The Pep Talk I Wish I Received When I Graduated
It's graduation season! High school graduates are gearing up for a summer of fun before heading off college, armed services, or whatever their future plans are. College students are now in the "real world." Both groups of people who have recently crossed the stages of accomplishment may be asking, "What's next?" The answer may not be so simple. When I graduated, the tech boom was on the rise, but it hadn't exploded yet. Twitter was born when I was in college and Facebook was only a few years old. An app store? What is that? Solo and digital entrepreneurs? What language are you speaking? This wasn't my world when I graduated, but it's the world we live in now. That means even more creative job opportunities for those looking for the next steps, and also, even more confusion. This motivated me to write a pep talk that I wish someone would have told me when I moved into the next stage of my young adulthood. I hope it inspires some of you.
Whether you have recently graduated high school or college, you've just begun. Embrace your journey. If you KNOW for sure what career path you want to pursue, leave room to change your mind. Most of you will, and that is okay. You're not a failure for not getting into a certain school or landing that dream job. Keep working. Keep learning. I say this because I have met managers who thought they were at their peak. They thought there was nothing more to learn and nothing more to do. This is dangerous. No matter how old we get or how experienced we become in our fields, there is always more knowledge to gain. ALWAYS! You can always work harder. Never get comfortable with complacency.
It's okay to not know what's next. You're not a flake for being multipassionate. Just remember, whatever you do, do your best. It's okay to blend careers that don't "match." It's okay to try something only to figure out you hate it. Keep working. Keep learning. Ask a TON of questions. Don't be afraid of looking stupid or inept. You're bright eyed and green. Go for it! Make mistakes, but be sure to learn the lessons in them.