3 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Graduated College

College was fun! I got good grades, did a few internships and had a social life outside of studying. You probably heard that your experience is what you make of it and let me tell you – it’s true. I wasn’t the “come to class then go home” kind of student, so learned a lot beyond the classroom. I attended career workshops, networking events and pretty much did my best to make the most out of it.

Still, college didn’t prepare me for the real world. My introduction to the real world was brutal. I was scrambling to land a job after the company I thought I’d work for withdrew their offer. And I had to figure out ways to make money while waiting to hear from employers. I vividly remember this stage. It was a rough rite of passage.

Eventually, I realized what made this transition so stressful. There are things I know now that would have made it easier, had I known that then. I wish someone would have pulled me aside and told me everything I needed to know before graduating. Since that’s not how life works, I can only reflect on these lessons and share them with you.

There’s no better time to start something

Especially at the beginning, when things aren’t too intense yet. Most people spend their freshman and sophomore years figuring out what they want and taking general ed classes. It’s the best time to pursue a passion alongside doing schoolwork!

Some students have to juggle homework, internships and odd jobs throughout their undergrad years, which gives them less time to pursue other interests. If you happen to not NEED to work when you’re in college, you’re in the best position to start something – anything. A business, a side hustle; any outlet to express your curiosity. Chances are, you don’t have a lot of responsibilities (mortgage, children, student loans) to worry about then, so you can take risks and not face dire consequences. It’s a unique opportunity to test some ideas and see how that pans out. If it’s successful, it will also create a job for you when you graduate.

I wish I started my freelance writing business in college. I regret not launching my blog sooner or offering to do pro bono work until I built a portfolio. So if you have time (actually, make time), invest in the pursuit of a passion and you’d be surprised where it can take you.

Grades aren’t everything

I used to stress every exam because I didn’t want anything less than an A. I put so much pressure on myself to achieve the very best that I became very familiar with sleepless nights and coffee-fueled cramming sessions. It’s not a bad attitude, but it can take a toll on your health if you don’t watch out for that. I’m not saying you should get by with minimal effort and procrastinate until the last minute, but remember not to kill yourself over an imperfect GPA. You should always strive for excellence, but only when it doesn’t come to the expense of your health (physical, mental and emotional).

In reality, grades only matter if you plan on going to grad school and have to live up to your target university’s standard. Otherwise, you just need to do your best! Had I known this, I wouldn’t have stressed so much like I did over a B in organic chem and even a C+ in microeconomics (yeah, not my forte). Your GPA doesn’t in any way indicate the levels of success you’ll achieve. There’s a growing trend of not including it in resumes because employers don’t care so much about it anymore. So just remember that next time you feel like the world is falling apart because of an exam.

You don’t need to have it all figured out

A lot of us dread the, “What’s next?” question that comes with the prospect of graduation. It’s probably because we feel like we need to have an answer. If you have a plan and things are going your way, more power to ya! But if like most recent grads you don’t have a clear idea, don’t you worry. I can tell you for a fact that you’ll learn the most from not over-planning and being open to detours. I didn’t know what I would do after the company withdrew their offer. I figured I’d just find another job and work. Had that not happened, I wouldn’t have learned how to brand myself professionally and hustle. These are skills that will serve me throughout the rest of my life.

Post-grad life can be intimidating. You have all this free time and you might feel overwhelmed at times. But you will figure it out. Embrace the changes and welcome the lessons! It won’t be easy, but you will look back and want to do it all over again. It’s a worthy part of the growth process.

Your turn! What do you wish you knew before graduating college? Share them with me in the comments!

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10 Motivational Quotes to Conquer Fear and Do What You Love

Like me, you’ve probably stayed at a job you hated for too long or put off doing something you cared about because of fear. Like Robert Kiyosaki said, “Fear is the biggest detractor to human genius.” It literally paralyzes us into inaction.

How many times have you delayed something you really wanted to do because you were scared? I used to waste time reading a bunch of blogging-related articles because I was just too afraid to launch my blog. I’d let my lack of coding knowledge intimidate me instead of building the courage to just figure things out. And when I finally did it, the world didn’t fall apart like I imagined.

If you often hesitate to take action because of fear, these inspirational career quotes will push you to take the leap.

“There are funerals held every day for the opportunities we allow to die out.” – Shirazi

“The tragedy is that society (your school, your boss, your government, your family) keeps drumming the genius part out. The problem is that our culture has engaged in a Faustian bargain, in which we trade our genius and artistry for apparent stability.” – Seth Godin

“What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Lewis Howes

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford

“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.” – Tim Ferriss

 

“To escape fear, you have to go through it, not around.” ― Richie Norton

“What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.” – Tony Robbins 

“When it comes down to it, nothing trumps execution.” Gary Vaynerchuk

“You will find there are times you must grasp your life with both hands and forcefully steer it in a new direction and then strain to hold your course until the storms of fear, weakness, and doubt abate.” – Richelle E. Goodrich

“Don’t count the days. Make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali

Your turn to share! Do you have any favorite quotes? Please let me know in the comments.

Related: 10 Quotes that Will Inspire You to Do What You Love

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4 Motivational Podcasts Every Multipotentialite Should Listen to

No matter how hard you try, there are times when you just won’t be able to motivate yourself. You’ll stare at your long to-do list for a while then take a nap. Motivation is so elusive, but we all know it’s the key to accomplishing our goals. So how can you stay motivated when you can’t find time to work on your personal projects?

Until they invent a motivation pill, we’ll just have to harness it from many different sources. Listening to a podcast is one of them! Few things are better than being told a great story! It’s the undeniable appeal of podcasts. When done right, they can teach and inspire us. With so many options out there, choosing the right ones can be a hassle. So I researched a few and here are some of my favorites:

Two Inboxes

Two Inboxes Podcast

Just as the name suggests, this show interviews people with two or more inboxes. That is, our fellow multipotentialites who are engaged in different creative pursuits while juggling a full-time job. There’s a lot of knowledge to gain from these conversations – from time management tips to career-boosting advice. The other cool thing is that it ends with the “2 truths and a lie” game so you get to learn random facts about a particular industry.

Prologue Profiles

Prologue Profiles Podcast

Similar to Two Inboxes, Prologue Profiles features intimate talks with millennial side hustlers. From these shared experiences, you will feel inspired to keep working and learn how to stay consistent with your creative projects.

Smart Passive Income

Smart Passive Income Podcast

Passive income…who doesn’t like the sound of that? Pat Flynn is an expert at setting up passive income streams online. His goal is to push you to “work hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later”. In his podcast, Pat speaks to a variety of experts and asks them pertinent questions because he wants to make sure his listeners take something away from each episode. So you’ll want to take a notebook while you’re listening to his podcast.

The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes

The School of Greatness Podcast

A podcast that shows you how to unlock your inner greatness? Sign me up please! Lewis goes into details with his guests to make sure you leave with not just more motivation but also actionable tips you can apply right away.

This selection is guaranteed to invigorate you! Time to jump on the podcast bandwagon.

Do you have any podcast recommendations? Share them with me in the comments!

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Turning Your Passion into a Career is Simpler than You Think. Here’s how.

It may be a lack of self-confidence, but most people don’t think they can make a living by doing what they love. They tend to separate their day job from their passion projects when the two can be one and the same. Doing that is no easy task, but then again, what is?

In order to turn your passion into a career, you first have to visualize what pursuing it looks like. If your passion lies in reading, break it down and tease out the part you’re really interested in. Is it reviewing books (think editor or publisher), writing them (think author) or recommending them (think librarian) that sets your soul on fire? Once you figure out exactly what you like, you can then plan to make it your reality.

Here are four ways in which you can turn your passions into a career:

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a. Work for someone

Get this, you don’t have to be your own boss to pursue your passions. It’s common to think that only entrepreneurs get to really do what they love. You can be fulfilled working at a company and also living your dreams. Growing with a company can be a valuable experience as you get hands-on knowledge and training to perfect your craft and reaffirm that an industry is still right for you.

If you love writing and dream of becoming the editor-in-chief of a magazine someday, you can start as an editorial intern. Slowly but surely, you’ll work your way to the role of an associate, manager then director. The essential thing is that at every stage, you’re doing what you’re passionate about and still learning. 

b. Freelance

If you don’t like the corporate environment, freelancing might be a better alternative. You’re in control of your schedule, but you’re also in charge of how much you make. Freelancing isn’t very hard to get into, but it comes with incredible pressure to maintain a certain level of income. 

If your dream is to become a wedding videographer, doing it on your free time for your family or friends would be a great  start. That can lead to more clients through word-of-mouth marketing and eventually generate enough money to make a full-time living. The challenge then is to maintain a solid clientele. With enough practice, strategic networking and perseverance, you might not have to pitch clients anymore because they’ll come to you instead.

Check out: My Secrets To Becoming A Successful Freelancer (And How You Can Get Out Of Your Desk Job In 30 Days)

c. Start a business

There is no better way to master a skill or live out a passion than to start a business and build a product you truly care about. If you’re an animal lover, perhaps you can build an organization that rescues lost dogs and finds them a home in a new family. The best way to come up with business ideas is to be observant. Stay on top of the news and anticipate trends. If you notice a flaw in an industry you’re interested in, think about how you can align your passion with creating a solution.

Check out: I Juggled a Full-Time Job While Launching My Startup

d. Create a side hustle 

For those of us who want to do more with our career than just climb the corporate ladder, having a side hustle can bring us satisfaction. If you have both a side hustle and a day job, your time management skills will be put to the test. Ultimately, it’s a rewarding experience that allows you to explore your potential, work on something you’re passionate about and maybe eventually, diversify your income.

Check out: 5 Keys to Growing a Successful Side Project Without Quitting Your Day Job

e. Take classes

When I was in college, I felt like I had several careers. I was studying to become a neuroscientist while working in communications and socializing with people in the fashion or beauty industry. It was probably the most challenging task to keep up with all these different activities, but I felt fulfilled because I was catering to all my interests. I was on track academically and I used my free time to explore other options. Although I stopped pursuing neuroscience after graduation, it’s still a career option for me.

A more traditional way of turning a passion into a career is to go to school for it. You’ll earn a degree or certificate, which will give you credibility should you choose to pursue it further. 

The most important thing to remember is to not limit yourself. If you have different interests, make time for them until you figure what you enjoy doing. The time of having a traditional 9 to 5 job is almost gone so don’t try to fit in a box. You can experiment with different options and carve your own path. Identify your passions, assess your skills, leverage your experience and spend your time wisely.

Are you currently working on a passion project? I would love to hear about it in the comments.