It's that time of year again... everywhere you turn, someone graduating. Maybe even you!
Yes, there will be speeches, and sad goodbyes and so-longs to endless papers and exams. But on the other side of this special day, there's also a brave new world that awaits. Finding a "real" job or any job! Wondering if you can/should move back in at home (along with 50% of your peers).
I graduated in 1986. That's 24 years ago! (They now make time travel movies about such long, long ago eras!) When I graduated, Ronald Reagan was president, Pac-Man was high-tech, the Soviet Union was the "evil empire" and cells were what Bio majors studied under microscopes.
Since graduating, I did some things right - but I didn't do it all right. Here are 5 things I wished I had done or done better. They're unusual in that you probably won't hear them at graduation speeches.
1. Create a "Best of" College Learning List.
The reality is you're going to forget ALMOST EVERYTHING you learned in class... unless you take some time to create a "best of" college learning list. Write down what was most helpful, interesting, stimulating or challenging to you. Write down what you want to read or learn more on. How much did you pay again for that knowledge? Why not do what you can to keep it!
2. Get Reconnected to your Local Network
I moved to Dallas after graduation, then Hartford, Dallas again, Chicago, Boston and now Chicago again. I never again lived in New Jersey. Moving had its benefits, but each time I moved I had to reestablish myself, my credibility, my character. On the other hand friends who moved back home had long-term community and long term credibility. Long term relationships provide networks for jobs, for sales, for social gatherings, etc.... Value those relationships.
3. Don't Just Do Something, Sit There.
Yes, you need to find a job, make money, all the rest...and finances make dictate this can't be too long. But make sure you invest the time in fully knowing who you really are, what you're about, and what matters long-term. Buy a journal. Write down your dreams and ideas. Define your values. Set goals. Create a ten-year, twenty-year plan. Go through the Endeavor programor another life-planning process that will help you not just live, but live on purpose. Invest in yourself and give yourself time to focus your future instead of launching full steam ahead. The most important learning at this point may be learning to know, really know what you want to do with your life.
4. Donate Your Time, Talents and Knowledge.
Just after collge graduation is a great time to volunteer at home or even overseas. Find an organization that does something you're interested in, passionate about or even curious about. You have much to offer and, in return, you will receive experience, build valuable relationships and experience the awesome feeling that you've made a difference for others. Too many people wait too long to enjoy the adventure and the experience of giving back. Why not do that now?
5. Spend Time with Your Grandparents.
I spent one weekend visiting my grandmother on my own in Boston after graduation. She never forgot it and talked about it until the day she died (which wasn't all that long afterwards.) I asked her about her life and learned more in those couple of days than I had in many of my classes. I now wonder why it was only one weekend and why I didn't do it more! If your grandparents are still alive, don't hesitate to do something special with them. Ask them about their life. The life you save may be your own!
OK... so hopefully some food for thought.
www.JeffCaliguire.comIt's that time of year again... everywhere you turn, someone graduating. Maybe even you!
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