Ahhh, yes. The last days of college — you’re so close to the finish line, but there is still so much to do — final exams, papers to be written, worrying about where you’re going to live or how you’re going to get a job. The family is probably planning a big party that you may or may not want to really happen. You’re tired. You’re excited. You’re overwhelmed. You’re scared. You’re sad. And, you’re all of those things at once or you have vacillating emotions that happen about every three minutes (or more emotions than you have during one episode of Supernatural).
Your head is probably filled with advice — those oh-so-helpful tips from parents, professors, friends and anyone else who finds out you’ll be released into the big blue yonder soon. But, we’re here to tell you, most of that advice is just, well, crap. (Sorry.) So, we’re going to break down the reality of the work world by pulling back the curtain on the lies we tell you when you graduate.
Nah. You actually have a few more years to grow up. You know why? Because that degree you just spent four to seven years earning? Yeah. It’s probably not going to mean anything to you in about two more years. In fact, I would wager that you won’t even be using that degree by the end of your 27th year of life because you will have changed to some completely different career path by then. Now, that’s really when things need to start getting serious. However, until then, you should probably start working on getting off your bestie’s futon (because, awkward).
We’re sad to tell you that just because you have a degree it doesn’t mean you are going to find the job you want. Think about it: everyone else has a degree, too. So, you need to include things on your resume that are going to make you stand out beyond having a degree. (And, we’re not talking things like “Beer Pong Champion 19 Days in a Row” or that you scored 172 on the NCMO scale.) Think about any volunteering activities you did or internships you completed and tailor that experience to match the job you want. If you don’t have any, well, sucks to be you. (Just don’t lie about it. You will be busted.)
No, you really don’t have to empty trash cans at the office to get a job in your field. (No matter how many times your grandpa tells you that walk uphill both ways for his first job story.) There are opportunities for you to come out of college and get a nice job somewhere in the middle. Just don’t hold out for the top dog spot … yet. Zuckerberg wasn’t built in a day, yo.
Let’s get serious for a sec: you’re going to piss some people off along your career journey, it’s an inevitability. It’s happened to all of us (and we totally survived). However, you should probably work on not being the douchiest person in your office, especially early on. You are going to need at least one of those people to give you a reference at some point and it sure is hard to walk across that bridge after you’ve burned it to the ground. So, try to burn the least amount of bridges as possible, but be aware that it is going to happen.
Uh. No. Even if you sofa-surfed and hookah-smoked your way through the last two years of college, you have the ability to still get a good job. OK, it’s going to be a bit more challenging for you and may take some creative interview persuading or awesome connections, but you certainly don’t have to be magna cum laude to land the job you want. I mean, what about those people who write for Family Guy? There’s no way they were at the top of their classes.
Don’t. Just … don’t. This is not a precedent that you want to set early on. Sure, you want to be seen as a hard worker and not that guy who just sits at his desk checking Tinder every 10 minutes, but you don’t need to be the annoying, brown-nosing one that makes sure everyone in the office knows you work 90 hours a week. And, guess what else? When it comes time for layoffs, they won’t give a second thought to all of those extra hours you’ve worked, especially if cutting your salary helps them easily meet a budget goal. Trust us on this.
What real world advice do you have for college grads?