|"The Lord directs our steps,s o why try to understand everything along the way?" - Proverbs 20:24 (NLT)
College and Career
You've Graduated! Now, Get a Job
By Jennifer E. Jones
Well, you’ve done it. You burned the candle at both ends. You spent so much time in the library that they’re going to name an aisle after you. You passed every exam, wrote every paper, and ate 10 pounds worth of Ramen noodles. For your efforts, they’ll give you a piece of paper that officially declares you “educated”.
Congratulations. You’ve graduated! Now what?
After you've been patted on the back, collected your graduation money, and basked in the glow of pomp and circumstance, it dawns on you that you now have to start the adult portion of your life. Like a newlywed wife staring at a pile of dirty dishes, you've become aware that this blessing is actually more work in disguise.
As summer looms near, you may feel like your university has thrust you out of your dorm room into the cold, cruel world. However, let me assure you that there is life after the tassel turns. Here are just a few ways to cope with it.
It’s OK to Be Clueless. Your cap and gown don't come with a deadline for knowing what you're supposed to do with your life. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was anyone's career. It may take a while to figure out where you need to go from here. So relax. Your student loans won't be due for another six months anyway (yeah, you do have to pay those back).
Until You Find Your Passion, Work Your Trade. Once you pass the clueless stage, you might realize that, after four years of education, you still don't have a love for anything that's marketable. Not everyone is born with a talent that will instantly turn a profit. However, if you’ve graduated with any kind of degree, that means that – at least to the outside world – you’ve been trained to do something. So do the one thing you know how to until inspiration comes. Thus, if you got an Accounting degree, be an accountant while you wait for your dream job.
Don't Get Nervous... Or Too Comfortable. Your first job is just that -- a first job. Gone are the days of our parents' lifelong tenure with the same company. You'll change careers probably as many times as you changed majors in college. You're far too young to settle into a dead-end job, and you don't need to fetch anyone's coffee for longer than six months. Keep your resume current, and keep your spirit close to God so you can sense when it's time to move on.
You Can Go Home Again. If the job offers just aren't pouring in like you thought they would, it’s all right to regroup for the summer or longer at your parents’ house. That’s what they’re there for – to provide a launching/landing pad for you throughout this journey. Besides, it's a great way to save money. So set your pride aside and give dear old Mom and Dad a call. If you have a game plan for when you'll move out, a few months under their roof can be just the buffer zone you need between college and the real world – provided they let you have your old room back.
Here’s the deal. You’re not supposed to have a 10-year plan just because you have a degree. We see through a glass darkly at best. Trust God to guide your steps. He has promised you that He'll take care of every need. All you have to do is hand over the reigns of your life to Him. Before you know it, you'll look in the mirror and see the adult you never thought you could be... completely Ramen-free.
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