College students are notoriously broke and anxiously struggling to find themselves in the world outside of campus. After 3-5 years of college, many students leave drained and uninspired, and often return home to work dead-end jobs.
College mates, it doesn’t have to be this way! So many of you are talented thought leaders who deserve to be in the top tier of your field. Don’t let the draining, low expectations of those around you keep you from being successful.
Do what you love? Make the art. Write the article. Do the math. Create the invention. Mentor someone. But first, you must either find or create your dream job. So, here are a few steps to start you off on the right path.
Adopt a More Positive Mindset
Have you ever said any of these things?
- “I am feeling so defeated and worthless.”
- “I am the dumbest one here.”
- “I don’t deserve to be here.”
- “I failed again, why do I even try? I might as well drop the class.”
What do all of these things have in common? They are negative beliefs. You may often tell yourself these things on a daily basis when you’re not living up to other’s expectations of you. However, you set your own expectations and define your own worth.
If you keep poisoning your mind with those negative statements, you’ll start to believe them. They may even start to define you. So, what does this have to do with being broke?
Well, have you ever also used these phrases?
- “If I don’t get an A in this class it’ll lower my GPA, and I won’t be able to get a job.”
- “I have to get into graduate school or else I won’t make it.”
- “I’ll embarrass my parents if I can’t find a job.”
All of these beliefs started from deep insecurities. Even worse, they place a lot of emphasis on external contributors to success, instead of encouraging you to find fulfillment within.
There is often no one thing that will make or break your career, and you control what things you do to push yourself closer towards your goals, despite the odds. Many schools teach that there is one right answer, but in life that’s far from the truth. There’s never one way; there’s a million ways—if you can find (or create!) them.
Your school’s job is to educate and certify you. Everything else thereafter is entirely up to you. If making good grades just isn’t your core strength, do not beat yourself up over what others are doing in class. Don’t down yourself for not being able to learn the way a professor wants you to.
I guarantee you are amazing at something else. Instead of trying to be perfect at your weaknesses, perfect your strengths! By this I mean, find the things you are good at, and become a master at it.
Follow Your Dreams
Did you know that about 40 percent of students leave college and get hired for a job that does not require a degree? In addition to this, 40 percent of college students pay anywhere up to six-figures for an education, only to get a job extremely below their potential.
This is unfortunate, but very preventable. Students often spend their college years soaking up the material and never applying it. Then, graduation rolls around and their first look at the job descriptions for their dream job is scary, to say the least!
What do too many students end up doing?
- Apply for easier, lower paying roles.
- Apply for roles outside their degree field.
- Become depressed.
- Blame college.
But, if these people are being honest with themselves, this does nothing to help further their goals. If you are one of these graduates, ask yourself, “What do you truly want to do?” Then, formulate a plan to make it happen. If you are proactive, then this is something you should do before going to college, or at the very least, before picking your major.
Do something you love, in your field, every day. Why? You begin to feel like you already have the job. You’re doing things that someone in your position would do, and every day you become more confident in your skills.
The reason many people feel inclined to lower their hopes and dreams after college is because they realize too late that they could have been better utilizing their time. Now the bills are pouring in, and any job sounds like a dream job. Don’t fall into this trap.
The only way you will be successful and fill your bank account after graduation is if you are relentless in your pursuit. Whether you are 1 year from graduation or 1 semester, the time is now to take action.
Things take time, and just because they’re not knocking down the door to hire you, doesn’t mean they won’t later on. Don’t give up and veer off the path you really wish you were on.
Work On Your Communication Skills
Even if you are confident you have what it takes, you must then convince the recruiter via your resume and your interview. Have you been practicing the best ways to explain your skills and goals to someone else? In many schools, it is not spoken about enough, but it is so important to be an effective speaker.
Many students suffer from anxiety related to pubic speaking. Becoming an effective speaker takes practice, and you will become much more effective in the long run, if you are able to strengthen your ability to tell your story to a diverse group of people.
If you have a fear of public speaking, that is okay. You don’t have to become the next Tony Robbins. However, if you wish to become a teacher, lawyer, journalist, marketing manager, and other communicative professions, the more you work on this skill, the better. You may do this by applying the following.
- Focus on serving. Instead of trying to please your audience, look to serve them. Believe in your heart that what you are saying is beneficial to them.
- Silence the fears of your past. These aren’t your parents or bullies from high school; these are your peers, and they respect you.
- Don’t memorize. Instead of memorizing a script, focus on remembering 3 to 5 key points, know them well, and let the exact wording naturally come to you.
Did you land your dream job after college? How long did it take you? What were some of the steps you followed that led you to your end goal? Or, are you still working towards that light at the end of a dark and seemingly endless tunnel? Tell us all about it in the comments below!
About the Author
Lauren LeGardye’s mission is to train college students and millennials to succeed in a professional environment through speech training and interview coaching at an affordable price.