Post grad life is confusing, sometimes terrifying and often difficult to maneuver on your own. You think you “found yourself” in college, only to graduate and realize you have no idea who the hell you are. I get it. Which is why I put together this collection of advice for a college grad – from the minds of women I personally admire, who have experienced this time for themselves and maneuvered it beautifully! I hope their words impact you the way each of them have impacted me.
Never stop growing, never stop learning –
I chose to put this one first because it has been the most beneficial to me. Understand that every job, every relationship, every obstacle is an opportunity for you to grow and learn.
“Don’t stop learning, no matter what degree you’ve graduated with or field you go into. Becoming complacent won’t get you to the next stage or the next job advancement. That being said, it’s not always about the promotion or the higher pay grade, understand that becoming a subject matter expert and teaching others is just as rewarding. Be happy, stay humble and always do good.”
– Pateley Reuter, Apple Human Resources, and one of the kindest people I know.
“What I wish someone had told me when I graduated was that my 20s are for me, to figure out who I am, what I like, and how I want to live my life. Our trials and errors reflect growth and progress so it’s imperative that young people recognize that they have time. They don’t have to land their dream job right out of college or meet the right person immediately. Take your time, enjoy the journey, and always strive to be the best and kindest version of yourself.”
– Laura Gompers, total Virgo bad a** who is going to change the world. Follow her on Instagram @lauragomps
“My best advice is to remind yourself to “make your mess your message.” College is one of the most challenging times of one’s life. You learn more about yourself than you ever thought you could. You begin to define “you”. I stress the word “begin” because you are just crossing the start line to a whole new journey – something I think we all realize from hindsight but don’t truly understand until you find yourself lost again. I’ve learned that this is the time when most people find themselves doubting every decision they’ve made leading up to this point. I am one who DOES believe in regrets – and I know, I’m probably one in a million to admit this. The reason is that I also believe in taking those regrets, learning from them and using them as a tool to guide yourself to the decision you want to make moving forward. So, I’ll remind you… make your mess your message. We all have a whole lot of growing to do. You are not alone.”
-Spencer Higgins, Production Assistant at Bounce AEG in LA, Follow her on Instagram @spencerkaat
Create a life you love –
YOU have the power to decide what you want your life to look like.
“It’s really easy to fall into the monotony of work, eat, sleep and repeat. Outside of your job, do something to keep you grounded in who you are, have a hobby to keep you busy in your spare time, and do something that your future self will thank you for. You’re going to feel a lot more motivated at work and have a more fulfilled life if you continue to do something that means a lot to you (ex: spending time with family, meditation, bible study, etc.) Keeping busy while you’re not at work prevents you from falling into the Netflix-And-Chill every single night routine. While that’s good every once in a while, you’re going to be happier if you have an outlet for stress in the form of a hobby.”
– Paige Mazurek, labor and delivery nurse. Follow her on Instagram @paigeyymaz
“My advice for people graduating is to never settle and always stay hungry! Your first job is never your last job and it sounds cheesy but YOU have the power to create the life you want. My current company’s moto is ” we work to create a LIFE, not just a living” and it is so true! Work your ass off, stay humbled, and play just as hard.”
– Natalie Eramo, follow her on Instagram @natalie_eramo
Network and never be afraid to ask, or the answer will always be no –
This post for example, I reached out to a lot of people to contribute, even people I’ve never met but admire from afar who I knew that getting a response was a long shot. But, I still sent the ask… what if by some chance they decided to respond to this random girl sliding into their DM? I might have formed a very valuable connection. I didn’t get a response from the majority of them, but at least I had the guts to ask! #noregrets
“I would say to connect with the people you know! Never hurts to ask.”
“I think my biggest piece of advice to any recent grad is to network as much as you possibly can…. with your boss, your bosses boss, your colleagues, clients, peers both in and outside your industry. At the end of the day everything is about the quality of your relationships and who you associate yourself with.”
“Relax, remember most recent college grads are all in the same boat. Relate this time to your first semester of college, scary and new at first but you’ll settle in and figure things out sooner than you think. Reach out to alumni, personal contacts you know from growing up and people who are ahead of you, in life, to share with them what type of role/career you’d like to get and if they know anyone who can help you get introduced to an opportunity you’d be interested in! Leverage your network! Also, read books! Your personal development and growth is very important.”
– Maddie Marenholz, North Western Mutual
Own who you are and stop comparing –
Comparison to others is the thief of confidence and can blind you from seeing the joy and beauty in YOUR life and who YOU are.
“My best advice is to stay true to yourself. If you want to do something, do it! If you don’t, don’t! A lot of stigmas come with being a millennial – it’s your job to prove them wrong, work hard, not be lazy and find your own success!”
“Try not to pay any mind to what other people are doing. Instagram is a highlight reel- and BS compared to their normal day to day. Find something that makes you happy and do it everyday.”
“What if being an outsider is the most powerful thing you could be? Ask yourself, what is your otherness you can leverage to stand out red in a sea of blue black and grey suits? Think back on things you’ve been told are weird, different, off? What if those unique parts of you are actually what will separate you? For me that was my last name Sanchez, I’m a chick in male dominated finance, I’m loud, brash, jump out of airplanes and lift weights. My weirdness makes me memorable in a suited and booted world. What is your otherness you can unleash? And I promise you, watch your former naysayers bite their tongues.”
Trust that everything will work out the way it is supposed to –
Relax and let your life flow naturally. Have the mentality that everything in your life is happening in your favor.
“I think my biggest piece of advice is be confident in yourself, your abilities, and what you have to offer – – You can do way more than you think you can. Yet be humble, and recognize that the point in your life that you’re at you should be a sponge soaking up knowledge from new jobs, new co-workers, new bosses & new friends. Combining that confidence & humility will make you unstoppable. It’s seriously just the beginning of your life so don’t get overwhelmed with trying to plan everything out – – when you’re going to get a promotion, when you’re going to get your dream job, when you’re going to get engaged, when you’re going to get married…(Don’t lie, everyone does it)! Stop that cycle because it will all work out. I promise.”
-Jacqui Butler, Positivity, Wellness & Adventure Blogger. Follow her on Instagram @offthefieldtv
Seek mentors and surround yourself with supportive friends –
Creating this post has made me feel so grateful for the beautiful, inspiring and powerful women that I have around me.
“Treat your body and brain with respect. Work harder than those around you, but don’t let your job make your life miserable. Save business cards, you never know when you’ll need someone’s contact information. You will hear “no” a lot, use it as motivation – you’ll never know if you don’t ask. Find your people and keep them close; being an adult is hard but it’s WAY easier when you have a group that will listen, laugh, and ALSO complain about how much it BLOWS to pay rent, taxes and bar tabs.”
-Natalie Jacobs, Account Executive at Cisco Meraki. Follow her on Instagram @nattyjay_
“Seek mentors! Always go after the biggest person in the room to ask for help. I’d rather you’re rejected by greatness then accepted by mediocrity.”
Take risks, follow your passion and trust your gut-
You know what is right for you and what will feed your soul better than anyone else. Take the risk, you will either succeed or you’ll gain experience.
“Move somewhere crazy and get out of your comfort zone. It’s not really advice because I didn’t do it but it’s one of my regrets. Otherwise, I would tell them to work really really hard and try a lot of new things.”
– Katelyn Saunders, Bossbabe and my best friend. Follow her on Instagram @ksaunsderulo
“Follow your passion and what brings you genuine happiness. Never be swayed by the opinions of others or by what society says you ‘should’ be doing.”
“Establish your passion and let that be your compass! Lead with confidence, and always trust your gut. Everything will fall into place if your happiness and your worth are priority!”
-Bailey Krouse, dancer and soul cycle instructor. Follow her for some serious soul and fitness inspo @bai_bai
“Create an authentic glow by letting the fire in your belly burn brightly so that your intuitive gut is clear, fearless and forging ahead for the sake of all rather than for yourself. Everything is nothing without love, find it internally and then spread that shit on all things.”
– Rachel Lindemann, an absolute light in the world, taking over Hollywood.
Cheers to you, for graduating and for taking the time to read this post. Now go out there and bring that special thing to the world that only YOU have to give.