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You’ve decided to go to college, and you’ve done it well there. Now, the time is coming when you’ll leave college and enter a new phase of your life – a career.
It may seem daunting, but it’s not as bad you might think. You just need to identify the challenges you’re facing and overcome them. You’ve made it through college, so this won’t be out of your reach.
Let’s start with some of the biggest challenges college students face:
Abilities – Knowledge, Skills, and Experience
You’ve successfully completed classes that prepare you for a career. You may have even had some skills training as part of your coursework, and now, you just wonder if you have what it takes to start gaining experience in the field.
This is a natural concern and the good news is you don’t have to worry about it too much. Employers will know you don’t have a lot of experience and your knowledge and skills only go so far. However, many of them like that about new college graduates because they can mold them. When people have many years of experience, their knowledge and skills are much less flexible. This can make training them hard.
The best way to overcome this challenge is to point this out to employers. It’s also a good idea to do other work (low paying or volunteering) to gain more experience. The more you do, the more you have to put on your resume. This will all accumulate to give you a much better shot at higher paying, more prestigious jobs down the road.
Confidence – Getting Over Yourself
Confidence can be your biggest enemy. When you don’t believe you can do something, you will likely not do it. Don’t be so hard on yourself because you don’t feel as though you have what it takes, or you’re not as good as someone else. You are who you are and you are awesome. You need to believe that you have strengths others don’t and those strengths are what others need.
To help you build your confidence, take on small projects, do them well, and finish them. As you complete each project, you will end up feeling better about yourself. Take on more and more and don’t stop. The more you do, the more you’ll learn, and the more you’ll feel good about yourself.
Failure – Learning to Love It
Don’t be afraid of failure. Failure is not a bad thing. There will be a point in your career where you will love failure. Why? It teaches you something every single time, as long as you are willing to look at it.
Think back on your life when you’ve made a mistake or just couldn’t do something you thought you could do. What did you learn from it? You can probably come up with some lessons, but this is all in hindsight. The trick is to use failure once it happens to improve your future. Take failure, learn from it, and then use that lesson to do something really great for yourself.
Doesn’t that make you want to fail right now? Well, maybe not, but it may not make you as afraid of it.
Approval – Caring Way Too Much About What Others Think
This is your life. Your career will be your career. You will be the one who will get up every morning and go to work. You will work for hours upon hours for your career. You are the one who is living your life.
People will always have opinions. You cannot get away from that, so let them have their opinions. They are not living your life.
When you can stop caring so much about what others think, you can start to love yourself and your life. You will be able to see your life as a success, rather than the failure that others may be trying to project on you.
Finances – Dealing with the Money Situation
You’re a college student – you’re poor. You don’t have a high paying career, and you probably have student loans and student insurance to take care of. You have no money.
You are allowed to have no money. Don’t let your emotions get wrapped up in it, or the logistics will be much harder.
To deal with the money situation, you will have to start getting creative. You know how much money you have coming in, and you know how much money you have to throw out, so start working on how you can make it all work. See if you can lower any of the bills you currently have, and when they are at their lowest, see how you can live as minimalistic as possible.
The simpler you live now, the happier you will be later. DO NOT turn to credit cards as an easy way out. If you take the easy way now, you’ll have a harder time later.
You got this career decision thing. Just follow your heart and make good decisions with your head. It’s brought you this far, so it will continue to steer you in the right direction, as long as you don’t allow all of these challenges to block your path.