This is actually a quotation from one of my workshop attendees. The young man went on to describe how he had the ability to do a lot of things but had never found a clear focus for his career. This time of year we always see a great number of college graduates who present the same feeling. “Now that I have this degree, what am I supposed to do?” Having a degree does not necessarily lead a person in a clear direction. That’s why we know that 10 years after graduation, 80% of college graduates are working in something totally unrelated to their college degree.
Rather than being alarmed by this fact, we simply need to put the degree in perspective. A college degree is not intended to create a narrow career path from which there is no escape. In a broader sense it is part of the maturing process; it shows self-discipline; it expands one’s horizons and options; it provides new social contacts; and it likely stimulates some possible career alternatives.
Career choices are not for the most part logical and rational – the good ones are much more intuitive and clarified by life experience. That’s why those of you who are already 35-40+ are in a better position to make good career decisions. What you have done in the real world has been preparing you to make clearer, more meaningful decisions than what you could possibly have done at age 18-20.
Career decisions made at 18 seldom define the most fulfilling options 20 years later.
Life is the ultimate educational experience that helps us make good decisions. And keep in mind that academic institutions are often safe, socially acceptable places to hide out while procrastinating having to make real choices.
Know a college graduate who needs some clear direction? Give the inspiration of 48 Days To The Work You Love as a graduation gift. While supplies last, we’ll add “A Special Selection for Graduates” as an added gifted.
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