I work at an institution where I deal with young adult kids and therefore I see graduating students every year. I always notice that many of the graduating kids are jubilant on their passing out day, knowing that they are free of studies, knowing that they can be independent, they feel to be on top of the world and that’s how they should feel no matter what their reason is, they have accomplished something and they have the right to be joyful. But gradually as they move on, you feel these kids to be stressed, to be worried about jobs, life, about family pressure of doing or being what so many of their cousins or friends are doing and have become. You see these kids to be constantly comparing themselves on the basis of success to other people. I have even seen so many parents nagging their kids about how much they achieved by their age when they had so fewer facilities available in their time.
My personal experience:
I was always a very career oriented person; ever since I was in school, I knew that I wanted my own money. I always knew that being a girl, the set course of society was not enough for me. My parents being middle class parents gave us education beyond their easy means. My parents sent me to Islamabad for education, thinking that capital city’s institutes are better, living in hostel my expenses were too much for my parents but they kept supporting me. On top of my own expectations, my parents’ dedication towards me made me even more desiring of a good job, a stable life.
I remember even before I graduated I started looking for jobs and within one or two months of search when I could not find an option, I got so depressed and disappointed with myself. I remember I was offered a job at a school and as I always wanted to teach at a higher level, I rejected it and felt even more dejected. I started having self-doubts about my ability, I got angrier and frustrated that I had so much GPA why I was not getting a job instantly and of my own choice. However in my case, right after graduation I did get a good job. But I also know that a lot of graduates are not that lucky, not because they are not focused enough, or hard working enough. A part of every success in life, in my opinion, has to do with fate as well.
As I remember my own short time of job hunt, of my friends who stressed for quite a long period for getting job and especially of my brothers, because in our culture boys are given too much financial responsibility, I felt a strong urge to write what I have learnt from mine and my dear ones’ experience. I want young graduating kids to read this and remind themselves of these tips/pointers whenever they feel down or they start self-doubting themselves.
Life is all about patience, if you are an impatient person, you will always remain anxious because as human beings, we will always want something and not always, we get it instantly.
Be kind to yourself and wait for your time.
For example if you are a 4/4 GPA holder, you should understand there are many like you in the market so there is competition, not that your achievement is any way minor but you gotta give yourself sometime to cash that learning and distinction.
If you are an average GPA holder, remember most of the people in this world are ordinary and most of the ordinary people are living stable, successful lives and so will you but again it will take some time and effort to find your place. So neither a month nor a year is too much for you to think you are worthless to not have found a job. You always have time as long as you live.
The most affective habit of successful people is that they are consistent. Consistency is reflection of hope and faith; it means you are just not ready to give up.
Make sure to apply for each and every job opportunity that comes across you. You will not be called for many tests or interviews by many places but do not think since they never call me so I should not apply any more. You never know when is your calling or when is your time, so just keep doing it. Keep applying; keep asking other people for available opportunities.
3-Chose financial independence over likeness of job
And remember once you graduate your top priority should be to become financially independent. Once you have your own money you get a peace of mind of not asking for it, even from your parents. And since you are not asking for money, not always you have to listen to long lectures about what you should do with your life. Having your own money helps you develop confidence into believing that you can survive on your own. Gradually save a little money and start doing what you want to do, or once you are doing a job that you don’t like but pays for your bills, then during that job look for other options.
4-Something is always better than nothing
Don’t ever leave a job opportunity initially because it is not paying you enough or it is not related to you major in Graduate degree.
For example you are a 4/4 GPA holder, don’t think that entire market is waiting for you because all job sectors are now getting saturated, there are more jobs and there are way more graduates. More over, along with other graduates there are many experienced people who want to switch from their jobs and companies always prefer experience over good GPA students because experience brings skill along with other real life situation handling abilities. So to actually swim in the market you need to initially become a part of it. And you can only become part of it once you grab an opportunity that comes to you. Your initial opportunity is your experience gaining forum than your money providing source.
If you have gained a contract with a company for 2 to 3 years but during those years you find better job, if you switch at that time usually companies in South East Asia don’t take legal actions because it costs them too much time and money, maximum what will cost you for switching is one month salary, so taking an initial offer does not mean that you get bound with company for long.
A job other than your major if pays for your bills, take it. You can always switch
5-Don’t listen to others, do your thing
Most of all tune yourself of not being bothered by continuous nagging. Once you graduate, you will always be given unsolicited advice and suggestions. People love making other people feel unsuccessful and under-achieved. They also love making their own-selves feel accomplished by giving tips to others on how they got things fixed in life. Though most of them had, if not more than you than at least equal amount of failures as yours, they must have got way more time than you and way less competition than you.
You parents achieved way more at your age because they hadn’t had to experience rigorous competition, they hadn’t had the self awareness of present generation where you know you gotta find yourself and your true calling.
If you have decided to initiate a startup or you have decided to begin a ‘not so typical ‘career than go for it. But remember a start up, a unique career can only have hope if you have a solid plan and a tentative deadline and a consistent heart and head otherwise your start up plan or unique career is just a dream of the likes of people who build castles in the air.
So let me summarize and simplify this long sermon for you.
a)Start looking for jobs even before you get the degree
b)Try taking the initial opportunity for experience sake, and you can leave once you have a better one.
c)Take an opportunity even if it is not directly related to your major degree
d)Work on your actual plan along with your job that is paying for your bills.
e)Don’t respond mentally to every seemingly ‘sincerest of heart’ advice because it can cause self-doubt.
In the end, always guide your life decisions, personal or professional, with the amount of happiness they would bring to you. Because happiness is always enough but money, success, fame never feels enough. It is a temporary life, no matter the worth of your success or failure; it has to come to an end so stop gauging your life in comparison to others. Do your thing, make your own rules and try living simple and minimum, the simpler it is in reality and physicality, the simpler it would be in your heart and head and therefore the simpler it would be for you to find joy in simpler things.
May you find peace and happiness at every step that finds you.