Wednesday, May 22, 2013

6 Steps for College Grads

6 Steps for College Grads

You've just graduated. Congrats! You're feeling good about yourself. Hopeful, excited, sexy, a bit scared, and most of all -- uncertain. I faced all of that exactly one year ago. Don't worry; I've got your back. Take a breath. Relax your scrotum. Get ready to read your future and follow these steps to not falling flat on your degree wielding face. Here's what you do:

Take a few days for yourself.
Really. You'll be doing a lot of work for the rest of your summer and the rest of your life. Take those satisfying post-baccalaureate days to recoup from your caffeine crammed finals week and booze laden graduation week to let your major life accomplishment sink into your skin-- along with those golden rays of summer sunshine.

Fudge. The verb, not the noun. 
Those "entry level jobs" you'll be looking for almost always require 3-5 years of experience. Aside from copying down your personal information 40 times a day, this will be one of the biggest annoyances of your job searching life. So, I say to you now as a friend, even a similarly aged competitor in the same job market, fudge that shit. If you want experience in something, say you have experience in that something (and eventually you won't be a liar). I've met countless under-qualified snot rag employees who get jobs that way. And they largely get paid more than me. It works and will save you from moving back in with Mom and Dad. Fudge.
Note-- I signed up for temp agency after applying to approx 50 different jobs. I recommend signing up with one sooner.

Accept your fate.
What lies ahead of you is a dull office job. Don't fight it. Accept it. Accept the office as the place where careers and livelihoods happen. Accepting this simple truth to yourself will make the transition less painful.

Acclimate to boredom.
At your desk, in meetings, and even at home... the excitement of your now historic college life will run through your mind. It's more exciting than "grown up" life. It just is. Our job as civilized members of society is to acclimate to the mundane realities of life.

Gossip with your co-workers. Grab a beer at lunch. Post those profane sticky notes on your deskmate's monitor. You will feel like the dreary humdrum of life has consumed your soul. It hasn't. You just work with boring twats. Find your routine and small flares in life that will help you adjust to this new stage of existence.

401(k). Seriously.
Many of you are thinking, "the fuck is 401(k)?" Well, it's your future. It's what will stop you from being a Wal-Mart greeter 60 years from now. Getting a head start on my retirement numbers among the smartest things I've ever done. If your work doesn't offer retirement benefits, go for an individual retirement account (IRA). Seriously.

Find the time, then find your passion.
One year removed from my college career and I have way less free time than anticipated. 
Sure, there are no tests or essays. Weekends are pretty kick ass that way. But you're stuck in the same place, 8-5 every day. Not just the same campus or area, the same exact fucking chair. Then you'll fight through traffic and any other stupid errands to get home around 6 or 7. Then you have to go to bed at a reasonable time to make sure you don't go sleep deprived crazy all over co-worker Pam's stupid face.

So, once your aforementioned routine is set, find a passion -- maybe it'll be a new one to you. Try running, community soccer games, reddit, biking, reddit, casual reading (I totally forgot that was a thing in college), maybe even reddit. Let this new thing be that very necessary release in this new stage of your life.

Good luck and Godspeed.