I hope I wasn't too harsh on some of you in the last post I shared about post grad life. I am trying to help reveal the truths I had to learn the hard way. Part of the reason I even started Keeping the Creativity was to provide a "guide" to those going through their 20s. Preparing for post-grad is certainly a major part of your 20s.
Alrighty then, part two of the lessons I have learned over the past year...
#6 - Choose networking over Netflix.
Chuck Bass can't get you a post grad job or help you get that interview. Get the guts to contact that local leader you have always wanted to meet. See if they will let you pick their brain! Reach out to others for coffee or informational interviews. Try to learn as much as you can about the industry you want to break into.
#7 - Research your options.
Many of you have probably already started doing this, but start looking on LinkedIn or on career pages of companies you want to work with. You can't pick your next move if you aren't informed about all of the possible paths. Keep track of links and descriptions of positions in a Google doc or in a notebook. It can help you keep tabs on what positions you have applied for as well.
#8 - Connect with a community.
Once you are out into the real world, you will not have that same group of friends that you saw on campus everyday. Be conscious of creating a new community or an extension of your existing one. I would not have been able to get through half of the stuff I faced over the past year without a support system. Having certain individuals to turn to in a crisis is great, but surrounding yourself with a great group of people can be energizing. It a nice change of pace from your work life. For me, post grad friends were completely different than college friends. Sure, I kept a lot of the same friends from college, but there is just a switch or something that changes your relationship. You have to be super intentional with how your time is spent. It requires a lot more planning and communication to get together. You will figure out who you think is worth the extra effort to keep that relationship solid. You also find out which friends are true to your relationship with them during this phase. It can be hurtful to figure out which friends don't really care about their friendship with you, but sometimes that's just how life goes. Cut your crew some slack, but if it gets to be too overwhelming and one-sided, it might be time to evaluate that relationship.
#9 - Figure out what makes you happy.
About a three months into post grad, I went through this time where I felt so unfulfilled in my daily life. I woke up, worked, went home and went to bed. I repeated this simple and dull cycle daily. I was drained of inspiration. I lacked motivation. Honestly, I was pretty miserable. It was during this time that I started my blog, Keeping the Creativity. My blog has served as an outlet for me, but it has developed into so much more. It provides me happiness and a renewed focus on the things I want to pursue. It jumpstarts new goals that I have for myself. My blog has helped my develop my personal vision and purpose. It is a great feeling. So what is that going to be for you? I know for my fiancé, Keith, that his outlet is fitness. He uses working out to unwind and spend time on himself. It can be as minor as making time to read a good book everyday or devote hours to creating something you can be truly proud of.
#10 - Don't be afraid to try.
I certainly would not know half of the stuff I know now about without trying. Whatever it is that you are second guessing, give it a try. Or don't. Just commit to a thought, don't dwell in the "what if's." Stick to what you have going for you in the now. Seems like a pretty basic and common life tip, but really try to apply it during this time in your life. There is a ton of fear in the unknown of the "adulting" world. Don't let that cripple you from trying something.
Have questions about my post grad lessons? Tweet me or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.