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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How to Cope With a Job You Hate

We’ve all been there. We hate our job, but we need money. How to cope with a job you hate, but that pays the bills? Is that even possible?

My worst job so far has been a marketing internship at an accounting firm. I was getting paid $18/hour to stand by a printer all day and make folders. I knew I was overqualified, but I needed to pay off my credit card and save. That only lasted for a month and I remember feeling so relieved when I walked out of the building.

This experience taught me what it’s like to make sacrifices when you need money. I welcomed every Monday like:

how to cope with a job you hate

If you repeatedly find yourself in this situation, you’re not alone. Studies show that nearly 71% of millennials aren’t satisfied with their job and will keep looking until they find the right opportunity. I’ve been one of them.

We all dream of having a job that makes us look forward to Monday. But life happens and sometimes, we have to make choices that solve our short-term problems. Maybe you have to take care of your family or pay your student loans. Whatever the case may be, you sometimes have to do things you don’t enjoy for money – that usually means having jobs you hate.

Many factors contribute to job satisfaction. Beyond your responsibilities and compensation, your colleagues, work environment and growth opportunities are also important. Here’s how to cope with a job you hate, but need to pay your bills:

Find something to look forward to every day

how to cope with a job you hate

When I was at the accounting firm, I’d make plans to catch up with friends over lunch or go to networking events. I’d also get excited to watch House of Cards during my lunch break. These were small moments that made a big difference in my overall attitude. One would see me smile thinking it was for work when it was really about that new restaurant I’d go try out with my friend after.

Create your “yay” moment in each day. When you’re excited about something, you feel more energetic and it makes the workday bearable.

Exercise in the morning

Morning stretch

Even if the first thing you do when you wake up is check your social media profiles, stretch your legs or your upper body while you’re at it.A simple 5-10 minute routine can be all you need to take on the day.

You’ve probably heard this one before, but I can’t stress how much impact exercise has on your mental and physical state. It not only boosts your energy, but the evidence suggests exercise also helps cope with stress at work. Sure, you can check your inbox as soon as you wake up, but don’t underestimate what these 20 push-ups can do.

Network aggressively

how to cope with a job you hate

Whether you found your dream job or are still looking, you should always be networking. It’s not just a means to an end, but a unique opportunity to stay up-to-date with industry news, build lifetime relationships and continue to grow.

How does networking help you cope with a job you hate? It establishes the connections that will enable you to make your next career move. These are the people you’ll be able to reach out to and comfortably ask for leads or job referrals. Given that as many as 80% of jobs aren’t advertised online, it’s all about networking!

Remember your WHY

how to cope with a job you hate

In an earlier post I wrote, “No time is ever wasted on things you do with intention.” I still stand behind this. Whether your current job is helping you feed your family or save for that vacation in Peru, it serves a purpose.

It’s easy to forget why you’re doing something because of the day-to-day hassles, but keeping an eye on the prize will push you to work harder. It’s also important to remember that everything is temporary. Your life will change dramatically in the next few years (or months even) and you will not be stuck in one place unless you choose to. Think long-term. Stay focused. Defend your WHY.

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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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Embrace Your Hustle. Do Not Be Embarrassed About What You Do.

The other day, I was having lunch with my friend when the subject of our jobs came up. He started blushing then tried to change the topic. I insisted until he had no choice but to tell me. He then hesitantly said that he was delivering food for extra cash on his free time. He went on to explain how embarrassed it made him feel because he’s overqualified for the job and that it’s a temporary source of income. I was confused as I saw nothing shameful about that.

bicycles-1149170

More often than not, we’ll find ourselves doing things we don’t particularly enjoy to achieve a goal in life. Whether it’s working as a delivery man or selling lemonades, everything we do teaches us something and builds our character. Meg Jay in The Defining Decade would argue that this is how we acquire identity capital, “the repertoire of individual resources we build over time.”

My friend needed a quick way to make money without having to quit his job so he picked up a food delivery gig. You might need to work as a bartender on weekends to pay rent next month. Or you might have to work at a call center to afford next semester’s tuition. Whatever you do, be clear about the why. Keep your long-term goals in mind and let that motivate you.

Doing menial jobs isn’t a step back, but a step forward in the direction of accomplishing your goals. What you find degrading could be someone else’s passion. Your perception of things greatly influences the way they affect you. Where my friend saw shame, I saw courage. I saw someone who could clearly assess his needs and find ways to meet them. “This quality of being resourceful will take you far in life.” I told him.

One of my early jobs consisted of giving out flyers to strangers in the streets. Did I enjoy it? Not particularly. To my creative soul, it was the most repetitive job but I kept reminding myself why I was doing it. I needed money for the equipment to start my YouTube channel. Did it make me more comfortable talking to strangers? Absolutely! I was working full-time and making $15/hour and I felt so rich! I was able to save and buy the camera I started video blogging with. Win-win? I’d say so!

Everyone has to do tedious work at some point in their lives and for whatever reason. These jobs are not reserved to a particular class of people.

If you’re conscious about the way you spend your time and aware of the results your actions will yield, then it’s a worthy investment. Own your choices. They have a purpose. Embrace your hustle. It’s a part of who you are.

What side hustles do you have going on right now? I’d love to know in the comments.