graduated college….now what?

imgresI spent a lot of time talking to recent graduates.  I am struck by a group of people who have been pushed for years to build out those resumes from being on sports teams to doing internships, to do well in school, score well on their SATs/ACTS, get to the right college and then once they graduate seem lost.

Not everyone is lost but certainly many are.  Many know what interests them and where they see themselves going but not everyone.  They end up unsure of what job to take with fear that the job is boring, not challenging, not up to par and so they are paralyzed.  Others take a job and look around and then think “is this what life after college is all about”?

The great thing about the world today is there are so many opportunities.  There are a slew of different companies out there with many new and unique jobs that did not exist 10 years ago.  It is almost overwhelming.

The key is just starting somewhere.  Take a job in a vertical that you like be it food, architecture, commerce, etc and get your foot in the door but more to the point get your foot in the work world. Nothing is permanent these days.  If it doesn’t work out then think about what you liked and didn’t like about that job to narrow your focus for the next job.  Take a class or two in something that might be of interest like web design to help you guide your path.

These days your 20’s are for exploring and finding yourself.  When I meet someone in their late 20’s who has had a variety of jobs and experiences I applaud that.  Seeing someone who just spent 10 years in the same company actually makes me take pause unless of course it was at a large company like Google where they got to wear several hats.

The real world is far different from college which is why in college it is also good to have those internships to see if you actually like a field.  I know many in my class that had an entire semester working in a job (it was part of my college’s curriculum) and they came back to school thinking that was the best or that was the worst.

The college graduates of today might live to be 100.  That’s a lot of time to figure out what you like.  Do not be in a hurry and don’t worry if the first job isn’t what you wanted.  Just take a job and start on the path of figuring it out.  One step in front of the other.