Congratulations, millennial! You graduated from college and are preparing to enter the workforce (or you’ve already taken your first stepping stone job). One obstacle down, one million to go.
There was no question as to whether or not you would attend college after high school. It’s just what you do. So you enter the world of discovering yourself and your likes (and dislikes) and trying to figure out what the hell you are going to do with the rest of your life.
You received plenty of great advice and help along the way, but the one thing you will never hear is how useless you will feel if you don’t get a job right away and how wrong that five-year plan you had mapped out in your head is.
You learn that finding a job is harder than anticipated. There aren’t just jobs out there waiting for grads to take. You will fill out many, many applications and go on so many interviews that after a while they will start to blend together.
You learn that job security is not guaranteed. You will have to work incredibly hard to prove your worth to a company. Even then, you’d better hope that budgets don’t get cut, because low totem pole employees are the first to go.
You learn that family is everything. You will hate them at times, but at the end of day they are the ones who will have your back, even if you never get a job!
You learn that you will get annoyed when people ask “What are you doing now?” But don’t take it so personally. They aren’t asking to put salt in the wound, most of the time they are genuinely curious.
You will learn that “Funemployment” is only fun for a little while. It can be a lot of fun to not have commitments or responsibilities, but once the money starts to fade and the hangovers last longer than a day, you will long for a stable environment.
You learn that everywhere you go is a networking opportunity. You never know who you will sit next to on an airplane or who is in line behind you at the store. Treat people well.
You will change your mind a million times after college. Can you work in a cubicle for 8 hours a day? Where do you want to live? Move around and travel while you can.
You will learn that your 20’s are for mistakes. Embrace them and make as many learning opportunities as you can.
And finally, you will learn that no matter how hard it gets, it will always get worse before it gets better.
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