Archive | May, 2010

Please rise for the real world: your next 8 jobs

15 May

“All graduating seniors, please rise.”

The sound of the clapping rose as our professors stared at us. We, not knowing what to do with our hands in this moment, stood wondering what just happened to the long, four years in college.

Ceremony ends and the common questions begin.

“So, what are you going to do now?”

Hands sweat and my brain goes directly to my frequently rehearsed answer.

“I am moving to Chile to teach English.”

The common reaction proceeds from my Communication professors: their wide, circled eyes push their eyebrows high, head tilts back a bit, and I hear, “Oh, wow! Why?”

I am not going to Chile to work for a communication agency, but to teach English. I do not plan to do this forever. I plan to explore my options–explore what I am best at.

“Between the ages of 20 and 30, most people have more than eight jobs,” said Penelope Trunk.

My mother has always worked in the hospital. My father has mainly worked with finances. Their parents also told them they needed a concrete plan once they were given their diploma.

My dad recently told me he regrets following these words of advice.

The truth is, this generation does not “do” concrete plans. We go to graduate school for dentistry and more graduate school to study law. Some move to Colorado to hide in mountains. People, like me, run to another country to challenge themselves.

As Trunk said, we try seven jobs until we find the eighth good one.

This is okay.

Success comes from a buoyant employee–not one who has found themselves in a cubicle regurgitating information without desire to do so.

So, for all of the graduates who are escaping from normality to discover your eventual eighth job…do it without hesitation. You have seven tries to get there and I believe the Colorado mountains, Washington, D.C.’s political ambiance, China’s amusing culture, or another graduate school couldn’t be a more perfect start.

Seven tries equal a lot of years. A lot of years to explore and discover where you are supposed to be…no rush.

“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” -John Maxwell