Graduating college. You DID it. You survived all nighters where you were drowning in ramen, coffee with way too much sugar, and projects you should have finished two weeks ago. You passed all your classes, made incredible memories with friends you’ll grow old with, and came out as an independent adult. What a whirlwind.
So the “best four years of your life” are supposedly over. Now what?
You have to find a job, right? And then start your career? What does that mean? I wish they taught classes in college on “How to Get A Job 101,” because no one really sets you up for this part of your life. Yeah, applying to jobs is easy. But getting one you actually like? That’s the tough part. How are you supposed to know what you like?
So here we are now. Post-graduate life. It definitely hits you like a slap in the face when you’re figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life. At 22 years old, that seems almost impossible. But here’s the kicker: you don’t have to know what you want to do for the rest of your life when you graduate. In fact, you shouldn’t.
You finally have the chance to do whatever you want — you can try any job, pursue your passions and find out what’s out there for you. No more classes, tests, homework, structure. The world truly is your oyster (as cliché as that sounds). But that sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? Having a limitless world of possibilities? Where do you even start when you have the world at your fingertips?
Here’s where you start: just do something. It doesn’t have to be your dream job or something you ever thought you’d do. You’ll never figure out what you like in life if you don’t at least try. Even if you don’t like a job, then you know that’s not the path for you!
Yeah, it’s easy to settle for something that you know will be stable in your life, but what’s the fun in that? Why settle for a job when you know there’s more out there for you? So take the leap of faith. Apply for the job you thought you’d never get (when deep down, you could do it the whole time). Take the job that seems unconventional in the realm of societal norms. Who cares if it’s different? Who cares if people don’t think it’s best for you or if society is telling you not to do it? If you think it’s best for you, that’s all that matters.
Choosing to settle 40 hours a week for a number of years is a lot. And who wants to sacrifice their life to mediocrity? I don’t want a mediocre life. I want a life that is spectacular. A life where I love what I am doing every single day. And finding a life like that takes years of instability, constant changes and feeling lost. It even takes some periods of mediocrity. It means trying a lot of different jobs, being okay with not knowing the next step, and taking chances when the opportunity presents itself.
You will learn something from every single job you have. Take every opportunity you can! Try jobs in different industries. How are you supposed to discover your unknown passion for working in the wedding industry if you have only been an architect? See what makes your heart sing and what makes you want to rip your hair out. Both are productive and useful experiences that will get you one step closer to finding what your passion is. Even though it’s a big world out there, you will never know what you love unless you give a new opportunity a chance.
I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t know where I’ll be in a year. And I know that can be terrifying. In the year after graduating college, I will have worked three jobs in three completely different industries. I started working at a winery in Paso Robles, then moved to an accounting firm in San Francisco, then started doing sales and marketing for a travel company in Florence. What’s coming after Florence? I don’t know. And I have never been more confident in the future.
Taking the time to try various jobs all over the world will lead me to finding my passion one day. This is a precious time in our lives. Go accomplish goals that you have never had the time for, like writing a book or becoming a certified Zumba instructor. Whether it’s a few months after graduation or years of job hopping, moving to different cities and living an adventurous life of unknowns, take advantage of the opportunities you’re given. Follow your own journey into unfamiliar territory and you may discover a life that you never thought was imaginable.