For as long as I can remember, when people would ask me what I was going to do when I graduated high school, my response was always, "go to college, get a bachelors degree, get a full time job, get married, buy a farm and settle down with my family and horses." Simple as that. I envisioned myself accomplishing all of that by the age of 25, or 30 at the latest.
Now here's the reality - I turned 25 this past December, I just recently finished my Masters degree at the University of Kentucky (which was a large undertaking in itself), and I'm currently working two part time jobs.
In high school we were told that you needed a college degree to get a job. Then by the time I got to college, I was told that, in truth, you needed a Master's degree to get the better jobs. But in all honesty, people who have multiple degrees, ranging from bachelors to PhD's, are all having trouble finding jobs right now. And I, along with many other future college graduates, find that troubling.
We live in a world where people try to measure our personal success by the jobs we hold, the salaries we earn, and the size of our family and homes. But the availability of those jobs, salaries, and homes are affected by measures that we cannot control. Change is the only thing that remains constant.
Change can be scary - just like entering the real world without a clue as to where to go next. But I'm going to rely on the two things that have helped me succeed so far - setting personal goals and surrounding myself with people who can help me succeed. Hopefully, through this blog, I can share what I learn along the way, with you.
I close this post with some advice from Steve Case, given in a commencement speech to graduates at George Mason University in 2009.
"No matter what you do in life, your ability to succeed will be largely dependent on your ability to work with people. Indeed, it has often been said that what you do is less important then who you do it with – that the people you surround yourself with, whether a spouse, or friends, or co-workers, will ultimately be the principal determinant of the course your life will take. So don’t just focus on the job descriptions, or the brand name of the organization you’re going to join – also focus on who you’ll be working for, and with." Steve Case